Monday, April 30, 2007

Heroes Report on "5 Years in the Future"

Oh why oh why do they keep teasing us with a glimpse of what a Slylar/Peter showdown will be like? As the seconds ticked toward 10 p.m. and Sylar and Peter met face to face, I knew there was no way we would be able to see the knock down-drag out fight the matchup could be, but when they -- did they "Flame On?" -- I still was just filled with such hope!

So what do you all think of the future? And what do you make of what we saw?

What I liked about this episode is that it showed there were real repercussions to the whole "Save the Cheerleader" stuff. I know what you're thinking, We saw Claire in the future, she was saved. BUT, what I assume happened is, in the future timeline, the only person there to stop Sylar from killing Claire initially was Mr. Bennett and NOT PETER. Which means Bennett used that moment to start his daughter's string of hiding. At least that's what I am assuming, or else his own character arc in the future, as well as Parkman's, has no merritt.

And by the way, should we already know who that woman working with Mr. Bennett was? If not, Parkman sure seemed bothered by her presence... I was thrilled, by the way, that we got to see a Badass Parkman. He could have made such a great partner for Candice in 'the company.'

I also found it intriguing that there was NO sign of Linderman or Momma Petrelli in this future. Wouldn't they have some say over their kind being genocided? Yes, I just made Genocide into a verb. I know how wrong it is.

What I most take away from this episode, though, is simply the realisation that if this Bomb explodes and the Heroes fail, then this show is going to be VERY MUCH like what the USA Network's "The 4400" has become. And that would suck -- mostly for "The 4400." It's a terrific show, but still fairly unknown, and if Heroes starts sipping its Kool Aid then "The 4400" is doomed.

So what were your feelings on tonight's show?

Beechen leaving Robin

This is new news, right? Adam Beechen is leaving "Robin," in order to make room for his new jobs writing "Teen Titans" and "Countdown." Comicbook Resources has a whole interview with Beechen saying so HERE.

If you aren't familiar with Beechen's writing, this is BAD news.

I, for one, strongly recommend to anyone who hasn't read it, pickup his first arc on "Robin" in trade form, "Robin: Wanted." When I heard Beechen was taking over the "Teen Titans," I picked up the trade in order to get a feel for his writing, and now I'm hooked.

Beechen writes a Robin that is three-dimensional, with a fleshed-out character of Tim Drake pairing with some fun adventures for the character. I've since tracked down all the back issues and started buying "Robin" as it comes out.

Though you Cassandra Cain fans probably feel differently...

Halo 3 Update!


Bungie offered a few interesting tidbits in their most recent update for HALO 3 (head here to read the whole thing).

Of course the Beta is coming out on May 16th, and to help get you ready to play, the company released this image of the control scheme. They remind you, however, that the controls are all subject to change before the polished copy of the game is launched.

It was also announced that a two-player split screen will be available in the Beta, and it will be fully HD-compatible.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the wait is almost over.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

This week's video game releases

Spider-man 3 is out this week... More importantly, Spider-man 3 THE MOVIE is out, but still, the game should be cool too...

April 30:
Major League Baseball 2K7 (GameBoy Advance)
Rafa Nadal Tennis (Nintendo DS)

May 1:
Heatseeker (Wii, PS2)
Legend of the Dragon (Wii, PS2, PSP)
UFO: Extraterrestrials (PC)
UFO Afterlight (PC)
Alpha Prime (PC)
The Apprentice: Los Angeles (PC)
Ultimate Board Game Collection (PSP)
Winx Club: Join the Club (PSP)
Professor Brainium's Games (DS)

May 2:
Classic Action: Devilish (DS)

May 3:
Asphalt: Urban GT 2 (PSP)


May 4:
Spider-man 3 (Xbox360, Wii, DS, GBA, PS3, PS2, PSP)
Circus Empire (PC)

Curling, anyone?


Months ago, I picked up "ESPN International Winter Sports 2002" for three bucks pre-owned at a GameStop, simply because it was the only non-cell phone game I could find that contained Curling. To be honest, I bought it mostly as a joke to show the girlfriend, as my love of curling is a running joke I have with many friends (I really do love it, the joke is people wondering HOW???).

Either way, I never actually got around to playing the game until last night, the girlfriend was in town and we were bored (neither of us had any energy or desire to go out, yes, we're getting old), so I popped in the Curling game, again, as a joke.

To my surprise, IT'S ACTUALLY A GOOD GAME. Even though IGN gave it a 5.5, the Curling was fantastic. The ice adapted as the match went on. The stones moved with realistic physics. And best of all — the United States women's skip kinda almost looked like Cassie Johnson. And it wasn't just me, the Girlfriend (not a curling lover) enjoyed it just as much.

The rest of the games on the disc you could take or leave. Figure skating is a Dance Dance Revolution type, Bobsledding is just a race, speedskating a button-masher, but overall, this disc, for Three Dollars, is a good way to kill a night, if ever you find yourself needing to kill a night.

And Curling fans, I'm telling you, this game is for you, no matter what reviews you've heard.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gamer becomes real life Hero

Video games helped save one North Carolina family.

Apparently Davien Hayden, a nine-year-old from Shelby, N.C., was able to alert his whole family to exit their burning home early in the morning, because he awoke especially early on Tuesday to get in some video games before school.

Read the full story here.

So, parents, the next time you tell your youngsters they wake up too early or go to bed too late just to play games, remember they are just trying to keep you safe while you sleep.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Saturday's Gaming in the Journal

If you're looking for the Gaming page in Saturday's Poughkeepsie Journal, you're not going to find it.

Sorry. It's not my fault, honest, don't send me your hate mail, or death threats, or letter bombs, Mom.

It's a matter of space in the paper, and I fought like 300 Spartans to save the page (it was nice this week, too!), but I failed. What I COULD do was convince my sports editor, Jim Sheahan, to run both Gaming stories on the Sports Cover.

So pick up the Sports Section on Saturday and read Sean T. McMann's first-person account of what it was like playing in Wednesday night's Marist charity poker tournament, and you can also read my recap of last Saturday's Marist Gaming for Hope event.

And don't forget to check out the Gaming for Hope photo gallery HERE.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

NFL Legends in Football 2K8

Remember a few weeks back when news of 2K Sports' return to the realm of Pro Football games hit and we were all intrigued by the thought of non-NFL competition for EA Sports' Madden?

Well, go to 2K Sports' site to see a MASSIVE list of former NFL players who will be available to use in the game.

Montana. Elway. Sanders. Starr. Sayers. Butkus. Not to mention Bubby Brister.

Yes. Bubby Brister.

So what do you all think? Can this game take down King Madden?

Li'l personal gaming update

It occurred to me earlier that I've been giving a lot more attention to the comic books side of this blog than the video games. There are a couple of logical reasons for this:

1) It's been a slow time for new video game releases.
2) It's been a BIG month for comics.
3) I have had ZERO time for catching up on games for the last 2 months, due to that pesky Marist Women's Basketball team doing so well (I called it, and can prove it) and erasing all my free time for a long time.

BUT, I finally got a chance to get back up on the horse two nights ago, when I went to sleep at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning after 5 hours worth of Final Fantasy XII.

Yes, I am that far behind on the list of best games that have come out recently. Following FFXII I still have to play Kingdom Hearts II before I'm allowing myself to step up to a next-gen console.

Either way, I just wanted to assure you all that the video gaming side of this blog won't be neglected any longer, as I'm back in the groove. I am 41 hours into FFXII, having just finished rounding up the nine moogles that fixed a gate for me to pass on my way to Archades. My characters are all about 31-32 level, with my strongest being Basch (armed right now with the Slasher Axe, since I have a thing for the axe/hammer weapons in this game).

