Saturday, December 4, 2010

Miscellaneous Randomness

Hey everybody. This isn't really a review on something specific, just a few things I want to talk about.

First, the Green Lantern trailer.

See, when you see this, you see something new and exciting! I keep comparing it to this fan-trailer on youtube.

I... I can't help it! I want Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern so bad! Plus, Nathan seems like he would have been a more serious, Get-The-Job-Done GL. Ryan Reynolds on the other hand... They turned him into Tony Stark, only he flies planes instead of making missiles. Along with that, I don't like the design of the costume, what with how it looks like green muscle fibers all over his body. It kinda creeps me out, like it strips off his skin rather than adding a layer to it.

My second bit of unrelated doohicky nonsense is Spider-Girl. Now, the old series, starring May Parker in an alternate future where Peter and MJ had kids, was cancelled, presumably to make way for this new series. Now, I really liked the old series, especially since it was the last remaining shard of the pre-One More Day continuity. The new series stars a heroine who was originally called Araña, a girl who got spider powers because I don't really know. That doesn't really matter now because her powers were taken away in the last part of the Grim Hunt storyline in ASM, but since she had SHIELD training at one point, she's decided to take on the Spider-Girl mantle, using Arachne's old costume, after she gained Madame Web's powers and took on that persona.

There was a short preview for her series at the end of ASM #468, and there's something interesting about it. Whereas Spider-Man has little text-boxes showing his thoughts, Spider-Girl's look more like twitter posts. Because they are twitter posts. Spider-Girl has an active twitter feed that updates with random tweets one would expect from a teenage superhero. The thing that makes this different is that she follows anyone who follows her, and will almost definitely reply if you send a tweet her way. I admit, I fanboyed out a few times when she replied to me before. Of course, now I know that the writer of the comics writes the twitter posts, the magic is gone. It was a good fantasy, but it has ended.

Thirdly, Harry Potter. I used to be all into the books and stuff back in like, early high school, when nobody else cared. Now that I'm a college that's apparently full of nerds who love the Potts, I don't really care about HP anymore. It's a bit depressing actually. I say this because part one of Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series, recently came out, and a lot of people I know went to the midnight showing. Sheesh, I get the feeling 3 years from now the whole world's gonna get into H.P. Lovecraft as soon as I don't care.

And that's the end of this random rant! Until next time, this is the W Defender!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Brightest Day #14

I know that when it comes to DC, I usually tend to skimp out. Actually, looking at it now, I'm a little short in anything that's not Spider-Man. But, well, DC Comics have just been too good lately. I mean, my Spider-Man reviews are based on the fact that they're tragically bad. DC Comics, on the other hand, have been too good. I wrote a review for a Blackest Night comic, but then I got too lazy and never scanned the pictures nor published it.

Considering I've never covered DC before, I have quite a bit of backstory to go through. In the recent past, a big crossover event called Blackest Night happened, which was pretty much the DC Universe warring against the personification of death, called Nekron. It was mainly a Green Lantern thing, and was on one level a commentary on the constant deaths and revivals of superheroes. It had lotsa different Lantern Corps, each corresponding to a different color on the spectrum of light, and a different emotion. Nekron was Black (The color. You know what I mean.), and brought tons of dead heroes back as zombies, and it was giant and cool.

In the end, they believed in Life or something, killed the Blackness with White (Yeah, that's literally how it happened.) and 12 dead people got brought back to life. These 12 are Aquaman, Captain Boomerang, Reverse Flash, Firestorm, Jade, Osiris (No idea who that is), Martian Manhunter, Hawk (Of Hawk & Dove), Maxwell Lord, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Boston Brand (Deadman). That launched a new ongoing series titled Brightest Day, the obvious counterpart of Blackest Night taking reference from the Green Lantern oath. There's a few comics underneath a Brightest Day banner, such as Flash, Green Lantern and Green Arrow. The main Brightest Day title follows the resurrected people, but mostly Deadman and his search for the "Chosen One" to bear the White Lantern Ring. Along with him, Dove has been helping. So far, he's had no success, but in the beginning of last issue, he saw a familiar symbol in the Gotham skies...

