Check out this lil’ comic strip I made with the aqua-version I doodled of myself, (your good ol’ admin Starling.)
Bad guy: “Muahahaha! Join me and we shall rule this dark world away from the tyranny of the angels and demons!”
Me: “Well, that actually doesn’t sound all that bad. Sounds pretty damn sweet, actually. I guess I can-“
My Character: “I am sick of your putrid words! Never will I join with a traitor!”
Me: “I mean…I am sick of your putrid words! Prepare to digest this metal from the wrong side!”
Master Betty: “What does that even mean?!” *sigh*
I love Godzilla.
It’s true! He’s so, so, so awesome!!!! If Godzilla was the true end of civilization, I don’t know how I could not secretly enjoy running through the streets in a panic screaming, “AGH! Gojira! GOJIRA!!!!” Good times.
Have you heard about the new US Godzilla movie that’s scheduled to hit theater’s on May 16th, 2014? Oh, yeah! I saw a teaser trailer and it looks awesome! Way more awesome than the 1998 version of a US Godzilla. In fact, though I enjoyed watching that one, in the Japanese Godzilla Final Wars movie it’s clear that they don’t accept the US one as a real Godzilla in the canon, but they did include him as one of the monsters that Godzilla has to fight when he arises to find that every monster he’s ever faced is up and trying to move in on his turf. He didn’t have much trouble with New York 1998 Godzilla, and I found that a very humorous way to let us know they thought the US failed at trying to make a worthy Godzilla to rival the Japanese versions. I can’t find a teaser trailer out there yet. Not even the one from Comic Con. *sigh* I’m so excited! It seems they’re going to be true to his original Japanese shape, size, and even have radioactive breath! The trailer I saw awhile back before it disappeared even had his roar perfect…though chilling! Ermegerd! Check out this movie poster. It gives me the shivers!
Godzilla Final Wars, by the way, is my favorite Godzilla movie other than the very first one, (Japanese and English versions.) It is the most action packed, Godzilla glorifying, pleasantly cheesy yet hard-core Gojira movie EVER!!!!! It is definitely a to-own movie.
My favorite monster that Godzilla faces is Anguirus. He reminds me of a hedgehog. He runs on all fours, and then he can curl into a big ball of spikes and keep smashing in a chosen direction, leveling everything in his path!! That would be a useful skill to have during Black Friday sales.
There’s a Godzilla animated version, and I tried watching a few episodes, but it’s way targeted for kids. I almost feel guilty as a Godzilla fan for not watching them all anyway. Almost.
Something I really would like to try are the Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters comic books published by IDW! It seems there are several runs of Godzilla comics out there, and as a comic book lover it would probably be a great new hobby to try out. I’ll let ya know how it is when I finally get around to ordering them.
Oh! Something I can NOT forget to mention: They have these Gojira-like PJ sets on Etsy for under 40 bucks! They also have kewl house shoes that match and many other adorable ones you might want to surf through! I’ll link the picture to the Etsy store:
Speaking of the big green, I think my butt wants to be Godzilla. You see, I’m not clumsy. I’m an artist and I pretty much always have extra fine control over my limbs and digits, but for some reason my bottom has a mind of it’s own. It’s not like my booty is huge or something. I’d say it’s an average woman’s healthy hind-end. Maybe that’s why it goes out of it’s way to knock things over and cause such carnage and chaos. I can be shopping through art supplies at a flea market, thinking about all the intricate detail I wanna add to my next painting while in the back of my head I reflect over how well I did on piano practice this morning, [You’re so great, fingers!], when all of a sudden I hear a Godzilla chair-scrapping roar and turn around to realize that my butt has demolished a shoe table behind me! It’s anarchy! The shoes and the merchant are running in a herd to warn the next booth! *sigh* I make my way along, expertly placing my feet while I dance around piles of cluttered crap in the next booth, but if I don’t pay attention to Godzilla butt for two seconds, “Wham! Screeeeeech!” Gojira has leveled another town!
I suppose that’s it for my Gojira-luv rant for now! Feel free to comment your favorite monster, movie, or book!
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood (The New 52)
Confession: I used to avoid Wonder Woman comics because I was afraid it would be filled with sexist-against-guys femi-nazi hatefulness. If that’s the way it used to be, (I don’t know), then it sure isn’t now! I would not be ashamed for a man to read this comic at all! The story of Wonder Woman’s plight, the vicious, back stabbing nature of the gods, and the strength and loyalty of the Amazons makes a story worth getting lost in whether you’ve been a previous comic book fan or not! It is one of the greatest examples of the DC Comics New 52 reboot at it’s finest! I have been impressed with the fresh perspective and beginning feel of so many DC titles so far, but Wonder Woman really takes the cake! (Make your own Wonder Woman cake here.)