One of the interns here told me that I'm about to go through a bitch of a section in the game -- any one looking to tell me differently and give me hope? Post Comments!

Elizabeth Berkley = Invisible Woman?


So, poking around the Internet this morning, I saw Comics Continuum posted a bunch of stills from the upcoming "Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer," and something alarming came to my attention.

Now, I was in the boat that thought Jessica Alba was a horrible choice to play Sue Storm Richards — both in acting ability and looks. With so many pale attractive blond actresses to play the role, I don't know how anyone looked at Jessica and said "That's Sue!"

My point is, this is what she is looking like for the sequel!

Is it just me, or does she look a whole lot like Elizabeth Berkley did in "Showgirls"? And that is NOT a good thing, for all you perverts out there!

Buy Pile Report

Yes, I know, I'm even later than I thought I would be. I blame it on a combination of 1) A late night at the office, 2) A Large Buy Pile this week, and 3) The Mighty Ducks was just on TBS, and who can turn down watching the last half-hour of that?

Anyway, a whole lot of disappointment this week. And I preface that by saying I didn't read Justice Society #5 yet, since my copy of Justice League #8 (from last week, the lead in to JSA #5) has yet to arrive. That said, there is not much to say about any of what I read.

The second "Fallen Son" book came out, this one staring the Avengers, both Mighty and New, and what a waste of time this was. Last time, in "Fallen Son: Wolverine" I gave Jeph Loeb the benefit of the doubt on his writing, for being incredibly subtle. This second issue was incredibly blunt.

A quote from Namor: "What did you hope to accomplish, Carol Danvers? That if you best this wretched man to death, your heart would ease the pain of losing Captain America?"

The rest of the issue is not much better, with the Mighty Avengers at each other's necks while playing poker. We should just move on... you know, in respect for Cap...

Since Dwayne McDuffie took over the Fantastic Four, his work has been met with mixed reviews. On the one hand, he's delivered enjoyable stories, on the other, his characterizations are WAY off.

Issue #545 is more of the same. More space fun, with a good old scrum between the new FF and the Silver Surfer, but on the other hand you have Epoch making jokes about drugs and Thing using the word "Facetious." Isn't that one of those big words Ben makes fun of Reed for?

I'd much prefer McDuffie's writing if it were in a non-continuity book, like X-Men: First Class #8, which is also out this week. I love this title, and am thrilled it is becoming an on-going. This week's is just another fun adventure with the young original X-Men five trooping around in the jungle.

My favorite part of the book may have been the back page, though where writer Jeff Parker explained why he loves writing the title -- that he wanted to remind everyone of just how great and interesting each individual character can be. And I am all for a guy that thinks Cyclops can be "Cool."

The last books I'll talk about are the beginning of Amazons Attack (with Amazons Attack #1 and Wonder Woman #8). I was very optimistic for this event. Now I'm not so sure. In these too issues, not much happened. I mean, at all. Wonder Woman busted out of super-powered jail, and the Amazons Attacked in anger over Diana's imprisonment.

Oh, and for those of you mad at DC lately for graphic images of death, Amazons #1 is NOT for you.

If you're going to read this event, buy Amazons #1 but not WW #8, they both tell the same short story. Here's hoping this event gets much better FAST.

That's it for this week, as always, post your thoughts on what you read!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Aquaman entertains as you wait

Due to the fact that comic books and video games cannot be my full-time job, the weekly buy-pile report is going to be a few hours late tonight... but here's Aquaman to hold you over until then!



That fish sure does love recycling!

Who needs Ororo Monroe?

Apparently the Chinese Olympic Committee has developed the mutant power to control the weather. According to the Associated Press, they are taking no chances that it might rain during the days of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing:

" The meteorologists say they can force rain in the days before the Olympics, through a process known as cloud-seeding, to clean the air and ensure clear skies. China has been tinkering with artificial rainmaking for decades, but whether it works is a matter of debate among scientists.
Weather patterns for the past 30 years indicate there is a 50 percent chance of rain for both the opening ceremony on Aug. 8, 2008 and the closing ceremony two weeks later, said Wang Yubin, an engineer with the Beijing Meteorological Bureau.
The forced rain could also help clean Beijing’s polluted air, said Wang Jianjie, another meteorologist with the bureau.
“When conditions permit, we will artificially increase rainfall,” she said. “Rainfall is a way to naturally clean the air.” "

Is it just me, or does this sound like some sort of plot from a James Bond movie?

"Double-O Seven, the Chinese have the meteorology doomsday device! You must disarm it!"

This week's comic expectations

I will admit, I know very little of Wonder Woman's mythos, and even less about what she's been up to lately. The character has just been handled poorly over the years, and what I've heard lately is no exception.

BUT, for some reason I am excited about this "Amazons Attack" event beginning on Wednesday with Wonder Woman #8 and Amazons Attack #1. As I said, I know very little about the current events, but the idea of all the Amazons suddenly exploding with rage for all of MANkind is appealing to me in nothing more than a 'what a cool idea!' way. I mean, for years we've heard about how strong a warrior race they are -- well now we are apparently going to get to see it in action.

And it doesn't hurt that the solicitations are pointing toward Wonder Girl and Supergirl teaming up to play a large role in this whole thing. I'm a big fan of Cassie Sandsmark, and she has been due to be a major player in an event. With how Connor's death has affected her, Wonder Girl is a more interesting character than ever. And I would LOVE to see this all culminate with Supergirl joining the Teen Titans as Connor's replacement... Robin probably wouldn't mind it either...

A couple of my favorite books are coming out this week too, Justice Society #5 (if I have to say ANYTHING to sell this book, you have been living under a rock) and X-Men: First Class #8. First Class is the most fun X-book on the market right now, with little care for continuity and self-contained stories in each issue. Quite the breath of fresh air.

And if you haven't been reading Alex Ross' "Justice" series (Justice #11 is out Wednesday) I wouldn't start now. It's been coming out bi-monthly and concludes with issue #12. That said, you would be wise to buy the Collections and read it. Volume one, with issues 1-6, is out already.

As always, post any and all thoughts you have on this week's action. Good Luck surviving the Amazons!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wednesday's comic releases

The Amazons are attacking this week... personally I don't know if many people would mind scantily clad athletic women invading... More good stuff going on this week too...

DC Comics:
52 Week #51

Action Comics #848

Amazons Attack #1

Astro City The Dark Age Book Two #3

Batman Confidential #5

Blue Beetle #14

Cartoon Network Block Party #32

Catwoman #66

Connor Hawke Dragons Blood #6

Crossing Midnight #6

Exterminators #16

Firestorm The Nuclear Man #35

Jsa Classified #25

Justice #11

Justice Society Of America #5

Ninja Scroll #8

Outsiders Annual #1

Red Menace #6
Shazam The Monster Society Of Evil #3
Supergirl And The Legion Of Super Heroes #29
Superman #662

Teen Titans Go #42

Wonder Woman #8

Worldstorm #2

Marvel
:
Daily Bugle May Newspaper
Daredevil #96
Exiles #93
Fallen Son Death Of Captain America Avengers
Fantastic Four #545
Heroes For Hire #9
New Avengers Illuminati Secret History
New Excalibur #19
Powers #24
Punisher Presents Barracuda Max #3
Silent War #4
Wisdom #5
Wolverine #53
X-Men First Class #8

Others:
Alien Pig Farm #1

Bart Simpson Comics #3

Betty & Veronica #226
Betty & Veronica Digest #174
Chucky Ottley #1

City Of Others #2
Devi #10
Dork Tower #36
Gamekeeper #2

Giant Sized Red Sonja #1
Invincible #41
Johnny Hiro #1
Jugheads Double Digest #130
Nightmares And Fairy Tales #19
Nightwolf The Price #4
Noble Causes #28
Ps238 #22
Ride Savannah
Sabrina Vol 2 #84
Sadhu #7
Se7en Lust #4
Simpsons Classics #12
Snakewoman #10
Spawn #167
Strongarm #3

Transformers Prime Directive Movie Prequel #4
True Story Swear To God Image Ed #5
Truth Justin & American Way #1
Uncle Scrooge #365
Unique #2
Usagi Yojimbo #102
Walk-In #5
Walt Disneys Comics & Stories #680
Wizard Magazine Summer Preview Issue #188

Heroes Report on "0.07%"

OK, so I could waste bunches of time every week writing up episode summaries. But I'm not as dumb as I look. Instead, I'll just link you to TV.com, where they have pretty darn good summaries for every episode.

