Sunday, August 23, 2009

Amazing Spider-Man 601

Okay, it's been a while, mostly because my scanner broke, but now we're back in business, this time with:
Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man 601

The issue starts with Mayor Jameson doing what he does best, blaming Spider-Man for what some supervillain did. Which, in this case, is Doc Ock. The reports defend him, saying they're pretty sure he saved the city. Jameson responds with "NUH UH!"

Next we come to Peter, waking up to what he identifies as a hangover. He struggles to remember the events of the night before, with only little tidbits, like how he talked to Mary Jane at one point.

He finally looks to his left, and notices he's not alone. At first he thinks it's Mary Jane, but it turns out it's his roommate's sister, who had been living in the apartment for a while, Michele Gonzales. She gets angry and gets in the shower, warning Peter that he had better be gone before she gets out.

Peter goes webslinging about, trying to find a solution, and remembers that he and MJ agreed to meet someplace at some point. He finds a welcome distraction in a mugger, but dispatching the criminal leads to complaints from all involved. Especially the cops. Looks like he just can't catch a break.

In his search for lodging, he remembers Aunt May is away on honeymoon, so her house should be vacant. Going up to the door, his spider-sense slightly tingles, which makes him think it's like the last time he went into Aunt May's house unannounced. (Read: When he discovered Jameson Sr. and Aunt May were together.) He goes inside, bewildered, to find Aunt May's relatives, the Reilly's taking up residence.

Apparently they want to stay because Massachusetts has higher taxes than New York. Whoever wrote that obviously doesn't live in New York, because although the state sales tax is 4.0% and Massachusetts' is 6.25%, in New York each county also adds its own sales tax, making the total sales tax at least 8.0% in New York. If they were trying to get away from Massachusetts taxes, New York would be the last place they would go.

Sorry, I just like to expose it when writers don't do the research.

Anyway. After that plan fails, he tries to find Harry in the hopes he can crash in his Penthouse, and that he'll have MJ's number.

With that plan quickly dismissed, Peter is forced into desperation. He visits his old friend Betty Brant over at the DB, (The Daily Bugle which had been bought out.) but, once again, finds failure because she already has a roommate. Peter leaves quickly when he hears about a fire in the Empire State Building. Spider-Man tries to calm people down in the raging inferno, and finds salvation in the form of the water pipes from the bathroom. After the bedlam is over, he talks to a fireman, and in the conversation, he mentions Grand Central Station, which jogs Spider-Man's memory about his prior conversation with Mary Jane. He shows up, and thinks of possible things to say to her, until it's obvious she's not showing up.

Cut to Mary Jane, just waking up. After having slept for fifteen hours, she remembers her date with Peter almost immediately, but figures he'd made something out of his night after watching a news report on the fire Spider-Man saved people from. I guess the secret identity erasing of One More Day didn't work on her?

So, this comic. I liked it quite a bit. The writer could actually write Spider-Man well, not as well as Bendis, but better than whoever wrote American Son. The art is nice, better than the 600th issue in my opinion. So yeah, it surprized my by being an issue of Amazing Spider-Man I genuinely enjoyed. Problem is, I can't guarantee the next issue will be this good. Because of the rotation of writers and artists on Amazing Spider-Man, each issue is a gamble. Hell, next issue could be the best Spider-Man I've ever read, or could simply be mediocre. This is why I preferred the old ways, where there were a few different Spider-Man titles, so you could choose which one you liked based on its merits, and just buy that one once a month. Now there's just Amazing, so I gotta keep paying three times a month for an unreliable amount of quality.

Okay then, it's my first review in a while, so tell me what you think! Next time I'll either do the new Ultimate Spider-Man #1, or New Avengers #55, because Bendis wrote it. So until I get enough ambition, the W Defender is signing off.

Friday, August 21, 2009

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Hey everybody! I know I haven't updated in a while, despite a healthy flow of comics and material of which to write. This is because I am lazy. Aaanyway, something that came out today piqued my interest, so today I'm going to write about the preview of the new WoW expansion: Cataclysm.

I used to play WoW quite a bit, but a combination of screwing the lore of the game with random retcons, an inability to get anything good from the game without hours and hours of play (which I just don't have), their pandering to the goddamn casual gamers, and the fact that it just became boring, led me to quit that crippling addiction.

I still keep up on what's going on, should I ever desire to come back, just in case. Recently, I noticed something on Ctrl-Alt-Del talking about the next WoW expansion, called Cataclysm. (The link with the details is here if you want the preliminary details.) I didn't think much of it, and a lot of it, didn't seem to make sense, like the new race/class combinations and the fact that goblins would be a playable race.

Well my friends, it has come true. Yeah, it was announced at Blizzcon, and soon we'll start getting the details and such. But I mean, look at this trailer. Okay, the fact that everything's getting its ass kicked is awesome, but honestly, the trailer doesn't make it seem all that exciting. The one introducing a land caked in ice and introducing dead people as a class was more exciting than the trailer showing the world blowing up and going to shit. Then there's the Worgen, wolf-people whose backstory was introduced in World of Warcraft as evil things from another dimension, only it seems to be quickly retconned as some sort of werewolf curse.

Blizzard has a history of changing the lore, as with Draenei, who at first looked like this:

In order to make them a playable race, altered their backstory to make them the same as a type of demons, the Eredar, and subsequently changed them to look like this:

But at least that was changed between Warcraft III and World of Warcraft.

Next is the fact that certain races will get new classes. One of the most ridiculous is that of a Tauren Paladin. Tauren are shamanistic cow people, all at one with nature and shit. Paladins are holy warriors. Think an indian becoming a priest. Add this to the fact that they'll be almost unstoppable, it's going to suck. Another inexplicable class is the Night Elf Mage. Night Elves, as part of their history, became addicted to magic for a short while, and as such, swore off it, and anyone who used it was considered a criminal, like Illidan, who was imprisoned for 10,000 years. But no, now Mages are A-Okay.

I'm not playing WoW right now, and I doubt I will any time soon, and there are parts of this new expansion that definitely make me more reluctant. On the other hand, a lot of it, like the entire old world of Azeroth being revamped in a Cataclysmic disaster the likes of which never seen before. I'll keep checking up on development, and we'll just see how things turn out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Comcs Bought on 6/5

Today was a pretty good day for comics, along with something I don't usually buy.

Amazing Spider-Man #601: Also not bad. Not any supervilliany, a slice of life kind of comic. A big review is likely.

Secret Warriors #6: Really just a continuation of the last issue, pretty good.

Captain America Reborn #2: Continuing with his Vonnegut inspired "unstuck in time" plot, now Osborn is involved. I don't really know.

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #2: An unusual choice for me, but how could I resist a combination of two of the best horror movie monsters of all time with Ash from Evil Dead? Either way, it's gory and kickass.