Oh, and Batman recently came back to life after being sent in JOURNEY THROUGH TIME by Darkseid in Final Crisis, which I didn't read. Nor did I read his JOURNEY THROUGH TIME. Point is, Batman's alive again. Which is awesome, because he's Batman. Which is lucky, because, of today's issue:

Comic Review: Brightest Day #14

The comic starts with Deadman and Dove rushing out to where the Bat-signal's been cast. After some acrobatics, he ends up just finding some usual Gotham thuggery.

He kicks the shit out of the parka-people, noticing how nice it is that he was brought back at the physical peak of his life. Six on one is even easy for him.

Luckily for Deadman, Batman swoops in and shatters Freeze's glass dome, and throws him in the van. Batman asks Boston what he's doing there, and explains he knows how Deadman returned to life. Deadman says he recently heard Batman was resurrected.

Dove shows up and Deadman explains the situation to Batman, telling him that Batman must be the chosen one, because he is the smartest person on earth. Hell, if I was in charge of the White Ring, Batman would definitely be target number one. I mean, he's freaking Batman! You don't wanna mess with Batman. So Deadman orders the ring onto Batsy.

Unfortunately, Batman is too important a character in his own right, and has a solo series as well as 12 other Bat-related series to man, so he can't be the Chosen One. The ring, through Batman, berates Boston for being so hasty and not really caring about the Chosen One. Then Boston is shot.

Boston then has a series of flashbacks, showing the different times he was a total dick. Like, with his grandfather, and then one of his girlfriends.

The last part shows his death again, he was a trapeze artist called, fittingly enough, Deadman, and I guess that's where he got his costume from. He was shot during his act, but after he was acting like a dick again. He admits he never cared about anyone when he was alive, but while he was dead, he literally walked in their shoes.

He's then brought back to life in a giant burst of light, and the ring flies back to his finger from Batman. The ring tells him to live his life the way he wishes to and the Chosen One will come to him. By the time Boston has the chance to look around, Batman's gone. And in the start of a new romantic subplot, this happens:

And that's the end. I really like the Brightest Day series so far, though since it's an ongoing it doesn't have the same impact as limited series as Blackest Night. And there's the fact that it's focusing on so many characters in one series, it tends to feel a bit disjointed when it may be two or three comics before you see the resolution to a cliffhanger. The writing and art are solid, but not exactly revolutionary. Another point I noticed: There are no ads within the main comic, only on the very first page, and at the end, which surprised me once I noticed it. Stuff like Spider-Man will have tons of ads all over the place, and I appreciate the fact that they kept the story uninterrupted. Another thing is, this comic is good for any beginners, not sure where to start. The characters are either easily recognizable or quickly introduced. At any rate, if you're interested in light in the DC Universe, I highly suggest picking some issues of this up. That's all for now, and this is the W Defender!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spider-Man: Big Time

Hey everybody. I was going to take this time to write a review of the rest of the Origin of the Species storyline that was driving me crazy a while ago, because it made no sense. But, really, you saw all you needed to see from the first two issues. It's Spider-Man, carrying around a baby, he thinks it died so he goes all broody and beats people up, then we get some Doctor Octopus and Lizard action, and in a move I still don't understand, Spider-Man finds out that the baby is actually Harry's. So that's two illegitimate children under his belt. Man, he's good at that.

Point is, that's over now, and I am so glad for it. Remember the post from San Diego Comic Con, about Spider-Man: Big Time? I was a bit wary then, mostly because I had no reason to trust the people in charge of Spider-Man. Especially after American Son. But, ladies and gentlemen, I no longer have any reason to fear.

Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man #648

Our comic begins with a full page shot of Spider-Man with the Avengers, while he shouts their catchphrase, "Avengers Assemble!" Doc Ock, apparently deciding stealing babies was beneath him, has sent out giant Octobots to rampage through NYC. Being that Octopus is Spidey's main villain, the Avengers defer to him on the battleplan.

As he takes down an Octobot with the ol' AT-AT strategy, he comes upon a familiar character, someone I like to refer to as, "Can't Move Out of the Way Guy."

Speaking of the mayor, we cut to Jameson, surprizingly not looking like Hitler, being evacuated for his safety. He's watched by a mysterious armored guy.