What I will do is give my thoughts (with spoilers), in a very random order.

1) Who didn't see Peter's survival a mile away?
2) I'm very curious as to Momma Petrelli's power... and you just know she and Linderman were gettin' it on years ago.
3) I don't care if Mr. Bennett is "a middle-management schlub," he's still the man...
4) How, exactly, is a special person killing half of New York going to lead to a better future? If a person with powers causes a catastrophe, guess what's going to happen to people with powers? Just ask Captain America...
5) The true hero of the show is Candice's costume designer...
6) Since when does Radioactivity have anything to do with Electrical impulses? Maybe I'm mistaken, but it seems a broad and convenient adaption of Ted's power.
7) Peter and Sylar's fight ended FAR too soon or else it could have ranked among the top moments of the first season thus far.
8) I want to see Micah become a evil genius in the worst way...
9) I would have liked to see Parkman as a company operative.
10) Isaac's dead. Whoa, there, don't send your NBC hate mail all at once! Come on people, be organized about this, form a line! Man, there are just SO MANY of you who care that Isaac is dead!

Any other thoughts? Post them here, so we can talk about coffee, daughters, you know, no big whoop.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Heroes Refresher Course

The last new episode of NBC's Heroes aired nearly 50 days ago.

Fifty.

I don't know about you, but where I come from, 50 days is a looooooong time. Sometimes I have problems remembering what I was watching the night before, let alone 50 nights before. And trust me, it's annoying not remembering what you were watching the night before, because it's pretty hard to complain about being tired when you cannnot even remember which show grabbed your interest at 3 a.m. and convinced you to stay up.

Anyway, since 50 days is such a long time, I figured I'd organize a quick Heroes refresher before tonight's new episode. And since the show is pretty much entirely character-driven, I figured I would just run through each character and what they are currently up to.

Claire:
Current location: New York, in Peter's apartment with the Haitian (who really needs a name) and her Grandmother, who also happens to be Nathan and Peter's Mommy.
What's Happening: After being exposed to her Dad's company as having powers, Mr. Bennett had the Haitian "kidnap" her and wipe his memory of where they are headed. Scared of her future away from her family and school, she gave the Haitian the slip and headed for Peter's apartment, where she finds the Haitian and her Granny, who knows more than she had previously let on...

Mr. Bennett:
Current location: Texas, in his home with Candice, not his Wife...
What's Happening: No, he's not with Candice instead of his Wife by choice. I mean, I would choose to be with Candice instead, but HRG (as he is also known) was fooled into it. I wouldn't mind being fooled into it... But I digress. Thinking he was talking to his wife, Mr. Bennett spoke of just how devoted he is to Claire, stating that he would need to find her and take down his company. It was then that Candice revealed that she had only given him the illusion he was talking to Mrs. Bennett...

Parkman:
Current location: Texas, in the Paper company.
What's Happening: He's currently being held by the company, which is now being led by Eric Roberts, a character called Mr. Thompson. While he thought he only had to stay long enough to verify that Mr. Bennett was telling the truth when he claimed his mind was wiped, Matt has now learned that he's pretty much at the mercy of the company...


Mohinder:
Current location: New York, his apartment with Sylar and Peter.
What's Happening: Upon discovering that it was, in fact, Sylar that had befriended him, Mohinder poisoned Sylar and used an IV drop to keep his powers dormant. He then used Sylar's DNA to create a new list of everyone in the world who has special powers. When Sylar became useless to him, Mohinder ran off a little monologue about how much he hates Sylar and tried to shoot him with a gun -- only to find out that Sylar's powers had overcome the IV drip. Sylar broke free and tossed Mohinder around the apartment, which is when Peter arrived...

Peter:
Current location: New York, Mohinder's apartment with Mohinder and Sylar.
What's Happening: Sylar has Peter telekinetically pinned to a wall, and is about to slice into his head like a pineapple. In a more general sense, what's happening with Peter lately is, he's learning to control his many many absorbed abilities. Because of it, Peter is well on his way to becoming a Matrix/Neo level badass hero. But is it enough to prevent him from exploding?

Isaac:
Current location: New York, his apartment.
What's Happening: Poor Isaac has been driven back to the junk. Can you blame him? Aiming for invisible Peter, he just shot and killed Simone, and all HRG and Candice had to tell him about it (after covering up the murder) was to keep on painting. Isn't Candice great? Anyway, he's painting some gruesome shit, people with their heads sliced into and whatnot. Who could be doing that?

Nikki/Jessica:
Current location: Vegas, baby! In Linderman's Casino.
What's Happening: She's out cold on the floor. Nathan put her there. You see, as Jessica, she just killed a couple of FBI guys who were trying to spy on Linderman. As Nikki, she warned Nathan that she just killed the FBI guys and that Linderman knows of Nathan's transgressions. She then asked to be knocked out, since Nikki is no fan of Jessica. Makes sense, right? Kinda? Anyway, as far as home life goes, Jessica is still in control, though Nikki is doing her best to alert D.L. that she is evil...

Nathan:
Current location: Vegas, wooo! In Linderman's Casino. In Linderman's kitchen. With Linderman.
What's Happening: Dinner, apparently. After learning that Linderman knows what he's up to, Nathan decides to confront Mr. L while packing heat. And wouldn't you know it, Nathan interupts Linderman at dinnertime. Isn't that always the way? Only, instead of blowing Linderman away, they talk for a while, and Nathan reveals that he is really unhappy. Why? I don't know, he's married to Rena Sofer. Sure she's in a wheelchair, but Rena Sofer sitting down is better then no Rena Sofer at all. Maybe he's unhappy that she hasn't been in the show much? Anyway, Linderman tells Nathan that he knows all about the special people, and offers to help make Nathan the President. So now the two are working together... apparently...

Hiro:
Current location: New York... FIVE YEARS IN THE FUTURE with Ando
What's Happening: With Ando's help (Ando surprisingly showed up at Linderman's as a security guard to offer an assist) Hiro finally has his sword. His badass sweet sweet sword. To evade the actual security guards, Hiro uses his power to transport himself and Ando -- and they wind up in the future, looking at a New York decimated by a bomb...

Am I forgetting anyone? Yes? No? Well, it's late at night, so we're just going to say I covered everything. Anyway, every week I'll have a little report on the show. What I will do is give my thoughts and predictions. What I will NOT do is list spoilers for the next week. Not my style, Bub.

This week's video game releases

Yes, I know, this is one day late this week, seeing as the two Pokemon games came out on Sunday... but really, who needs another two Pokemon games? Fairy Godmother Tycoon, on the other hand, that's gaming gold...

