Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

Archive for April, 2010

Serious Blogger Is Serious

Earlier today, I engaged in a debate about the merits of Old Man Logan on Twitter with Sex Food and Comic Books contributor and nerdress Satine Phoenix. It all began with a simple tweet:

To which, I responded:

Leading to:

All of which leads me to post this:

Please note that I’m only posting this because I’m incredibly bored and I think it’s funny. Satine is great and so is Joe,  her co-conspirator over at SFCB. They run an awesome site and though our tastes may run in different directions sometimes, it’s nice to have someone to discuss these things with.

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Weekly Comic Reviews

I Do Not Actually Look Like Jesse Custer

This week begins a drastic reduction in the amount of money I put forward toward weekly books. I’ve come to the point where storage space is becoming a problem, and honestly I just can’t justify spending around $200 per month on comics anymore. I’m trying to cut back to a absolute maximum of $30 per week. I’d prefer to stay around $25 but that’s probably a pipe dream. This week I was JUST over my self-imposed limit, but still better than my usual 45-50 dollar pull.

Unfortunately this means that the reviews will vary from week to week, as there may not be a whole lot worth reviewing in my stack. On new series I’ll always try to pick up the number one just to see if it’s something I might want to continue with while another book gets bumped off, but there will be a lot of trial and error in the coming weeks.

ARRIVALS 4-21-2010
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628 3.99
DEADPOOL MERC WITH A MOUTH #10 (OF 13) 2.99
FALL OF HULKS SAVAGE SHE-HULKS #2 (OF 3) 3.99
FEARLESS DAWN #3 (OF 4) (C: 1-0-0) 2.95
GREEN LANTERN #53 (BRIGHTEST DAY) 2.99
HER-OES #1 2.99
POWER GIRL #11 2.99
SPIRIT #1 3.99
SUPERGIRL #52 2.99
ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS #6 3.99
X-FACTOR #204 XSC 2.99
X-MEN LEGACY #235 XSC 2.99

Like I said, a shorter week than usual. But I’ve still got some things to say about ’em, so let’s go for it.

Green Lantern # 53
GREEN LANTERN # 53

I was very close to dropping this particular title in the cull of my pull-list. I’ve been very vocal of how much  I didn’t like Blackest Night, and I already dropped Brightest Day after a single issue. Logic would dictate that this title would follow suit and end up as a casualty of my reading list dissection. But I’ve generally enjoyed the ongoing series of Green Lantern since it’s inception and I felt it deserved a shot, so I gave this issue a chance to keep me on board.

The problem with this issue is simply that it’s 95% setup for something else. That might not be a problem if the setup were for plots to be fleshed out in this book, but the ending sets up the forthcoming stories in the new Guy Gardner lantern book and Green Lantern Corps, both titles that I will not be picking up.

I suppose that if someone were picking up all the GL books right now, this wouldn’t be as bothersome. But to me, it’s a little frustrating. It’s the same issue plaguing the Superman books right now, where the reader is essentially forced to read all the titles if they want to understand anything. How is that a good thing for someone on a budget who just wants to read a single Superman book? I feel like the same effect is radiating off of the lantern books right now.

Luckily, it doesn’t look like the books cross over in the sense that one chapter begins in one book and you have to pick it up in another, like the aforementioned Superman titles. So hopefully now that the setup has been fleshed out, the main title can remain independent of the other books. Or at least, such is my hope, as I will not be defacto coerced into buying more monthly GL books. I’d sooner drop the main title and be done with it. Which is not something I want to do, because complaints about the nature of the issue aside, I actually enjoyed the book. Mahnke’s art is a great fit for Green Lantern and Johns gets in some decent character moments with Hal and Carol. If the book didn’t sidetrack itself trying to pimp the side-series, I don’t think I would have had much bad at all to say about the issue.

I think my contention that Johns is an excellent writer when applied to the right kind of series stands with this issue. Last week, his Flash proved this as well. He’s much better suited for monthly titles where he can work his magic over a longer period. Mini-series where he has to go straight to the finish line in the span of a few months seem to undercut his ability to build his characters and his story. Then again, if he has too much time to play with we get “Thy Kingdom Come” which ran for about six issues too long.

Johns needs to settle back in to the healthy middle.