In the limo, his wife, Marla, mentions she has a list of things to do for couples' therapy, considering the troubles they've been having. With giant octopuses attacking the city, she's decided to go through all of them now. We then cut to John Jameson, JJ's son, at an Air Force base, about to go to NYC to fight some giant robots. Captain America shows up, with something suspicious about him.

Back with Spidey, he takes down an Octobot, and stops by the Fantastic 4, who seem to be doing well on their own. After dodging what seems like a self-destructing Octobot, Spider-Man runs into another of his old friends.

Fleeing for his monogamous life, Spider-Man desperately tries to think of his girlfriend, Carlie Cooper, as he runs into a broadcast by Doc Ock on the screen of an Octobot. And he gives the usual "Now You Will Pay For What You've Done" speech. At that Air Force base, we then see Electro, actually looking pretty cool again, come in through a light bulb.

He then meets up with Captain America, who was actually Chameleon. Big suprise. They're working together, along with Sandman, Rhino and Mysterio, because they got the ol' gang back together, and made a new Sinister Six! Yes! I love the Sinister Six! They let out some mini-octobots, and report back to base. Doc Ock orders the giant-Octobots to be put on standby, because they were really just a diversion. Then he presses a button to initiate the self destruct sequence.

Wait, Doc Ock actually thinks Spider-Man is intelligent? Was he even paying attention when Spider-Man was webslinging around with a newborn last week? Back with the Avengers, Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man try to defuse the Octo-bombs, finding out that they're all connected to a network, so if one can be disarmed, they'll all deactivate. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, asks if Spider-Man could help, since Spider-Man's smart too. Spider-Man attests that he's not "In their league." After looking over to a clock though, he gets inspiration. He begins syncing the timer to the internal clock of the Octobot. Why you ask? Well, it's the first Sunday in November.

Actually quite clever. Anyway, after the Octobots explode safely offshore, Peter has to tackle the most dangerous task of all... WORKING.

We see our good friend Norah Winters, who before used her seducing skills to get the dirt on Norman Osborn in the American Son five-parter. She's been continuing this line of investigation, and found Green Goblin tattoos on convicts and other ruffians. Suddenly, Jameson comes in, with the deed to the Daily Bugle. Apparently Marla told him to buy it back from Dexter Bennet's shareholders, so he could give it to Robbie Robertson.

Peter escapes from work, back to his apartment, to tell Michele that he'll soon have last month's rent. Unfortunately, he finds all of his stuff outside of the apartment. With her brother finally out of jail, she doesn't need to be in New York anymore, and is moving back to Chicago. I'm a little sad to see her go, because she was an interesting character, and he doesn't really have that kind of antagonistic-yet-they-banged relationship with anyone else. So with this, Peter has to find a new apartment. He first goes to Randy Robertson, who immediately refuses. Next he tries asking Carlie, who also refuses, because you don't move in with your boyfriend that early.

We then join Aunt May and her husband Jay Jameson, with their visitors, Marla and John Jameson. As John and Jay catch up on old times, May and Marla talk about Peter's current state of unemployment, with Marla wishing to help.

We cut back to Peter, as he continues to have bad luck. But mostly cock-blocking Flash Thompson.

He shows up at Mary Jane's door, and they both burst out into laughter at the very suggestion of moving back in together. It makes sense, but it’s a bit sad, since it really squelches any real chance that they’ll get back together. One Moment In Time really confirmed that, but I’m still a staunch Mary Jane supporter. As a last resort, Peter finds himself at Aunt May's door, with a very, well, depressing monologue. But a really well written one.

Luckily, he doesn't have to knock on that door, because Marla Jameson opens it up before he can. She's got someplace to take him, to Horizon Labs, workplace of apparently famous scientist Max Modell. Outside, Marla reveals that she knows Modell because she's a scientist, and used to built Spider-Slayers. Which, uh, makes her a good match for Jameson then. Peter's Spider-sense tingles, but doesn't see the creepy armored guy from before.

He decides he needs some help to get Jameson, because security is too tight. He then remembers Mac Gargan, the current Venom. So we cut to Venom, getting the symbiote removed from him.

Well, I mean, they didn't remove the Symbiote before because it was supposed to be bonded to his DNA, as much as that doesn't make sense. If it were truly removed, it was supposed to kill him, But I guess they thought more interesting storylines would come from it being separate, so they quietly reconned that aspect.

