Thursday, 10 January 2013

Another "Dead" Hero . . . . . .



Ok, Spiderman 700 - lets "re-cap" - The Amazing Spider-Man #700 marks the end of Marvel’s flagship series and the beginning of its replacement, "The Superior Spider-Man" - EVERYONE knows what the "crack" is here - so, just to warn you - spoilers coming, if you haven't read it – THEN READ NO FURTHER or you are going to be MIGHTILY pissed off!

SPOILERS BELOW – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!


 In Issue 700,we read that Doctor Otto Octavius had successfully 'swapped bodies' with Peter Parker with the mind of Octavius now being housed in the body of Spider-Man.
At the end of issue #700, Peter (inside Octavius's body) passes away, leaving Doc Ock in his body and a vow to become 'The Superior Spider-Man,' thus setting up the new Marvel comic series in February.

Fan reaction has been so strong, there has even been DEATH THREATS MADE – and, even though I find that a little extreme, I can understand (to a degree) why.

HOWEVER – the plot is actually nothing new, I rather enjoyed this (kinda) same story back in the '80s when it was called "Kraven's Last Hunt". It’s almost exactly the same – Kraven  "offs" Spider-Man and then dons his suit to prove he's a better Spidey! 

The only real difference being is that the villain (Kraven) was far more interesting, had a much less contrived motivation, and they didn't need to cancel the main Spiderman title – seriously, did they need to do this again?

Look Comic Book Writers – THERE IS NO FRACKING TENSION ANYMORE when and established character dies – it’s been done SO MANY TIMES it's a cliché now seriously!

The Hero "dies" – somehow gets replaced (Octavius “becoming” Spiderman, Spiderman replacing Johhny Storm etc, etc) then the “definitely dead” Hero turns up a year none the worse for wear.
These Hero Deaths are becoming so commonplace, most comic book fans treat them as a joke – I told a bunch of guys in forbidden planet that when Johnny Storm died, he would be back – seriously, I was slagged off and berated for that – I saw them recently, and by Nabu I could tell they felt dumb as mud

This whole debacle is a great example how completely unoriginal a lot of Modern Comic Books can be - there's no tension here, no stress, and no worries. 

I am pretty damn sure that Parker will be back and then the whole cycle will “rinse and repeat” with someone else.

“ Who hasn't died recently” – that thought keeps running through my mind – who’s next for the "long drop and a sudden stop" as it were! 

For me (at least) this is proof it really is the right time to make a return to good solid storytelling – Secret Wars, Crisis on Infinite Earths, or 2000 AD's “The Cursed Earth” – something Epic, something cool.

Not boring, naff, and repetitive . . . . .

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

DeepWars

Something a little "different" today, not Supers, not Pirates, not Cult TV - but rather Undersea Adventures!!

Unfortunately, I can’t pass on my thoughts about the DeepWars rulebook as I don’t actually have it yet.

However, I’ve had a good long “play” with the Fortune Hunters Deluxe Starter Set – I am in a position to give some thoughts.#

starter_set_cover_paper_fortune_hunters_sm

The Box contains – A 400 point starter warband (well, 405 points)

1 x Armored Dive Soldier (63)
1 x Heavy Support Trooper (77)
1 x Marie du Chaletet - Scientist of the Ethers (99)
1 x Anti-Ship Breaching Mech Construct (91)
1 x Recon Trooper (75)

The Box also comes with the game card for each miniature, and the requisite plastic bases. Each model also comes with a base insert in the same material as the parent model, and is “undersea” themed – the Fortune Hunters inserts fit the bases well, but not “exactly” – a little putty work can easily sort this however.

There’s also supposed to be a way (according to the website – there is no mention of it on the Box) to get a hold of the free downloadable rulebook – that information is neither on the Box nor on the Website – the only thing I can assume is that if you buy direct, that link is supplied to you.
The packaging/presentation is quite nice overall, the box card sturdy and the colour printing bright and strong. HOWEVER, the “sticker” on the front wouldn’t fill the casual buyer with confidence – it LOOKS ill thought out, like its either an afterthought or maybe something got screwed up along the way – I know I’m being picky here, but the first “bite” of any product on the shelf is with the eyes – and in this oh so competitive hobby of ours, if a potential buyer has any doubts – they can move onto a different product (of course to online shoppers and die-hards it makes no never mind LoL).

This is a nice touch, inside the box with the contents are a number of polystyrene popcorn packaging pieces, which I think are a really good solution to packing miniatures for sale. The Miniatures themselves are in strong stapled shut plastic bags, as are the Bases. The only thing I wasn’t keen on here was the fact the Cards are loose inside the box, and whilst the polystyrene popcorn packaging pieces did their job protecting them – I could envisage of a scenario where they don’t. The use of another plastic bag would prevent any chance of damage to the cards.

Right, enough with the Packaging – onto the Miniatures themselves.