Her-oes # 1
HER-OES # 1

This kind of reminds me of Spider-Man loves Mary Jane, but slightly off kilter. It deals with established female superheroes transplanted into the world of high school and centers around Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp, who really always felt like she was a high school stereotype most of the time ayway.

The book is interesting in the way things are revealed, as we know that Janet can become the wasp and hints of teenage Jen Walters being able to turn into the She-Hulk are dropped, but we don’t get any explaination as to how these girls have their powers at this point in their life. I think that’s a little refreshing that establishing a continuity for this universe doesn’t seem to be a major concern and that more time is spent establishing the characters in the book. Janet puts on a bold face but never follows through with her boasts, all the while taking on the role of the fringe set outsider, a position that some readers of the book will most assuredly be able to connect with.

All in all, it’s a harmless little book that’s gotten too much crap dumped on it because of the title. Yeah, it’s a dumb pun and it’ll probably put some people off buying it. But it’s also a fun read, which I find myself drawn to more and more these days in the wake of my favorite heroes being ripped in half by my least favorite heroes and melodramatic schlock where Aquaman won’t even get in the water.

The Spirit # 1
SPIRIT # 1

This reads more like Frank Miller’s take on the Spirit than it should. The brooding narration, the dark and moody Central City, the fact that the Octopus isn’t hidden in the shadows like he damned well should be…

Honestly, I don’t think the Spirit needs to be published anymore. Without Will Eisner to take the reins, anybody doing the book will be doing the character and his creator a grand disservice. The only person who even came close was Darwyn Cooke, but then again Darwyn Cooke might be some sort of wizard. I’m not sure. It’s only conjecture at this point. But this “First Wave” incarnation of the Spirit seems to be slightly wrong. There’s no warmth to this book. I think that might be because he doesn’t have a little Ebony White driving him around and cracking wise. Darwyn Cooke pretty much prooved that you can make the character work without seeming hokey and/or racist, so why leave him out? He’s a big part of what makes the Spirit feel like the Spirit, and this Spirit doesn’t feel like the Spirit.

This issue makes me wish that Azzarello were doing the book. In First Wave # 1 we got a little bit more of a classic take on the Spirit. A guy who relied on his wits to keep him sane in a world where you would have to be insane to do the things the Spirit does. The Spirit in that book had the warmth and (groan) spirit that the character should have. Maybe things will shift around in issue two, but I can’t bank on that.

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Like I said, not as many reviews, but I try to do what I can. Join me next week, when maybe I’ll have better luck in the pull list lottery.

Cosplay Appreciation Week – Day Four : Black Canary

Here two people cosplay as a cancelled series...

Black Canary is a hard costume to pull off. You really have to have the legs to rock those fishnets and be fully prepared for the attention that said fishnets will garner. You go to a convention wearing those babies and you can expect a plethora of stares and requests for pictures that will probably end up in some nerds fap bank. Thank god a bold few can actually pull it off.

Why is she smiling? Her marriage is ov...OH!

I actually like this classic version, with the blue jacket. So sue me.

Two for One

Nothing Funny Here, Move Along

Bonus Catwoman

Serious Canary Is Serious


Cosplay Appreciation Week – Day Three : Black Widow

Da.

Surprisingly, I haven’t really made that much of a big deal out of IRON MAN 2 hitting theaters here soon. I am really psyched about it, as I loved the first one and the more I watch it the higher it climbs on my ladder of superhero flicks. Honestly, I’ll pop it in and get more out of it than I will THE DARK KNIGHT, but then again two and a half hours of Christian Bale’s growly rape voice is sometimes more than I can handle. Anyhow, Black Widow is in IRON MAN 2, and funnily, I think some of the cosplayers did a better job with the costume than the production designers for that film, so enjoy!

Glasses. Yes.

In retrospect, Bruce Campbell would have made an awesome Nick Fury...

Random Sexual Innuendo

Redheads. That's Why You're Here.

Her eyes are a perfect mixture of come hither and also gtfo.


Cosplay Appreciation Week – Day Two : Mary Marvel

Happy now, google?

For some reason, the searches leading to this site range all over the damned map. But in addition to just plain “sexy cosplay” or the like, we get alot and I mean A LOT of searches for “Mary Marvel” and I figured now was the time to give the people what they want. One thing I noticed while researching this post, is that there are far more people cosplaying as dark Mary Marvel than happy-go-lucky-innocent Mary Marvel. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Watch the hits roll in...