April 22:
Pokemon Pearl (Nintendo DS)
Pokermon Diamond (DS)

April 23:
Made Man (PC)
The Red Star (PS2)
7 Wonders (PSP)
UFO: Extraterrestrials (PC)
EverQuest: The Anniversary Edition (PC)

April 24:
Tokyo XTreme Racer DRIFT 2 (PS2)
Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos (PSP)
Classic Action: Devilish (DS)
Eureka Seven Vol. 2: The New Vision (PS2)
Ancient Wars: Sparta (PC)
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
F.E.A.R. (PS3)
The Fast and the Furious (PSP)
Bionicle Heroes (WII)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (Xbox 360)
Model Train 3D (PC)
Cube (PSP)
Hard Rock Casino (PSP)
Th3 Plan (PS2)
SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters (DS)
Fairy Godmother Tycoon (PC)

April 27:
Vegas Casino High 5! (DS)
Radio Allergy (GameCube)
Stargame Online Trading Card Game (PC)
Tank Beat (DS)

A couple of Massive Multiplayer Online games this week... this may call for an accompanying post...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Second Report from Gaming For Hope

On my way home from the office, I stopped by Marist College to find that not only is "Gaming for Hope" still going on, but even more people are in the McCann Center now than earlier in the day.

Gotta love how us gamers party, eh?

In passing, one man mentioned to me how happy he was that tonight is not a daylight-savings night, as apparently the last two "Gaming for Hopes" did fall on that night. Of course, I don't think that really matters much to the bulk of the gamers still there, if the McCann Center didn't close at 1 a.m. I'm willing to bet this event would be an all-night rager.

I got a chance to talk to more of Marist's finest too, including a couple of Super Smash Bros.-playing roomates and a group of Dance Dance Revolution-loving communications students who had plenty of questions for me about what it's like to be in the Biz.

As I was leaving, one kid walked in wearing, head-to-toe, boxes from soda cans. As I said, we know how to party.

Anyway, you can read all about them and the event in next Saturday's Gaming page (located within the Sports Section) and you can see all the photos I took in a Photo Gallery here.

Report from Gaming for Hope

Ladies, Gentlemen, I just got into the office a bit ago after attending the first couple of hours of "Gaming for Hope" at Marist College (I would have stayed longer, except you all do need me to design Sunday's Sports section, don't you?) and already the gray gym in the James J. McCann Center is full of happy gamers.

For a photo gallery from the event, check out THIS LINK. The photos are taken by yours truly. Yes, I know, I'm no pro.

Anyway, I highly recommend EVERYONE getting their butts out of the gorgeous sunshine and heading indoors to the McCann Center. The rumors are true — you can win a Wii, a DS, or an iPod Shuffle in raffles — but, more importantly, there are all sorts of consoles set up and room to play them. By my count there are at least 4 Wiis ready to play, with a few Xbox360s all networked to play against one another, to go along with a Guitar Hero station an original Nintendo section, and plenty of others.

And the best part is, all proceeds from this FREE event are going straight to the Child's Play charity!

So forget the sunlight — Who needs it???

Oh, and I'll likely have more info by the end of the night, and a full story in Saturday's (next week's) Gaming page. In the meantime, check out the photos!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Saturday's Gaming in the Journal

Just put the finishing touches on Saturday's Gaming page (it will be page 5C in Saturday's Poughkeepsie Journal) and we have news about not one but two Marist College charity events.

First, we have news about Saturday's "Gaming for Hope" event. You can read more about that in the post just below this one, all you need to know is FREE video games and prizes, all for a good cause, in Marist's McCann Center.

Next, Sean T. McMann provides news of a Marist charity poker tournament, which will take place on Wednesday evening in the Marist College Student Center (rooms 348 and 349). The tournament, which will begin at 9:30 p.m., is hosted by the school's Sports Public Relations class, and the proceeds will benefit the Hope For a Cure Foundation for Parkinson's Disease. e-mail maristpoker07@gmail.com for details.

Then, we have a feature on just how badass a gaming experience the Windows Vista can provide, and, as always, we have a fantasy baseball advice column.

Oh, and before I forget, anyone taking photos at the Marist events, SEND THEM IN! Send them to pjsports@poughkeepsiejournal.com and I can upload them all into a photo gallery on the Journal's site.

Win a Wii at Gaming for Hope on Saturday!

I just got off the phone with the student in charge of Marist's "Gaming for Hope" event, Sean O'Connor.

You know the event, don't you? The one that is ABSOLUTELY FREE on SATURDAY, beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m. in Marist's James J. McCann Center, featuring tournaments, prizes, free pizza and just about any popular game you can think of — that one!

Well anyway, Sean said he and the rest of the Marist Computer Society (he's not just a member, he's the president) is just about finished getting McCann all set up. There will be a large portion of the gym in the center devoted to console gaming, with smaller tables on the sides for computer games and tabletop games.

He also gave me the inside scoop on some of the prizes that will be either raffled away or won in tournaments:

1 iPod Shuffle, 2 Nintendo DS... what's the plural of DS? And — get this — 1 NINTENDO WII.

That's right, you can win a Wii, and play one too, for free, if you show up at the McCann Center on Saturday.

And the best part of this event (other than the fact that it's free) is that all the proceeds will be going directly to the Child's Play charity.

For more on the event and Sean's thoughts beforehand, pickup the Saturday Gaming page, located within the sports section (page 5C!). View the full story HERE.

So who am I going to be seeing there?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Full War Report

Everyone had their chance to read? Everyone? Let's see a show of hands. Everyone? Billy? Good, then we can get started with the Spoiler-riddled review of World War III.

As I said yesterday, 52 #50 did little more than show the final outcome of the war, and make us all curious as to what Booster Gold, one of my personal favorite DC characters, is up to.

The meat of the story can be found in the four-part accompanying series. So what did we learn there?

Well, Aquaman used his the bones from his former hand to save lots of people from drowning, and in doing so became a monster. What the coast guard was doing during all of that, I have no idea, but those people seemed like, for some reason, the ocean was forcing them to stay underwater. And for a very long time. The art killed the scene in my opinion, it was simply confusing, especially in relation to the amount of time that had passed. While I was reading I was just thinking to myself 'Arthur! Save your effort, those poor bastards must have drowned by now!'

And, apparently, our big grand explanation for Supergirl joining the Legion of Superheroes is that the Infinite Crisis' Zeta Beam stuck her there, and it just so happens it sent her back just about the time of the "One Year Later" event. Hmn. Convenient. Its about the equivalent of DC saying "Umm, let's just say a Wizard did it. That's the ticket." And DC could not have simply given us their one-sentence explanation months ago... why?

Donna Troy taking on the mantle of Wonder Woman. Boy what a story we got there. Woo! What a long plotline! Man, I was floored. Let me catch my breath! OK.

Same with Firestorm/Firehawk. Though I don't mind that we didn't spend much time on this, seeing as both characters bore the hell out of me.

Jason Todd is apparently beating up criminals and stealing their stolen money. This needed to be part of World War III.... why? I mean, yeah, it showed some degree of profiteering, and it showed that Todd is still pissed at Batman and is wondering why Bruce is not fighting against Black Adam... but why did this have to be a part of this event? This could have been in any issue of 52 so far -- in a World War III mini-series I want to see some War, damnit!

Terra died. It would have been more emotional had we not learned this two weeks ago.
Frankenstein did too. It would have been more emotional if anyone gave a crap about him.

I liked how Gar was the clear-cut leader of the Teen Titans in these issues, showing the real reason why he fled the team for the Doom Patrol. I did not buy his "One Year Later" explanation, and the fact that he blames himself for all this death is a much better reason for leaving the Titans.

I enjoyed the fact that J'onn J'onzz played the biggest role of anyone because, even though DC forgets about it often, the Martian Manhunter is likely the second most powerful hero in the Universe behind Superman. It is only fitting that J'onn be the one that gives Adam his biggest headache (or tied for biggest with Captain Marvel, also fitting). And while his whole inner-turmoil thing was a little confusing and vague at times, I think the overall idea held up, as J'onn fighting through his pain paralleling Adam acting out because of it.

That said, J'onn's new look really blows. And his mini-series was not much better, but that is a post for another time.