It really feels like a lot of research and thought went into creating the gods for this story. They are deliciously selfish and make very hateful, unique, and powerful villains. (Not to mention there seems to be some god for every type of fan to relate to! Take your pick for your favorite!) I am excited to turn the page just to find out what god may be introduced next and what awesome way they’ve chosen to portray them! The way they interact with one another seems natural and very psychologically deep. As a writer with interests in mythology, ethics, and morals it is very intriguing to study this particular spin on the world of the gods and their role in man’s world. They’ve taken the already existent mythological stories and blended them into a very nice ongoing soap opera for us to enjoy!
Now to speak of villains! Though Hades, Strife, Poseidon, War, etc…are very thrilling, wicked bad guys to contend with, the one that makes me shudder the most is Hera! When she is against someone she is everything dangerous to fear from a woman scorned, and the Wonder Woman comics are the perfect place to have such a strong, beautiful enemy. I find myself empathizing with the jaded queen of the gods, desperate to find a way to make Zeus love her the way his man-slut-self seems to spread his love out to everyone else. With Zeus’ disappearance she has the weight of the world, (and more), on her shoulders. I can really appreciate and respect her as a villain even though I can understand that Wonder Woman is in the right with her duty to her own conscious and her own self respect.
Hermes is my favorite so far! He is super cool with his talon feet!! I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say that one of my favorite lines is after he asks a girl what shape Zeus disguised himself as to get her to want to have sex with him. (That’s a thing Zeus does. He’s always shape shifting to woo chicks.) The girl lists off several different men because she gets around and isn’t quite sure which one Zeus might have been. The look on Hermes’ face is priceless!!! The girl then says, “I like men, Hermes, and I’m not gonna apologize for that.” Hermes says, “As you shouldn’t.” Such a great guy! No judgement from him!
Wonder Woman is drawn much more feminine that I expected, though she is in no way dainty or meek like a Victorian lady. I love how being a woman, being a girl, is not frowned upon here! Wonder Woman and the Amazons are women with purpose and are very much people to admire. They are not jaded and living their lives the way they do out of fear or anger toward men, but rather that they are embracing what it is to be a woman. I have seen Amazon-type stories completely ruined by making the women all victims acting out of vengeance or fear, but Wonder Woman is no wallowing victim! She is a woman to be respected and she shows this by the way she values herself and treats others with respect as well. (When it is due them, of course. If they don’t deserve respect she lays the painful smack down on them! Yes!)
The artwork is very pleasantly colorful, shifting from light settings to creepy dark settings as needed to very efficiently set the mood. It seems like all the characters are very, very flawless and beautiful for the most part, which is understandable sense they are all gods, mix breed gods, or people the gods are coveting/consorting with. I very much appreciate how the sad/crying/anger faces in this are also decent to look at and beautiful in their own pitiful way, unlike some comics which make their heroine a snotty pinch-faced ugly mess when they’re upset. *Cough* Catwoman New 52 Vol 1: The Game. *Cough*
The drawings are not super detailed on every page, meaning that the light and shadow are sometimes simply outlines rather than catering to every muscular curve and crevice of a body, but I like the affect it has, so it’s a good thing! The background in places also looks like it was hurriedly added in at the last minute as filler, but it wasn’t distracting. What WAS distracting was the way Strife was drawn. Maybe she’s supposed to look unnatural and like she just doesn’t belong, because she’s strife, after all, but that’s just what it looks like. Her character seems to float on the pages as if she was drawn by a completely different artist and just penciled in on top of the story. The way she stands sometimes, it’s clear in real life she should just tip over. There’re several panels of her walking through the forest at one point, and her arms and legs do NOT remind me of something walking, but rather she seems to be a manikin posed to pretend she’s moving. It’s a consistent thing throughout the comic that the way Strife is drawn is a tic distracting.