The Armored Dive Soldier is a cracking sculpt, and was for the most part flash free – there is one problem however – where the Spear on his Gun meets the housing, the cast seemed very “thin” when I attempted to clean the gun arm it snapped off. A minor repair (but now the spear is a mm or so shorter LoL) but worth mentioning to others, to ensure they are a little more careful with the part.

fortune_dive_soldier_1_sm

The Heavy Support Trooper is another cracking sculpt, nothing super fancy – it does exactly what it says on the tin. He has heft, and looks like he could “do the business”. This one was totally mold line and flash free.


heavy_soldier_1

Marie du Chaletet - Scientist of the Ethers. She was my least favourite sculpt till I got her in my hands. She is far nicer and more interesting in the flesh – and a worthy addition as a named character to the set. Again she was totally mold line and flash free.

Marie du Chatelet_1_sm

The Recon Trooper  is a Scuba Diver wearing an undersea “jet pack” (for want of a better term), the pose is a little “odd” so I can’t see me ever owning more than one (he looks pretty awkward to convert to any satisfying degree) but as a single miniature, he’s really nice. Again mold line and flash free – there is an issue where he fits into (onto?) his scenic base insert, it’s not a brilliant fit with mine – I can only assume it’s down to warping/shrinkage during the casting process – easily fixed with a little greenstuff though.



recon_1

Lastly the Anti-Ship Breaching Mech Construct – unlike the other miniatures in the set which are metal, this is resin. The quality is good, just not as good as the metal casts in this set. In particular around the “thrusters” at the ass-end of the Construct. Theres a lot of extra material in and around there, when it’s cleaned away (no mean feat, I recommend intermediate to advanced modelling skills here) there are “issues” with the casting, the thrusters and other parts of that area are somewhat malformed, fortunately it’s a part of the model you don’t look at a lot!

breaching_mech_1

DeepWars has a LOT of promise, the ideas and concepts are cool – and the Miniatures are great. I just hope they can keep this game going, because it deserves a fair crack of the whip – and as with all new miniature games – only time will tell.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Avengers Assemble

I thought I would wait till I had watched the Avengers a couple of times before posting my thoughts on it.

The Avengers is an AMAZING Film - it easily matched and quite readily surpassed my expectations - it's exciting, sad, tense - and decidedly funny in places - whilst at the same time staying true to all the characters and their personalities.


I've been waiting for this Film since Samual Jackson's character first showed up at the end of the credits for the  first Iron Man Movie.

In my opinion, the Avengers is the BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE MADE TO DATE - bear in mind the gravity with which I write this. I am a HUGE DC Fan, yet this craps all over anything that's been put out for Batman or Superman.

Honestly, as good as a lot of the previous output has been from every studio (Marvel, DC, or whatever) - nothing else comes close to the Avengers.

If you haven't seen it - go see it - NOW!



Oh and Scarlet Yohansen with the Auburn Hair and Black Cat-Suit is the hottest girl in the Movies at the moment!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Preview - ‘Green Lantern: New Guardians’ #8

I'm really REALLY enjoying the DC New 52 Line - and the new Issue of Green Lantern - New Guardians is looking like its going to be no exception!

There's a really great Preview over at Science Fiction.Com - and the new Issue is out April 25th, I for one can't wait!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Preview - Astonishing X-Men #49





A great Preview of Astonishing X-Men #49 - Art by the incredibly talented Mike Perkins (yea, yea - I know I'm biased LoL). X-Fans, check it out!

Preview - Astonishing X-Men #49

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Jeff "Villains & Vigilantes" Dee

 Jeff Dee is an American artist and game designer and a well recognized figure in the role-playing game community and game industry.

Jeff is probably most famous for co-creating Villains & Vigilantes with Jack Herman whilst still a Teenager in the 1970's.


Jeff went on to illustrate a load of material for Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons -  comprising of interior artwork for manuals and illustrations and covers for adventure modules for both games.

Some of his most recognized work can be found in the 1st Edition Deities & Demigods book - along with Erol Otus, Jim Roslof, David S. LaForce, David C. Sutherland III and David A. Trampier - Jeff Dee is recognized as a member of the "first-generation" of D&D artists.


Rather than bandy on about his body of D&D work (which don't get me wrong I love) I want to celebrate his Superhero Art.

Villains & Vigilantes is a fantastic game also had some outstanding modules and source-books - but at the end of the day it was the imagery that caught my attention, the original rulebook was quite slim really. But the eye-candy was an absolute winner.


If you want to have a look at some of Jeffs superhero work, I suggest the following links -

Jeff Dee's Deviant Art Gallery

The Unofficial Jeff Dee Gallery Pages

It is of the Era it is, very 80's - but its clean and very imaginative - and (IMHO) Great!

X-Men vs the Avengers

The new Series ISN'T the first time this has happened (it seems like certain Super Teams never get on) - it happened in the 80's too . . . .