This should attract the goth demographic...

Bonus Huntress

Latex. That's another base covered...

Another classic. Almost a rarity...

Stop staring


Cosplay Appreciation Week – Day One : Catwoman

Is Your Cat Always Making TOO MUCH NOISE ALL THE TIME?!?!?

Because I seem to get a great response from the random posting of cosplay girls, I have decided to make this week “Cosplay Appreciation Week” in the hopes that the hits will propel us to another record month. Day one begins with Catwoman, because…hey, Catwoman!

Is Your Cat Always STOMPING AROUND, DRIVING YOU CRAZY?!?!?!

Is Your Cat Always CLAWING AT YOUR FURNITURES?!?!?
(they see me rollin’…they hatin’…)

Well, try KITTEN MITTENS!!!

Kitten Mittens, You'll be Smitten!

Meeee-oooww!!!

I'm out of Sunny in Philadelphia references...

Luckily, I'm also out of images...SCORE!

If you have any suggestions for what character should come next, be sure to hit up the comments section or message me on the twitter.


Ronin’s Ramblings – Part One

Ronin’s Ramblings

Part One

Eh, what? “Oh hey, it’s that guy who is also Reverend’s brother who talks about games and stuff.” “What? You mean that guy who hasn’t written anything for the blog in, like, forever?” “Yeah, that guy… dude, who says ‘like’ like that anymore? And it hasn’t really been forever since his last post.”  “Did you just call me dude… seriously?  Plus, why are you defending him?” “Well, maybe I just think we shouldn’t be so critical of him is all.” “More like you got a crush on the guy.” “A little man crush never hurt nobody. Plus, you see his pic with the tux and cane?” “Nah.” “Well you should.” “Whatever man, let’s just play Call of Duty.”

That was a production of Imaginary Fratboy Theatre. So, yeah. I guess I have been absent for a while. Not because I haven’t had anything to review or report, or that I was without a computer with which to type, I’m just really lazy. Hey, I need at least one character flaw. I have been spending my time recently playing some of the 10 or so videogames that have been released within the past couple of months. I possess a pretty large pile of unfinished material, and I made a vow not to review anything until I had finished it. It’s true, read our origin story, or the slightly more popular ‘All Star Reverend and Ronin’.  But while I can’t review unfinished projects, I can make long-winded paragraph length ramblings about them, hence the title. Not counting the fact that everything about this post up until now has also been me rambling. I don’t really know why I put Part one up at the top, I don’t really plan on doing that much rambling around here. It’s not like I was born a ramblin’ man or anything… *hums Allman Brothers*

God of War 3

Available on the PS3

God of War 3

What? You didn’t finish God of War 3? Actually, I did. I just didn’t really think it warranted a review, you know why? Because its GOD OF FUCKING WAR 3! I mean really, if I’m the kind of person who can enjoy Dante’s Inferno, how could I not absolutely love God of War 3. Visuals: the kind of detail other games leave only to cutscenes. Audio: powerful music and vocals to accompany all scenes of action and drama. Substance. Deicide. When most action heroes lose their family, they decide to take down the people who did it, whether it be some asshole, a gang, or the government, but Kratos decides to kill the big man himself, Zeus. God of War is basically everything a true Clash of the Titans should be. Plus, God of War has, you know, ACTUAL Titans. God of War 3 is one of those things every PS3 owners should possess.

Final Fantasy XIII

Available on the PS3/360

Final Fantasy XIII

Ah yes. The first game on the list that I am still in the middle of completing. My save file says I’m about 26 hours in, so that means I should be done with the tutorial soon. I am a big fan of the Final Fantasy series. I remember back when I owned the original Playstation, and buying  FFVII and FFVIII for $20 each. As time went on and I grew older I branched out and played the earlier titles. My history with Final Fantasy is rather consistent, which will probably prevent me from finishing XIII any time soon. It seems with every Final Fantasy game I get, I play it for a long time but before I finish, I end up setting the game down and letting it rest.  By the time I return to the game, I find that I have forgotten some quintessential skill that is mandatory at the level in the game I last stopped. So I decide to start a new game, and end up enjoying it more the second time that I did the first. I did it with seven, eight, and ten, and I have a feeling that’s how I’m going to treat thirteen. I find myself enjoying XIII more that the average critic. I can handle linearity just fine. It looks beautiful, I love the music, there’s only one character I hate (Which is better than most things I receive from Japan).

