Its been a while, Ive been pre-occupied with my masters, though paradoxically I havent spend much time actually doing it. Apart from that its been work and the continued consumption of media products, well that and being accused of being a monk by various bastards. Ive read/watched/played quite a variety of things recently and I shant bore you with snippet reviews of the lot, I’ll just briefly mention the stuff that stood out.
The Book of Lost Souls – Its shit, its Straczynki yet again trying to do Gaiman and failing badly, and unlike Midnight Nation (his prior attempt at this) it doesnt even have decent artwork. I was hoping it would get better, so I gave it until issue four, but no joy (though we do get to see a character who would have to work hard to be any more a direct rip-off of the Corinthian). In fact Im beginning to think Straczynki is drifting into the same bracket in which I have encased Claremont (see here for further details).
Green Arrow 52-58 – Following on from the whole Identity Crisis/Infinte Crisis/Dr Light is a retard thing. Usually I like Green Arrow but these newer issues were really poor with 58 being the worst, most of the comic involved Dr Light taunting Green Arrow as he led him across the city, Dr Lights taunting could be summarised as follows:
“Hey GA Im Dr Light and Im a rapist”, “GA Did I mention Im a rapist?”,”Hey GA maybe I’ll rape you.”,”Ooh maybe I just mentally raped you or maybe youd like it in the bum GA?”,”Im Dr Light and Im a rapist you know”. It was just shite.
Godzilla – Final Wars – Directed by Kitamura, though most of the action lacked any of his usual flair or cheese. The film was disliked by some Godzilla fans as Godzilla doesnt get the majority of the screen time. Didnt bother me. This film was only watchable due to the fact during the first ten minutes of the film (while I was thinkin “God this is shite guys in rubber suits”) that I realised these films are more or less meant to be shit and after that I found it quite enjoyable. Its also nearly worth watching for a character who the DVD chapter titles refer to as “The Baddest man alive”.
Invincible Iron Man v4 – Extremis – Warren Ellis again, artwork is nice, story is shite and release schedule likewise. It seems that Iron Man joins Spider-Man in becoming more powerful. If you want to recreate a character why not just create a new one as opposed to having people rebuild themselves from the ground up with tailored nano-viruses or bonding with “the full range of their totemic power”.
Ultimate Nightmare-Ultimate Secret-Ultimate Extincton – More Warren Ellis, More shit.
Y The Last Man – This one really went to shit, but the recent issues have been better, still its got of a Spawn (or Lost) thing going on, a storyline which would obviously benefit from admitting its finite nature but stubbornly refusing to do so.
Uncanny X-Men – Chris Claremont, agghhh my brain, I think its crying…no thats blood coming out my ears…dont give up on me yet brain…aghhhh
X-Men – The 198 – Pretty good, it also features some great constructivist covers.
Exiles – Its issue count is somewhere in the mid-seventies and its quality has been consistently high. Its also just included Spider-Man 2099 in the team so its certainly got better from my point of view as I have an irrational liking for Spider-man 2099.
Vandread – Stage 1&2 – Quite a good (though standard enough) space opera/comdedy romance. I found the use of CGI for the space battles/mecha worked better than in several other anime Ive seen. While it may suffer in comparison to Martian Successor Nadesico (which it is quite similar to) I feel that the differences in style and tone make it well worth watching.
Bankuretsu Tenshi (Burst Angel) – Nothing much to this anime in terms of story, but its quite enjoyable, after all how can you dislike a melding of spaghetti western,”girls with guns” and mecha?
Samurai Champaloo – I heard great things about this from Jp and Patrick but I found that overall it was a bit disappointing. While it has some great moments (and the animations quite nice) I found that the transitory or non-existent plot was a bit annoying.
Naruto – 164-172 – The “filler” continues, essentially an entire season worth of stories which didnt appear in the manga was made up so that the manga storyline could get far enough ahead that the anime could start following it again. While Im looking forward to the resumption of the “normal plot” a lot of the “filler” is pretty enjoyable (though the animation quality may be a little off in one or two). If you havent seen Naruto its worth watching just for sheer volume if nothing else.
Tenjho Tenge (1-10) – Not much to this one, very similar to other “I want to be the best warrior/fighter/pilot and I have a secret power” anime/comics in plot but the animaton is really nice and it flows along nicely (though I did watch it after reading Green Arrow and when one of the bad guys was implied to be a rapist I nearly cried).
That 70s Show Season 3 – This is probably my favourite season of That 70s Show, though it does waver a bit towards the end (predominantly because I cant see how Donna’s behaviour wouldnt obviously paint her as an unsympathetic bitch, while the plot obviously expects me to draw a different conclusion).