Back at the lab Peter geeks out about everything. As part of the tour, they bring him up to a machine that will test an artificial version of Vibranium, an alien metal usually used as a technobabble solution, called Reverbium. Just as she's about to throw the switch and test the Reverbium, Peter's Spider-sense tingles, but it's too late. The experiment goes horribly wrong.

Rather than be the origin story for a new superhero, which, honestly, I thought happened every time anyone ran any kind of experiment, Peter does some science-math and fixes it. I was really happy to see this, because people tend to forget that along with the superpowers, Peter's really really smart. I mean, he invented the webshooters in high school! But then he goes around webslinging with a baby, so, I guess I can understand that. Peter gets his first paycheck along with a shitload of scientific journals to read over the next week. Peter, satisfied with his life, but without an apartment, opts for the cheap web-hammock.

Everything seems so nice. What could possibly go wro--

Uh oh.

That's Big Time. And I have to say, it was awesome. The writing's finally good again, and they brought back the artist that used to draw Spectacular Spider-Man before One More Day went down. Of course, I get the feeling that I only love this so much because I'm directly comparing it to the baby-stealing comics directly preceeding it. It may have been their plan, now that I think about it. How do you make your new thing seem really good? Put something terrible right before it! By comparison, it will seem like the Second Coming! Disregarding the fact that I may be biased in that way, I still really liked the issue. I hope the next issue's just as good, and Marvel learns this time not to mess with success. I'm glad Hobgoblin's back in the picture, he's a good villain we haven't seen in a while. We'll see how the next issue turns out, and if it deserves a review. See you next time on the W Defender!

PS: Oh, when buying this comic, as with others, I got the variant cover, because those are fancy. Unfortunately for me and this review, that cover looks like this:

So I then bought a second copy, with the normal cover. That's right, I bought two copies of the same comic just for this review! You should all feel so proud.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spider-Man: Origin of the Species Part 1 and 2

Now that I have a job again, I have money, and with that money I am buying comics. One of these comics I got at Comic-Con, but is by no means one of superior quality. Mostly because it's Spider-Man. Yep, just when you (mostly I) thought it couldn't get any worse, it really does. Let's delve into the horror of:

Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man 642 & 643

Now, the Grim Hunt wasn't bad, and from what I read One Moment In Time was a pretty reasonable flashback explaining One More Day. Of course, I still didn't like it because it was in support of One More Day, but as far as that goes it was acceptable. This storyline... man... it's a doozy.

Remember American Son? That storyline where I posted a three part review wherein Norman Osborn impregnated Lily Hollister, Harry's former girlfriend. Yeah, I guess in-story it's 9 months later.

First we have some mostly inconsequential Peter-is-a-loser stuff, and we see him fail on a date with Carlie. Behind the scenes some mysterious figure sent a lot of villains to get some mysterious object. BUT WE PROBABLY WON'T FIGURE OUT WHAT THAT IS. It all goes real south with this happens.

Yeah, so Lily, being pregnant as she is, saw fit to smash into a coffee shop rather than go to, I dunno, a hospital. We find out why when our next guests arrive.

Yep, Tombstone and Shocker have gotten their orders from our one and only Doctor Octopus, recent paralysis victim. Doc gets there just in time to deliver the baby, while the writer tries desperately to make him sound intelligent.

As our next comic begins, Doc Ock is examining the recently born baby. The really badly drawn recently born baby. He apparently thinks it can help cure his paralysis because it's a baby from two people who had taken the Goblin Serum. It doesn't really make sense, but I'll get to that later.
After breaking free from Doc's grasp, Spider-Man takes back the baby, and proceeds to go out the window with it. Webslinging. With a newborn. Oooh boy.

Jameson then appears on the news talking about how Spider-Man is being completely irresponsible with a newborn, Because he is. He demands Spider-Man be arrested, because, well, they have a footage of him putting a baby in serious danger. Can't really fault him there. Meanwhile Spider-Man is way higher than he should be, bringing the baby to a hospital.