My one real real REAL BIG problem with the execution of World War III, however, is not enough contrast between the young heroes and the Justice Society. I wanted those Everyman Project youngsters to charge into the fray and get their butts slammed by Black Adam to such an extent that their presence actually slowed the Justice Society down. I wanted there to be a visible problem with these green-behind the ears heroes running around. That would have hammered home the idea that they not only need to be taught for their own benefit, but for the world's. Instead, we see that Infinity Inc. was simply too scared to fight. What a letdown. It really changes how realistic the first issue of the new Justice Society comic was, in hindsight.

All of that said, however, the ending was so good it was all worth it. How do you stop Black Adam without killing him? By taking away his magic word! It's GENIUS! I don't know if they thought that up way back when Captain Marvel was appointed the head of magic (highly doubtful) but its really not often I am shocked by the ending of a fight, and that was a true shocker. And 10 years down the line or so, when some writer remembers Black Adam is still alive and looking for blood, we're going to have another great fight to read.

Well, that's about it. Now, on to the last two issues of 52, where we get to see the Big Three return, and learn what is up with Booster Gold.

Finally, a moment of silence for Frankenstein. Whoever the hell he is.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

World War III first report

Prior to picking up the five-part World War III event, I had wondered which, if any, of the issues were irrelevant. As it turns out, the main title, 52 #50, was the less important of them all. Which is interesting, since all the reports from writers and DC staff said that #50 would be the issue to read first.

Reading #50, the war just felt so small. There was very little build up to anything, just suddenly there you are at day #7 with Black Adam locked in a final showdown with the world's heroes. And sure, #50 is where you get the full epilogue, and you get a few extra 52-centric tidbits, but everything was too rushed and anti-climatic.

What I recommend, and I am not going to give a full report with Spoilers yet, is reading the four issue companion series.

Some are going to call this set a bit of a letdown. We were told there would be many more characters shown in-depth in each issue, when, in fact, most of the characters featured are shown just long enough to quickly explain their "One Year Later" status.

Instead, we get a much much MUCH more deep look at the war, which helps give the feeling that Black Adam was actually able to incite a WORLD war on his own. We also get a great story of personal exploration centered around J'onn J'onnzz.

So, as I said, I'll write up a full report with spoilers by Thursday night. For now, everyone should take the time to read the four issues of the companion series.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This week's comic expectations: World War!

Ever since Justice Society #1 included that one page showing the JSA charging through a battlefield in what was called "World War III," it was clear that 52 would inevitably lead to this titanic event -- but nobody expected DC would pull it all off in one week, a real-time event for the real-time 52.

Well folks, the wait is over.

So this week, we could preview Justice League #8, or Target: X-23 #5, both good titles coming out Wednesday, but come on, all eyes are on the five World War issues.

And for those not following 52 week by week, just interested in seeing what this event is all about, DC has maintained that you can simply buy 52 #50 and you'll get a complete overview of the war. And when DC says that, you can trust it... unlike Marvel.

But, if you've plunked down $2.50 a week for the last 49 weeks to read all of 52, then why not get more of the whole story? Each accompanying issue is going to deal with different characters, further tying up the stories of 52 and bridging them with the questions posed during the "One Year Later" event.

Here's what we know:

Part 1: A Call to Arms: Focusing on Firestorm, Firehawk and Jason Todd. Wondering why Firestorm is suddenly a merger between Jason Rusch and Firehawk? Wondering why Jason Todd has been wearing Dick Grayson's old threads AGAIN?

Part 2: The Valiant: Focusing on Supergirl, Batgirl, Donna Troy and Aquaman. This one's for the ladies... and Arthur... How exactly did Supergirl get to the 31st Century? When did Deathstroke get his mitts on Batgirl? How did Arthur Curry turn into something far different from what he was on "Super Friends?" And I am really looking forward to Donna Troy stepping into the Wonder Woman mantle during a time when Princess Diana is still away.

Part 3: Hell is for Heroes: Focusing on the Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and the Martian Manhunter. Word is that numerous Teen Titans kick the bucket here, and given how the team was really in shambles at One Year Later, this could be interesting. Also, we get to find out what exactly made J'onn J'onzz feel so out of place from humanity, as was seen in his mini-series a few months back.

Part 4: United We Stand: Looks like this one will really tie into what has gone on in 52, and focus on the climax of the war and how the Justice Society saved the day.

Seems to me that Parts one and two will be more for fans of specific characters, while three and four will really impact the war, but don't rely on what I tell you, I'll be picking up all five issues just to be safe.

A full war report will come as soon as I can on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday's comic release list

Quite possibly the most eventful week in DC Universe history... and some other stuff...

DC:
52 Week #50
Aquaman Sword Of Atlantis #51
Army @ Love #2
Birds Of Prey #105
Dmz #18
Ex Machina #27
Flash The Fastest Man Alive #11
Hellblazer #231
Justice League Of America #8
Legion Of Super Heroes In The 31st Century #1
Manhunter #30
Nightwing Annual #2
Robin #161
Scooby Doo #119
Shadowpact #12
Spirit #5
Superman Batman #34
Testament #17
Texas Chainsaw Massacre #6
World War III Part One A Call To Arms
World War III Part Two The Valiant
World War III Part Three Hell Is For Heroes
World War III Part Four United We Stand

Marvel:
Anita Blake Vh Guilty Pleasures #6
Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes II #8
Cable Deadpool #39
Marvel Adventures Avengers #12
Marvel Adventures Flip Magazine #24
Marvel Heroes Flip Magazine #24
Marvel Spotlight Spider-Man
Mighty Avengers #2
Moon Knight #9
Orson Scott Cards Wyrms #3
Sensational Spider-Man #37
Squadron Supreme Hyperion Vs Nighthawk #4
Ultimate Spider-Man #108
Ultimate X-Men #81
X-23 Target X #5
X-Factor #18
X-Men #198

Other:
Arcana Studio Presents 2007 #4
Alien Pig Farm #1
Battlestar Galactica #8
Betty #164
Blood Nation #3
Conan #39
Demonwars The Demon Awakens Seeley #2
Drain #3
Forgotten Realms Streams Silver #2
Hero By Night #2
Jughead And Friends Digest #19
Love & Rockets Vol 2 #19
Negative Burn #10
Pals N Gals Double Digest #111
Ramayan 3392 Ad #8
Red Sonja #21
Rex Mundi Dh Ed #5
Roadkill Zoo #3
Runaway Comics #3
Samurai Heaven & Earth Vol 2 #4
Simpsons Comics #129
Sonic The Hedgehog #174
Strange Girl #16
True Story Swear To God Image Ed #5
Vampirella Quarterly Spr 07 Segovia Reg #1
Wizard Anime Insider Exc Announcement #44

Finally, an upcoming game to be excited about

I have found the first game of the spring I'll be addicted to: "Too Human."

An adventure title with a hero fighting in a war between machines and humans, all based on Norse mythology. Big guns, big swords, big monsters apparantly killing people in bars.

IGN has a fantastic first look at the game HERE.

Want video instead? Look below you!



I suggest you all take a look. Or Baldur will come for you...

Cut Vince Young from the Fantasy team

Any of you with Vince Young on a fantasy football keeper-league team, my condolences.

Watching ESPN this morning, Cold Pizza reported the "Madden 08" coverboy will be the Titans' Rookie of the Year.

I cannot find a web link yet to confirm it, but I did find this:

Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night will feature the Madden coverboy.

Should be an interesting watch.

Halo News

The "Halo" download we've all been waiting for is now available!

Wait, what? No, I'm not talking about "Halo 3" Beta, duh, I'm talking new "Halo 2" Maps!!!

OK, so maybe it isn't so exciting, but for four bucks it's a good deal for more Master Chief fun.