Naruto – Naruttemite Hero 3 – This is a fighting games based on Naruto. Compared to your standard fighter it may not be that deep, but it perfectly emulates the frenetic pace of the anime’s ninja battles, its also quick, easy to pick up and fun to play. The main stumbling block lies in it being entirely in Japanese, but with the help of an online semi-translation/guide Ive unlocked nearly everything in the game and everyone whos played it seems to like it.
Shadow Hearts Covenant – The second shadow hearts CRPG on the PS2, its been out a while and got really good reviews but I only just got around to it. I have to say I really like it, the games systems and their customisationability (I dont think thats a word) are great. The stroyline is also very good, showing a good mature mixture between humour and darker themes. Theres also the fact its set in the real world in the mid 1910’s (with some changes obivously), which makes it pretty cool when your bumping into Csar Nicholas II, Rasputin, etc.
Mutans & Masterminds RPG 2nd Ed – This is the best superhero RPG Ive read. It strikes an excellent balance with its system as its meaty enough to fully cover any concepts you throw at it while being “lite” enough to provide the kind of speed of play you need to keep a superhero game going. The “world” that comes with it is also well developed and has lots of great heroes/villians (though Ill probably still run my first campaign of it in the Marvel Universe).
Bulleteer and Frankenstein – These are the two best of all the seven soliders mini’s. Frankenstein in particular is great. The Bulleteer is strangely prosaic for Morrison but its a good read (and the main character has giant silver knockers, which while shallow is a factor).
Hard Time – Season 2 – Its great, if you havent read it you should get it. The first seasons collected in a fairly cheap TPB (or you could download it).
You know I really dont get cosplay at all. I have no idea why relatively ordinary people think its a good idea, of course I then realise its relatively unique to japan and america and it becomes more acceptable. Now dont get me wrong, I dont entirely hate it, as (based on my extremely limited knowledge) there seems to be lots of hot chicks dressing up as skimpily clad anime/videogame characters. Of course thats rather academic as I have little success with the detrius of Dundalks womankind I doubt its going to go any better if shes pretending to be an anthropomorphic cat, of course it will have the benefit of being turned down by someone hot. Which brings me in a rather roundabout way to my point, cosplay is fairly sad but this guy is the man. Look at the size of that fucking sword, its sweet. (As a little addendum, typing cosplay into google image search produces some worrying photos).
Some of you may have seen the six foot replica of Sephiroths sword thats for sale in various places, I was checking it out for Paddy, the sword itself is $100, but the cheapest shipping I could find was $269, more than twice the price of the sword. Which is a bit shite as I would quite like a six foot long sword. Damn, my random cosplay searching also turned up this guy, thats a pretty cool costume as well.
“Obviously this demon must have his priorities mixed up, because if his main priority was to be cool, then he went the wrong route when he chose the naked women.” is a great quote, its also from a fairly amusing article.
Powers – I’ll steal a quote from Zentertainment for this one – “This book cannot actually get any better than it is. If you arent reading this book then something is wrong with you.” I thought it slumped a bit in the early tens with the Olympia storyline, but that was a very momentary lull in the greatness. The FG-3 storyline is amazing.
No actually wait, Bendis and Oeming (the writers of Powers) can in fact go fuck themselves with something sharp, rusty and infected. I’d suggest ignoring Powers past issue 20.
Damn, wrong again, from now on I have decided to fully consume as much of the material as I possess before declaring my opinion on it. Still sucks to be argento.
You know after finishing volume 1 (stop reading now if your really anal about tiny spoilers) theres still something Im unsure of, whether I want Walker to get his powers back or not. On the one hand I can see (especially in light of the “Forever” arc) how it doesnt really work and Walker probably doesnt want it, on the other hand I think it would make him even fucking cooler and that throwing shit on protagonists they dont want tends to make for good stories. You know I need more readers so I can get some feedback on my random theories.
Onto volume 2, not finding it too great so far (its not so much “dark” as “shitty”), and what the fuck is the story with rapists and rape popping up everywhere? Some repressed and angry people out there. Which reminds me anyone have any idea what the fuck a “punch and pull” is in regards to acts of sexual depravity? Im assuming its when you box someone in the face before disembarking your underpants navy across their face.
You know when your reading or watching something and you can see a plot twist coming and you think its an idea of such monumental shitness that you fool yourself into thinking its not going to happen and then it does anyway? Powers v2 Issue 5, last page, bastards.
Broke my bastard glasses, sitting around all day wihtout been able to see anything is not the amazing adventure one may think.