Back at the coffee shop, Harry and MJ try to help Lily, who is pretty much freaking out at this point. Carlie, who is not yet used to Peter suddenly disappearing whenever villains attack, goes looking for him in the rubble, but only hears a ringing cell phone. Back with Spider-Man and the surely dead baby, he's almost got to the hospital, when Electro attacks, the next member of the Doc Ock Baby Stealin' Squad.

He wants the baby too, apparently. Spider-Man swings away from Electro and runs straight into the police. Who, obviously, want him to hand over the baby. And he doesn't, because... uh, because... He's keeping the baby safe? At any rate, the police are scared away by the next baby-stealing villain, Sandman. Why?! Why would Doc Ock want this baby that never should have been?!

Is this supposed to be some sorry excuse for a new Sinister Six? I mean, that's half so far. If so, damn, have they come to a new low. First their plans were to destroy Spider-Man, then they were for some vague stereotypical plan to conquer the world, and now, they're trying to steal a baby. Why doesn't Ock just start a meth lab? Really not that much farther to fall.

So Spider-Man uses science-think to beat both Electro and Sandman at once, at which point he is confronted with a familiar problem.

He smashes through a wall. Not just into, through. And we check back in on Carlie, who apparently has been looking for the ringing cell phone this whole time. When she finds it, she deduces that it is not, in fact, Peter's. Tombstone, apparently having just regained consciousness, looms ominously behind her.

We join Spider-Man and his almost certainly dead at this point baby, in the office he smashed into. Police have shown up, with a bunch of cars and a reporter outside. Rather than, you know, give the baby to the police who might be able to bring it to a hospital or something, Spider-Man just swings away again.

We cut forebodingly to Doctor Octopus, in his secret TV lab, claiming he can see Spider-Man because he watches a lot of daytime television.

So one question is: What did I think of this issue? Do you really need to ask? I don't even know how this got through. You'd think the this team would've gotten fired forever after they made the Electro part of the Gauntlet storyline. I mean, the art is terrible, the baby looks like some little abomination, Carlie, who is actually supposed to be rather attractive, looks like a man, all facial expressions are grimaces, and everything just looks... dirty. For some reason, this artist only draws stuff that's supposed to take place during a hot day. I guess that makes sense, if that's how the characters are supposed to look while I'm having a heat stroke.

Well... Next issue, what happens is what I really expected to happen. Find out next time, on The W Defender!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Superman Batman: Public Enemies

In my second installment of DC Animated Movie reviews, we have:

Movie Review: Superman Batman: Public Enemies

This movie, rather than showing an origin like First Flight, it just transcribes a storyline in the ongoing series, Superman/Batman. Well, it's not so much a title, as it is just a picture.

Anyway, the movie starts by talking about how screwed the economy is, and that Lex Luthor is running for president in these troubled times. He then wins the election, and decides to devote his presidency to taking down superheroes. I don't see why anyone would be surprised by that, because they voted for freaking Lex Luthor. He also has, in his employ, Captain Atom, Power Boo- I mean Power Girl, and some other people I don't know the names of.

We first see Superman stopping a fleeing crook by using his signature ability, lifting. He's encountered by Luthor's superheroes, who try to convince Superman to join them. Obviously Superman is a bit distrustful, because, as he said, "Luthor's always up to something."

Luthor hears about a giant chunk of kryptonite heading towards Earth, but refuses to get superhero help, deciding he'll use missiles instead, because he did his own calculations. After his Secretary of State or something Amanda Waller urges him to ask Superman for help. Luthor agrees, and calls a press conference. Once Superman meets with Luthor, it's clear there was a double cross, as Superman collapses. It's revealed one of the secret service guys behind Luthor is Metallo, a Superman villain powered by kryptonite. A big battle ensues, that Batman quickly joins in.

Rather than try and beat the crap out of him, which never works, Metallo opts to shoot Superman with a chunk of kryptonite. Superman and Batman manage to escape to the Batcave, only to find that Luthor has framed Superman for killing Metallo, offering a billion dollar bounty on his head.

While Batman and Superman form a plan, Power Boobs meets with Luthor. She's reluctant to believe Superman capable of murder, but Luthor uses the argument that since he's changed so much, Superman could do the same.