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Available on the PS3/360

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Meh. I picked this game up on account that I had enjoyed the single player campaign from the first one. It possessed something different from the other shooters around it, with its characters and sense of humor. I heard Bad Company 2 was returning with the same cast of character and became pretty excited. While the first game wasn’t perfect gameplay wise, the sequel was getting enough resources and time, that I thought there would be plenty of room for improvement. When I started playing through Bad Company 2’s campaign it just felt like something was missing. The story while slightly more ludicrous that your other generic shooters,  didn’t capture me the same way the first did. Was it because I had already experienced the originality of the first game that the second one just didn’t affect me? Was it because the developers decided to make the second more similar to Modern Warfare to reach a wider audience? Was it because they focused on the awesome multiplayer like any true Battlefield game should? Probably the last one. But then again, you know I don’t play shooters online. That’s territory for the imaginary fratboys from earlier.

Pokémon: Soul Silver

Available on the DS

Pokemon: Soul Silver

Hot damn, I just realized that Microsoft Word recognizes Pokemon as being misspelled and Pokémon as being correct. I was afraid I’d have to use the wrong one because I’m too lazy to do that weird é thing myself. So, yeah. Picked up this game, still haven’t finished it. Pokémon has become that series that is big enough that it can remake its old stuff. It has also become that series that possesses just the right amount of familiarity and innovation that each new game is worth playing. I remember back when I was a kid (I seem to be doing that a lot with this post) Pokémon: Blue was pretty much the first RPG I had played. It was the first time I was introduced to item management, level grinding, stats, and all those things that are expected from any role-playing game. This is also a series that contains just the right amount of straightforward and complicated mechanics. Element charts and power levels are easy, but just take a look on the Pokémon wiki at all the intense formulas going on under the hood of this game (not that I have Bulbapedia bookmarked or anything). You may think it strange that someone can enjoy the brutality of God of War 3 and a kind of game like Pokémon, especially within four paragraphs of each other, but really, Pokémon is an enjoyable on much more levels that people give it credit for. It doesn’t take a nerd to enjoy Pokémon (though it may take one to name your starting fire Pokémon after Luffy’s brother from One Piece >_>’).

Borderlands

Available on the PC/PS3/360

Ka-blammo!

Huh? An older game? That’s right. Borderlands was released back in October of 2009. I originally picked it up for the PS3 but never finished it. Then along come Steam, offering me the PC version for half price. I mean, if I didn’t buy it, it’d be like I was losing money. For some reason Steam causes me to adopt Zoidberg logic. Because of it I have bought so many games twice that I don’t feel I can justify it. Except for the fact that I totally can. With Borderland on my PC I had a much more enjoyable experience with the shooter/RPG. Probably a bit of  that Final Fantasy replay magic that I was talking about earlier rubbed off on it. This is a truly fun game. It’s a shooter to the end, but also character development, skills, loot, quests, and all the things that make a dungeon crawler fun. Plus, it doesn’t have all that unnecessary story getting in the way. That isn’t to say that the game has no story, or that I don’t enjoy oodles of storytelling in my games, just the fact that the quantity of story present in this game fits. But the story isn’t what’s important in this game. It’s the guns. The countless amount of varied weapons makes the player want to keep pressing on. I looted a bitching revolver that only had a two round capacity, but each of those two rounds actually shot seven bullets and pretty much guaranteed a kill before having to reload. I thought I was going to end up playing the rest of the game with that one weapon alone, until all of a sudden I pick up an even awesomer gun. This feeling is was makes Borderlands such an enjoyable game, and if you have 3 friends to play the online co-op, it cements this game as one of the best shooters you can experience. And then there’s the fact that this game deserves awards for best cover art and best use of Cage the Elephant in a commercial.

Alright, I think five is a good number for a series of ramblings. Until next time, where we take a look at the five or so Wii games I have something to say about. Or maybe I could talk more about City of Heroes. Did you know that the next Issue just entered Open Beta? Gah…. Better quit while I’m ahead.