Something I really don’t like, though, is the way I see feet drawn in here from time to time. They do it nicely all the time, so I know the artist(s) know how to do it! Then out of nowhere they revert back to High School concept are and have these triangular cartoon feet that give the limbs a swollen allergy appearance. It’s just a pet peeve of mine, and I bet most people don’t even notice. I, on the other hand, am looking at this powerful image of Hera standing over a shamed worshiper, looking down at her disapprovingly in all her naked, confident queen-of-the-gods glory, and I scan down her lovely frame and cringe when I see those doofy feet they added at the end! *Miff* It doesn’t match the detail of the rest of the body art.
This New 52 comic has really wet my appetite to read much more Wonder Woman! I’ll be getting the next volumes as they come out, and at some point I may even start back tracking to the older comics to compare. I highly recommend it! I give Wonder Woman Vol 1: Blood five hearts! You can click on the picture of Vol 1 up there and it will take you to the amazon link where you can buy your own copy! (Or you can just click here.)
Name of game: Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
Developer: Gaijin Games
Rating: T (for crude humor) I’d personally let much younger kiddos play it because it’s not offended me in any way and this has to be a game that’s good for their hand/eye coordination. Yay, brain food for the young and old!
Platform: PS3 (We got it on our Play Station Plus) and available on many other platforms. You can click on this picture to take you to the official site:
This is a very, very, very, addictive single player game with lots of replay value! It’s just as addictive as Tetris, but without actually being anything like Tetris. It’s a free running game where you try to jump, dodge, attack, slide, etc…and collect piles of gold setting and floating around throughout each level. It’s a rhythm game inspired by the Bit.Trip series originally released on Nintendo platforms. Imagine those moving screen sky levels on Super Mario 3…the ones that will keep moving without you and you die…but without all the things that make people say, “I hate these moving sky levels!” There aren’t constant drop offs, no time limit, and the controls are super responsive.
It’s challenging without annoyance because the controls are responsive and smooth so that the character moves predictably. (Which is really, really needed for this game!) This means that if you fall off a cliff or bonk your head on a rock you don’t feel like throwing the controller because it’s not your fault he didn’t jump when you pushed the button, rather you can laugh because you shoulda remembered that from the first run! (And then you try the level again because you CAN’T FORCE YOURSELF TO STOP!) You don’t have to collect all the bricks to progress to the next level, you only have to make it through alive. This offers a nice variety of challenge levels for the player. If you want it more simplistic, then just get through the level alive. If you want a harder challenge then try not to miss any of the bricks throughout the level.
The replay value comes in here: You can replay any of the levels you’ve finished and keep attempting to collect all the bricks for a perfect score! If you do you can unlock extra levels, so there is incentive to do so rather than just assuming we’re all perfectionists! (But I am…so I’d probably play them over again anyway.) Even after getting a perfect score on the levels, then you can play them again after you beat the newly unlocked levels to collect things along your path that weren’t available the first time you played through! Once you finally unlock a key vault, for example, you can go back and collect treasure chests that were locked before, and these will unlock new costumes for your characters. (You also unlock lots of new friends/characters to play as you go along!) Another thing that keeps me freshly entertained with each level is how they introduce new moves to dodge/attack different obstacles as the levels increase. This effectively keeps the game from being repetitive because there is something new dotted throughout each little world. Also, all the different characters respond the same way to the controls, so if you want to switch up characters for variety you don’t have to relearn the controls for a new character, you can just enjoy the new pal and any number of the unlocked outfits for each character. (There is a lot of fun stuff to unlock. I know I said that already, but it’s worth mentioning again.)
The creative, lovely, and artsy backgrounds sure do a great job of giving a fresh, new feel to each level as well! I think my favorite part, however, is how the music caters to your game play! There is way more than a few bleeps and honks thrown in there for noise filler! The music and how it works with the game is creatively and intricately planned out! The songs are bouncy alone, but as you jump, kick, and collect bricks they are positioned to where you just so happen to create music of your own to flow with the beat! It’s a lighthearted game, and not frightening or shadowy at all. The animations are crisp and pretty large. It’s easy to see when a bad guy is coming up or when you need to hop around and collect the golden bricks. That is important when you’re forced to go/think so fast. If all the colors were blending or the bad guys/objectives were blending together, you’d be jumping up right into a monster thinking it was gold! There is no such problem here. The characters, background, and platform are all great for the intense interaction that the game demands.
Overall I’d say it’s fun, pleasing to look at, has a killer awesome soundtrack, responsive controls, and is super addictive with plenty of replay value. I give this five out of five hearts! Starling approves!!!!