Batman and Superman break in to the high security morgue, seeing Metallo's death was caused by radiation. After the guards come in, Superman and Batman fly away, only to be attacked by a cadre of villains. This is the start of about 3 waves of the guys, which encompass a giant fight scene between Batman, Superman and a whole bunch of random villains.

When things start to look bleak, Luthor's heroes show up, ready to take Superman in. This begins another fight scene, but Power Girl is uncharacteristically meek and unsure of herself. Superman and Batman escape with Power Girl using one of the Flash's usual moves, flying around them really fast so a whirlwind throws them into the air.

After their escape from Luthor, Super and Bats have a talk with Power Boobs on top of the Daily Planet building, where she reveals that she's unsure whether to trust Superman or Luthor. Before much can be said, Luthor's heroes show up again, for yet another fight scene. During a lull in the fighting, Batman accuses the Major Force (The red radiation guy) of killing Metallo, calling him stupid for trusting Luthor. He gets angry and attacks Batman, causing Power Girl to rush him, and punch him really really hard. Which, apparently, is his weakness.

A rupture appears in his suit and he starts leaking radiation. They attempt to contain it, but Captain Atom says that he can absorb the energy, so he does.

Back with Luthor, he tries launching some missiles, which don't work because the radiation of the meteor explodes them before they strike it. Then we see Luthor look at a glowy vile of green stuff in his desk drawer. Ooooh, foreshadowing.

Outside the missile base, Batman and Superman send Power Girl to some unknown location, then try to enter, but are attacked, starting, like, the tenth fight scene in this movie. It's Hawkman and Captain Marvel, trying to take our heroes down for their country. The fight between Superman and Captain Marvel isn't bad, but doesn't quite match up to their fight in Justice League Unlimited, wherein they destroy a whole city. Batman shoots a missile at Marvel, turning him back into Billy Baston. After a well timed Shazam, Marvel's back in the fight.

At that, we cut to Luthor's address, saying the missiles were just a research mission, and that phase two will make everything better. It's obvious most people don't believe this, as they loot shops and run around all panicked like. Waller goes to talk to Luthor, only to see him injecting himself with some Krypto-steroids. He rants that the meteor will kill tons of people, leaving only him and the rest of the elite alive. Then, in a move which shows he's truly lost it, he makes out with Waller.

He's called away by a message saying Captain Marvel and Hawkman have returned. He meets with them, only to discover it's really Superman and Batman, just dressed up differently. Superman is weakened by Luthor, but Batman demands the data on the meteor. Luthor goes to the computer and deletes all the files. Luckily, Waller is there with a backup, and gladly gives it to Supes and Bats. They fly away, and Luthor runs away to avoid being arrested. After another jolt of his steroid cocktail, he jumps into his usual backup, the purple and green powersuit, and flies away.

In Japan, we join Batman and Superman, where they meet Batman's contact, a rich kid engineer, calling himself the Toyman. He's built a machine that looks like a gaint Half-Superman Half-Batman Mecha to destroy the meteor. At first I thought this was incredibly impractical, but then again, he's Japanese.

Lex Luthor breaks in, and starts beating the shit out of Superman. His dialogue is here is really crazy, but awesome crazy. Luthor punches Toyman's computer before he can input the necessary data. Batman decides he'll fly the giant robot into the meteor, supposedly sacrificing himself in the process. Superman stalls Luthor as it takes off, and they continue to fight as it goes towards the meteor. Superman finally defeats Luthor as Batman explodes into the meteor. Everyone is happy, but Superman is sad.

After receiving a message from Toyman that there's still a chance, Superman flies up to the remains of the robot. Batman is, as you can predict, still alive, and Superman brings him back down to Earth. The movie ends as Lois comes from a helicopter and hugs Superman.

So how was the movie? I loved it. It had all the voice actors from Justice League, and they knocked it out of the park. Some of the characterizations were off, like with Power Girl, who's usually much more confident and brash. The animation style is quite a bit different, but they tried to match the artist who made the original Public Enemies. Frankly, I think the super-bulging muscles weren't too spectacular, but it translated pretty well into animation. I think they did a good job of putting Batman against people with superpowers and make him have a fighting chance. It may be less realistic than a normal Batman, but I prefer that. At any rate, if you like Batman and/or Superman, I'd suggest picking it up.