Unfortunately, to get the two new maps, you won't be able to use your XBL points, since "Halo 2" is an original Xbox title. You'll need to use a credit card, so kids, make sure you ask your parents before swiping the card from their wallet.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Edward Norton Smash!

BIG news! And by big, I'm talking The Incredible Hulk!

We knew Eric Bana wouldn't be coming back as Dr. Bruce Banner for the next Hulk movie -- now we know who will be taking his place...

Edward Norton. That's right, the proprietor of Fight Club himself... though we don't talk about Fight Club...

This is all according to Variety, of course.

Will this make "The Incredible Hulk," tabbed for a 2008 release, successful? Who knows. Frankly, I doubt it, seeing as Zak Penn, the schmuck that brought you "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Elektra," is writing the story.

But who knows? Norton sure did kick ass as Smoochy the Rhino, didn't he?

NORTON SMASH!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

This week's video game releases

Sloooooooow week... sorry... not all the posts can be as entertaining as talking about Dr. Strange's diet...

April 16:
Legend of the Dragon (PS2)
Toonduku (Nintendo DS)

April 17:
Valhalla Nights (PSP)
Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 (PS2)
Bust-A-Move Bash! (Wii)
UFO: Extraterrestrials (PC)
Raiden 3 (PS2)
Eureka Seven Vol. 2: The New Vision (PS2)
Sudokuro (DS)
Classic Action: Devilish (DS)
Th3 Plan (PS2)
The New York Times Crosswords (DS)

April 18:
Pocket Pool (PS2)

April 19:
Made Man (PC)
Super Rub-a-Dub (PS3)
Theatre of War (PC)

"Pocket Pool"? "Super Rub-a-Dub"? What's up there?

Dr. Strange's Fitness Made Simple

So, driving into the office today, while I should have been concentrating on the flooded roads on the Taconic seeing as I'm no Noah (1. Because I drive a tiny little Subaru, not an Ark, and 2. Because I'm no animal lover, sorry Michael Woyton), my mind began to drift to the recent New Avengers issues.

And it occurs to me that recently, Dr. Strange has been shown as wielding a seemingly limitless power — which I'm OK with, since he is the Sorcerer Supreme and all.

What I'm not OK with is, how exactly does Stephen Strange stay so thin? Have you ever noticed just how baggy his blue robes are? He's skin and bones!

He's not exactly the most active guy, either. That's what bothers me. I mean, think about it, when have you ever seen the good Doctor get off his rear? He's always floating around while sitting mid-air with his legs crossed, casting enchantments — use a treadmill, for God's sake! Yo' legs ain't broke!

I never remember seeing a personal gym located inside the Sanctum Sanctorum, and I can't picture Stephen as the type to be watching infomercials in his underwear at 4 a.m. saying to himself "You know, the Total Gym really did work for Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley!"

So what's the secret? I know, the easy answer is that wielding the mystic arts takes a physical toll on your body, leaving one drained after matching spells with Dormammu. But does that help shed the pounds?

Driving a car takes a toll on your body too, believe me, I average about 12 hours of driving per week, most of which on the Taconic or the Long Island Expressway. But the only weight that I've lost so far is the chunk of my front bumper that broke off when I hit that Raccoon two years ago (Again, sorry Michael Woyton).

Even if slinging spells burns as many calories as, say, power walking, he still should have something of a pot belly. After all, he's got Wong hanging around the Sanctorum all day. And you know, after all these years as a man servant, Wong's got to have some tasty recipes.

If I had a live-in cook waiting for me at home, I would sure expect there to be a hot meal waiting for me on the table after a long day fighting in the Dark Dimension.

Is one of his lesser-known spells, often used off-panel, the ability to conjure a Slim Fast shake? If Tommy LaSorda could do it, then why not the Sorcerer Supreme?

Is it Atkins? Have we ever seen him eating bread?

Maybe it's all simply an illusion cast by the Eye of Agamotto. Maybe in reality Dr. Strange isn't a dignified thin middle-aged man at all, but rather a scuzzy-looking balding old man with a gut hanging out from his beer-stained under shirt.

Or maybe the artists just want him to look cool and I have way too much time on my hands to think about such things.

Hopefully we'll get some answers in a mini-series someday ... written by Rachael Ray and art by Emeril Lagasse.

BAM!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Saturday's Gaming in the Journal

Just finished putting together this week's Gaming page (It'll be page 5C in Saturday's Poughkeepsie Journal) and you all — or ya'll for our southern readers — should be pleased with what you read.

This week's centerpiece is a review of the newly released "Super Paper Mario" for the elusive Wii, with plenty of colorful pictures for the kiddies. The page also features our weekly fantasy baseball column, as well as tips on what to watch and which web sites to visit.

But, the most important part of the page is information on the upcoming "Gaming for Hope" event at Marist College on April 21. While I could not get a hold of student coordinator Sean O'Connor yet, the story will have detailed information on the 12-hour charity gaming marathon at Marist's James J. McCann Center. You can read the story HERE.

And hopefully in the next week I'll be able to get a hold of O'Connor to get his thoughts. If so, you blog-loving geeks will be the first ones to read it.

The Feds love Gamers!

Good News Everyone!

According to a release on the business wire we get here in the office, the Federal Trade Commission is happy with the efforts of the gaming industry to regulate itself:

"The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) acknowledged the video game industry’s leadership in its self-regulatory programs that provide parents the tools they need to make the best video game purchasing and rental choices for their families the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said today.

In its fifth report since 2000 on entertainment industry marketing and advertising practices, the FTC stated that the video game rating system is a "useful and important tool" for parents, retailers have made "substantial improvement" in limiting sales of Mature-rated games to minors, and its support for "private sector initiatives by (the video game) industry and individual companies."

Nice change of pace from the old "Grab your torches and pitchforks, the Gamers want to ruin our Kids!"

In a bit I'll have the full rundown of what you can read in Saturday's Gaming page of the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rocky 3, starring Superman

It does not get much funnier than this... the audio is obviously from Rocky 3, the clips from "Super Friends" and the "A-Team" cartoon... or at least I think the "A-Team"... all I know is it's Mr. T ... and I also know I'll never look at Hawkman the same way again...



"Hey Woman! Hey Woman!"

Buy Pile Report

Sorry for the lengthy wait on the Report, been too busy all night not working that I could not get to a computer... and then once I was at a computer I got caught up reading all 60 comments on the latest entry in "The Odd Couple" blog...

OK, I didn't actually read all 60, I more just skimmed to see what the hell was going on that there were 60 comments -- but still, you kids can't give me one comment and Chrissie and Sarah are able to get 60 -- What's up with that?

Anyway, on to the books, and while there was nothing Earth-shattering this week, all I can say is they REALLY should not have taken away Doc Magnus' Meds.

Honestly, there have not been many better panels in recent comic history as good as Magnus' "I told you I do crazy things without my meds" badass panel in 52 week 49.

The most important part for DC selling the idea of World War III is convincing readers that one man can be powerful enough and important enough to incite an entire war on his own. Following this week, I can safely say that they have successfully made Black Adam into such a character, between the several different sides that all have a stake in whether or not Adam lives or dies, and his own justifiable Rage. And it all just has my anticipation for this event at its peak.

There was also an interesting development in Uncanny X-Men #485, as (earmuffs now kids, spoilers coming) Vulcan officially married into the Shi'ar Empire, and promptly assassinated D'ken to claim the throne for himself. This, to me, makes for the most promising long-term bad guy in the X-Men Universe since Mr. Sinister first hit the scene.

A Summers progeny, with endless power and endless hatred for Xavier, in control of the Shi'ar Empire? I mean, the possibilities for storylines here are endless. The only thing tempering my enthusiasm here is Brubaker has stated that the space fun ends with the next issue... if Vulcan was going to be in power for an extended period of time, would anyone be going home? Would the next big X-Crossover event involve Mr. Sinister, or would it involve the Shi'ar?