Name of the game: Deadpool
Publisher: High Moon
Date of Release: June 25, 2013
I have never laughed during a game so much as I did with Deadpool! They portrayed Deadpool’s character perfectly! I don’t even want to quote any of the one liners or hilarious stuff he did because I recommend that everyone play this game simply for the happy factor that comes with moving along in the game!
The gist of the story is that Deadpool is wanting a game of his own and he’s having a blast living it up on the screen. He’s not interested in the story line much, so as the players we also miss a lot of the purpose of why he’s going where he’s going, fighting who he’s fighting, etc…but this is very uniquely okay! Deadpool seems to know just what we want! Explosions, tacos, action, glory and bewbs!! During the entire game he never seems to run out of fresh material for laughs and entertainment.
This is a single player game, and it is not a stealth game at all, though it is soooo funny when he sneaks up on an unsuspecting bad guy! Deadpool isn’t that worried about damage to his body because he regenerates. He tells us to barge right in headlong and make some noise! If you take too much damage you can just run over to the side and wait for his health to return. I have to say that it makes much more sense for Deadpool to act this way than it does in games where human soldiers get shot in the head and then stand there and wait for their health to regenerate. It is mostly fighting lots of bad guys, and it can get a little repetitive in that aspect, but again the one liners and Deadpool’s personality give fresh perspectives and new things to cackle at throughout the entire game.
The controls were smooth and responsive so that nothing to complain about stood out in my mind. There weren’t any races or puzzles to solve. I’d say that it makes the game one-dimensional, but a lot of times I feel like game creators try to stuff a little bit of everything in their game in the hopes of catering to every type of gamer. This game focuses on a target audience of fun-loving, easy-going, action hungry, fighting fans without cramming random things those people wouldn’t like in here and there. The fighting style in the game reminds me of God of War in that Deadpool decides to get to some place or another and has to fight his way there. He walks awhile killing random badies as he goes along, and then there’ll be one place he stops at that hordes of villains come out of the woodwork so he can smash, slice, kick, teleport around them, and belittle them in wave after wave of glorious bloody battle! (And the blood does get everywhere!) To do this, Deadpool has a nice stash of weapons to choose from that you can upgrade throughout the game. Whether your style is guns, hammers, or swords, he’s got you covered! (I wouldn’t recommend buying the other guns, though. Just upgrade the pistols you start out with. The other guns seem just for show, and some of them only fire once before you have to reload.) Speaking of guns, the gun-toting enemies are the only annoying part of this game! By the time you catch up to them most of your health is gone…or you die! Even the exploding enemies don’t deal as much damage as the ones with guns! I enjoyed using the hammers through most of the game. They have pretty good upgrades. If you have trouble reaching the guys with guns, though, then it’s time to use those pistols.
The graphics were pleasing. There was a lot of detail that went into background, the characters, the explosions (especially), and the carnage. Some of the background was actually very beautiful, and there was plenty change of scenery for each of the missions. The interaction with the surroundings flowed very smooth. Like, I wasn’t accidentally walking off of half created cliffs and crap like that, or trying ten times to pick up an object I was after by circling around it and cursing. There was none of that annoying stuff!
Even though it was very repetitive, this game is pretty easy to play. This is a good thing because, though I’m very entertained during these repetitive parts with Deadpool’s shenanigans, I found I was more interested in the hilarious cut scenes after a while than the game play. It was super fun in the beginning, but then became more of a means to move the story along. That was okay for me since it was easy to play and moved fairly quickly when I wanted it to. Loitering is fun too sometimes, I might add, because it seems the longer you wonder around not staying on task, the more Deadpool comes up with creative talking-to-himself-and-us things to chuckle about. My curiosity and how entertained I was with Deadpool’s personality kept me hooked long enough to play through the entire game, so the repetitive thing wasn’t enough to cause me to feel negative toward it.
The bad part is that there are no side quests, and the game only has like…maybe eight acts? Not very many at all. It’s way too short. I can’t see there being much replay value in the game once you get through it the first time. Maybe it would be worth it to play through it slower the next time to see how many humorous things you might have missed, or perhaps it’s a good game to keep around for when you need to get some aggression out while lifting your mood at the same time. In that aspect, it would be a good game to own.
I would say that this game is totally worth renting, and if you’re a fan of Deadpool it is definitely a buy. The game was so fun, and I find that games are lacking in that area lately. They’re all super serious (Call of Duty/Battlefield 4), angsty (Batman), dramatic (Beyond Two Souls/Heavy Rain), or fun in an adorable kind of way (Lego games/Little Big Planet.) With those cute types there isn’t enough carnage to sate the bloodthirsty appetite while making you smile. Deadpool is a unique game in a good way. Laughing out loud is one of the things I appreciate most about the Deadpool comic books, and they have managed to channel this atmosphere into a game impressively. Though the story is not extremely detailed, the feel of hanging out with Deadpool is a great experience.