My curiosity here is pretty high. As I've said before, I LOVE the X-Men, and this would be exactly the type of development that could return them to the top of their game.

Two last quick notes: 1) I'm still digging the Teen Titans, but the whole "ex-Titans showing up and saving the day" thing is getting a bit old... 2) New X-Men was a good recap of who Illyana Rasputin is, but unnecessary for anyone that has read her in the past, or simply her Wikipedia page.

That's it for now, but I do have a couple good things up my sleeve for the coming days. In the meantime, get with the commenting! I want 61!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This week's comic expectations

Ok, so I may have spoke too soon about the 'no home runs' thing, as plenty of people are drooling over Bizarro in All-Star Superman #7... but since I am no fan of the title, it didn't jump out at me until thinking about it on the drive home from the office.

What am I most looking forward to, you ask?

52 week 49.

I really don't have much of a clue of what is going to go on, and if there was a solicitation in the back of week 48, I don't remember it. All that matters to me is that this is the last issue before WORLD WAR III. Black Adam vs. the World... apparently. Not to mention all the "One Year Later" answers that will finally be revealed. I could not be more juiced for an event -- especially since this event will be contained to 5 issues in a single week, no endlessness (Marvel, this means YOU).

But speaking of Marvel, they have my hopes up once again. This time, the carrot dangling in front of my face is Illyana Rasputin. New X-Men #37 will begin the "Quest for Magik." Is this a good thing? I don't know. I loved reading the original character of Magik, with her constant inner-battle between good and evil -- but I was content with the resolution to the character in the "Inferno" crossover, and the subsequent Legacy Virus-death of child-Illyana was truly meaningful. Do we really need Illyana back? Probably not. But I sure am curious.

Other titles I'm eagerly awaiting include Teen Titans #45 and Uncanny X-Men #485. I've also heard very good things about Image Comics' "After the Cape" so I may be picking up the second issue.

One title I'm steering clear of? New Avengers #29 -- I've had it with all this renegade superhero registration crap.

As always, when I'm done reading, I'll be posting thoughts, and I invite you all to do the same.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wednesday's comic release list

Plenty to be excited about this week, but no real home runs... I'll be back with weekly expectations in a bit...

DC Comics:
52 Week #49
All Star Superman #7
Batman Strikes #32
Cartoon Network Action Pack #12
Friday The 13th #5
Gen 13 #7
Green Arrow #73
Green Lantern Corps #11
Grifter Midnighter #2
JLA Classified #37
Loveless #17
Rush City #6
Sandman Mystery Theatre Sleep Of Reason #5
Stormwatch Phd #6
Tales Of The Unexpected #7
Teen Titans #45
Tenjho Tenge Vol 13
Trials Of Shazam #6
Wonder Woman #7

Marvel:

Amazing Spider-Girl #7
Blade #8
Ghost Rider #10
Iron Man #16
Legion Of Monsters Man-Thing #1
Loners #1
Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #23
Marvel Select Flip Magazine #24
Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #23
New Avengers #29
New X-Men #37
Newuniversal #5
Nova #1
Punisher War Journal #6
Spider-Man Fantastic Four #1
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #17
Spider-Man Magazine
Thunderbolts #113
Uncanny X-Men #485
White Tiger #5
Wolverine Origins #13

Others:
After The Cape #2
Archie #574
Archie Double Digest #178
Battlestar Galactica Cylon Apocalypse #2
Battlestar Galactica Zarek #4
Big Bang Comics Presents Teenrex #5
Blade Of The Immortal #124
Bprd Garden Of Souls #2
Bomb Queen III #2
Clive Barkers Great & Secret Show #11
Conan & The Midnight God #3
Desperados Buffalo Dreams #3
Dynamo 5 #2
Fell #8
Fiendish Fables One-Shot #1
Frank Frazetta Death Dealer #1
Highlander #6
Jungle Fantasy Annual #1
Lexian Chronicles Full Circle #11
Liberality For All #4
Medieval Lady Death War of the Winds #6
Mr Stuffins #1
Nightly News #5
Pandora Annual #1
Pirates Vs Ninjas #4
Seekers #1
Starship Troopers Damaged Justice #2
Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic #15
TMNT Movie Adaptation #1
TMNT Movie Prequel 3 Donatello
Transformers Prime Directive Movie Prequel #3
Two Guns #1
Wasteland #8
Wolfskin #3
Xombie Farr Cvr B #1
Xombie Seeley Cvr A #1

Marvel wants your first born

I don't think the 'House of Ideas' (what a misnomer that is lately) is going to be happy until you cash in your retirement funds and children's college funds and give it all to Marvel.

Weeks after the completion of "Civil War" a 7-part mini-series with over two-dozen tie-in stories, all of which were over-inflated and drawn out, with a resolution that could have been met in five or six issues total, the company has now announced re-productions of the series.

Only, instead of simply selling trade paperbacks, According to Newsarama, Marvel is going that one step further and re-printing the issues on a monthly basis, this time as double-sized issues told in specific order with all of the tie-ins.

How much more cash does Joey Q expect to milk out of Civil War??? Nobody is buying anymore! Those of us who bought all the issues initially are unhappy with them, and those who didn't buy them are likely thrilled they were able to see this waste of cash coming in the first place.

The market is so over-flooded with tie-ins that all this is going to do is screw over comic book stores who are looking to unload their unsold inventory -- the same stores that were lured into buying such a high number of each tie-in because the story seemed so promising. Now, with a crappy story and too many unsold issues already, Marvel is going to squeeze that last bit of blood from the stone by hitting up the casual curious fan with new prints.

PATHETIC.

Green Arrow meets Tango and Cash

In the last few days there has been talk of a David Goyer-penned movie, featuring Green Arrow (AKA Oliver Queen), in which he is wrongfully arrested, thrown into a maximum-security prison holding -- get this -- SUPER VILLAINS, and he has to not only survive the hordes trying to kill him but work with them to break out of the jail.

Yes folks, a Superhero movie that takes itself seriously enough to be storyline driven.

Well, today it has been reported by Variety that Warner Bros. has done the right thing and bought the script.

And there I was thinking prison-breakout movies could not get any better than "Tango and Cash."

Monday, April 9, 2007

More crazy japanese gamers

When last we left the crazy japanese commercials, I had stated that it seems every older japanese gaming commercial includes some crazy guy or gal screaming loudly.

Now, I am corrected... although I don't know if this is better...



Two questions: 1) All that's missing is Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dancers... and 2) Was Link played by a girl there?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

This week's video game releases

The big name here? PAPER MARIO!

April 9:
Super Paper Mario (Wii)
Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer (PS2)
The Ship (PC)
Frontline: Fields of Thunder (PC)
Whirlwind over Vietnam (PC)
Hot Dog King a Fast Food Empire (PC)

April 10:
Cake Mania (Nintendo DS)
Inspector Parker Unsolved (PC)

Hot Dog King, not to be confused with Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago...

As always, if any of you are buyin' then you best be postin' thoughts!

American Gladiators

Inspired by the revival of "American Gladiators" in rerun form on ESPN Classic (every night at 7 p.m. and 1 a.m.), I dug out my old 1991 'American Gladiators" Nintendo cartridge earlier today before coming into the office.

if you remember, the game was enjoyable overall, but The Wall was darned near impossible, making it so I never saw what the vaunted Eliminator looked like. Well, today I gave the Wall another shot -- maybe my last shot ever if I could not conquer it even as a full-grown man.

17 tries later, my pixelated little contender stood on top of that Wall. Elated and screaming in, well, elation, I quickly clicked on the Assault and shot down Laser no problem. I clicked on Powerball and scored 9 goals against the Galdiator trio. I clicked on the joust and knocked Thunder off with my Pugo Stick, and FINALLY collided with Gemini to win the Human Cannonball.

I yelled for anyone in the near area to come and see what the Eliminator looked like. It was an Easter Miracle, better than anything that damn bunny has ever put in my basket.

I waited and held my breath... only to see my screen reset at "Level two," expecting me to beat all the events again, only this time they would be more difficult.

No Eliminator. No Easter Miracle. Damn Bunny.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

X-Men #200

Over at UncannyXmen.net there is an interview with X-Men writer Mike Carey, based mainly on plans for X-Men #200. You can read it here.

I take exception with some of what he says, though... mainly this: "I don’t think we’ve made any secret of the fact that this is an issue where the X-Men kind of get – to use a topical term – disassembled. We put them into a very extreme situation and we come out at the other end a long way from where we went in."

Now, I love the X-Men. I look for Red sunglasses every time I'm in a mall simply because Cyclops is my hero. Yeah, I'm that much of a geek. That said, I haven't been too happy with their titles recently because the tone is just so bleak. I, in fact, dropped X-Men from the buy pile due to the tone and due to Chris Bachalo's art (how anybody likes his stuff is beyond me).

So, to say that the X-Men will now be "Disassembled" really makes me nervous for the next few years of the title.

I'm sick of it. At the start of the "Astonishing" series, Joss Whedon mentioned the need for the X-Men to bring back the tights and get back out into the public eye -- maybe Joey Q and the guys at the X-Office should do the same.

I am at the point now where I would love for all the books to get just a bit brighter, and more in the public-super-heroic-hero style. Let them go 'save the day' for a while, instead of battle depression.

At least for a few months, please! Then I'll be ready for another disaster.

Talking 52

If you're going to read comic book commentary from someone other than me -- I know, a radical thought, but don't worry, it's safe -- one of my favorite weekly columns on the internet is Comic Book Resources "The 52 Steps."

It analyzes every page of 52 every week (I'm guessing they'll do the same with the upcoming "Countdown") and puts every event in the week into historical context. Believe me, if you are looking to learn more about the DC Universe as a whole, this is a column to read.

Here's the link, enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2007

In Saturday's Gaming page

The Journal's weekly Gaming page, located every Saturday in the Sports section, will feature a roundup of reviews for three of the best new baseball games this season: "MLB 07: The Show," "Major League Baseball 2K7," and "MVP 07: NCAA Baseball."

The page will also include a story on how some fantasy sports players are using professional judges to solve fantasy arguments and the weekly fantasy baseball advice column.

Its also brightly colored, so your kids will at least be distracted by it.

Http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/gaming

Crazy japanese gamers

Not that I plan on going so Video Crazy every day on the blog, but I saw this on YouTube and had to share. I could explain that this is a mid-1980's commercial for Super Mario Bros. and the Legend of Zelda, but instead you should just look for yourself.



I think in Japanese commercial interviews they just pick the actors that can scream as loud as they can. Looks like I have a new career waiting for me...

Ratchet and Clank are coming back...

Yes, I just saw the new trailer for the upcoming PlayStation 3 "Ratchet and Clank" game, and If I do say so myself, it seems Sony finally has a game that may draw people into buying one of their overpriced paper weights -- including myself.

Check out the trailer here:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Another Paper Mario movie

For those of you who are counting the seconds until the release of Super Paper Mario on the Wii, Gamespot has yet another preview movie to keep you drooling. Just click HERE.

Meanwhile, IGN is praising the game in a full review HERE.

Personally, I'm still too busy Pimping Rides on the PSP. Honestly, who has ever watched that show and thought to themselves "God, this is cool to watch, but I wish I could have a little digital X-to-the-Z of my very own!"

But I digress.

Metal Men!

Good news, everyone!

God, I've been watching too much Futurama...

Either way, check out The Hollywood Reporter if you don't believe me, but from what I'm reading, there is going to be a METAL MEN MOVIE.

Yes, everyone's favorite band of neurotic element-based heroes is coming to the big screen. Sure, they've had a tough time holding on to an ongoing series for an extended period of time, but it seems like Dr. WIll Magnus' creations will be a gas for a two-hour period of time.

If you don't know as much as you should about the Metal Men, click HERE.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Buy Pile Report

Not too much came out on Wednesday that really caught my interest, but the two titles I mentioned earlier did not disappoint...

I'll warn you all right now, there are spoliers here. So, if you need to cup your hands and put on the earmuffs, go right ahead.

Highlight of the week, for me, has to be the new Justice League headquarters. When I flipped the page and saw the return of the old-school Hall of Justice, I damn near cheered out loud. I mean, this is a building I still have a toy of sitting on my shelf, from the old "Super Powers" series of toys. I can once again re-enact all of the JLA's adventures! I mean... if I still did that sort of thing...

And the fact that Brad Meltzer combined the old-school Hall with the new-school space watchtower, it was a simply perfect choice.

I mentioned earlier how I was looking forward to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman getting put in their place in this issue -- well the way Meltzer executed it could not have been stronger, with Hal and Dinah taking the reins right out of the Big Three's hands.

And you have to love the relationship between Hal, Dinah and Roy, as well as Ollie behind the scenes.

But, was it just mine, or does every issue have one page printed out of order? I'm curious if any of you out there has a copy perfectly in order.

Now then, Fallen Son. I'm going to give Loeb the benefit of the doubt here, for having gone through the grief process he is so personally writing about. Because if I don't give Loeb the benefit of the doubt for an ultra-intelligent characterization of Wolverine, I would have to call it the worst Wolverine writing I have read in a while. Because, as much as I am no fan of Logan, or James, or whatever he goes by nowadays, he's much smarter than to try to give Crossbones a gun just so he could kill him and claim self-defense. It's moronic, and more than that, it's not Wolverine's style.

Which is why I am giving the benefit of the doubt here, that Loeb is writing a Wolverine so overcome with grief that he is looking for any sort of desperate justification he can. And, after reading this issue for a second time, I really think this is where Loeb was going. And, it was enough to make me decide I'll be buying the second issue of this tie-in.

I would have, however, liked to have seen more attention given to the interaction between Wolverine and Tony Stark, but I can live without it.

Well, those are my impressions, all other thoughts on this week's books are welcome!

This week's comic expectations

So there are two main books I am expecting a lot out of this week...

1 - Justice League #7: It seems like either you loved Brad Meltzer's first six issues on the title or you hated them. Generally those who are unhappy were so because of the slow pace of the book -- one of my biggest pet peeves of the industry today, by the way.
But I am loving Meltzer's stuff. I think the pacing has been spot-on perfect, not too slow but still giving plenty of room for the story to breathe. It's been perfect for this first arc especially, since he has very carefully brought the pieces of the team together.
Why I am excited for Issue 7 is, this is the issue where the team becomes official. And when the team is official, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman get to finally realize just how self-centered and egotistical they have been, believing they had the right to pic and choose who is worthy to be in their league. There's nothing I like more than seeing infallible characters get knocked down a peg or two.

2 - Fallen Son: Wolverine: As I've said before, I'm sick of Marvel's constant need to tie-in to death. Ordinarily, this tie-in would fit into this category. And especially since I am no fan of Wolverine post-1989, Ordinarily I would be running away from this title in a hurry.
But Jeph Loeb is writing this one -- and more than that, this was a project Loeb practically created from scratch -- because with the death of his son, this is a topic he is going to put his heart into.
Each issue of this 5-part fallout from Cap's death will deal with a stage of grief -- again, Loeb's idea. When a project is this personal to a good writer, it cannot help but be a great story. Or at least worth giving a read.

So once I work through my buy pile I'll be posting my thoughts, and everyone is welcome to do the same.