I give this a three and a half heart rating, and a green heart fan favorite! To get your copy click here.
Did anyone freak out when the PS network crashed last night do to the high volume of us all hooking up our new systems? I had expected that, so we weren’t biting our nails thinking that something was going wrong. I think it was clear to most everyone what was going on, so I didn’t notice widespread panic or anything. You have my sympathies if you had a heart attack during the wait, though! It was really cool of them to be prepared in the middle of the night to start troubleshooting and fixing things for us! They knew we’d be excited, and it felt like they were just as excited for us! Way to go, PSN!
Master Betty updated his Facebook status from the PS4 this morning! Oh, yeah! That’s possible! “What are you doing right now?” “Oh, nothing, bitches! Just updating my status from my PS4!!” Though clicking each letter to post might be tedious, with minimal knowledge of texting lingo this should turn out to be most convenient, (and fun.) The mouse is surprisingly easy to navigate with the joystick, too!
Oh, this super sweet controller is so sleek and it’s functioning so smooth!
It’s clear that Playstation is competing with the popular movie and music apps out there. I have to admit I was convinced to try out Music Unlimited and see how that goes. I’ll let you know! I don’t think I’d stab poor Netflix in the back, though, by switching. They’ve been really, really good to us for years and I have no complaints!
Master Betty ordered Killzone Shadowfall from Gamefly and it got here this morning! The only game we see available for free for the PS4 on Playstation Plus is Resogun. The free games on the Playstation store are DC Universe online, Blacklight Retribution, Warframe, and Contrast. We’ve downloaded them all and plan to try them out soon!
The first game we’ve tried out so far today is Killzone Shadowfall, and it is so beautiful. I never thought I’d find a rusty construction site so fascinating as when I realize the world looks more beautiful from the eyes of a PS4 than it does in real life. The people in this game are a little lacking in their facial muscles when they talk so it doesn’t look like it flows as well as it could, but how the hell am I supposed to complain about that when I can’t stop staring over their shoulder at the dusty detail of a blue plastic tarp? This feeling I’m getting sounds a lot like I’ve heard people describe an ecstasy drug trip.
I have to mention, though, that it is so real that even the things that annoy me in real life are existent here too. Such as how when the sun is so bright when I try to leave the house I have to dive and crawl under the nearest rock. I don’t wanna have to wear sunglasses to play my games! I don’t know yet if this is a normal PS4 thing, or if it’s only going to be a personal issue for me in random games.
Oh, yes. So far I have high hopes for the PS4. It is pleasing me so, so, so, so much! Approve!
Marvel Masterworks The Mighty Thor Vol: 1
With Thor being my favorite comic, I’m glad for the opportunity to go back and collect all the comics from the start with Marvel Masterworks. The first volume includes the Journey into Mystery comics where Thor first appeared as Dr. Donald Blake and then continues on, including all the comics he was in! There are also a handful of Odin-centered comics included in this collection. There are a LOT of Thor-related comics, though, so there are a whole bunch of Mighty Thor Masterworks volumes I don’t yet have.
The Masterworks books can be pretty expensive sometimes, but I got mine for a pretty good deal on amazon.com. They have new ones for under $15.00, last time I checked!
When reviewing this collection, I have to keep in consideration that these comics back in the 1960s were targeted towards kids.
Marvel uses the Journey into Mystery comic to try out new characters a lot and gauge the reaction to them before investing a lot of time on a stand alone comic, which is a really great way to do it! It seems to me that the Norse mythology and the conflicts that Thor finds himself in are not extensively researched at this point in Thor’s comic life beginnings, nor are his powers and weaknesses completely mapped out. For these reasons there is an overall feeling a lot of the time that they were struggling to come up with a new villain, and when they did Thor would suddenly have a weakness that wasn’t clear before, or the foe would suddenly have a super power that could counter Thor’s might. For example, Mister Hyde in issues #99 and #100 was boasted to have the strength of twelve men. Anyone familiar with Thor as the god we know him for now would laugh about such a puny adversary. I can see, though, how all these random powers and weaknesses, even though they can get really confusing, worked perfectly later on when they realized this comic was a keeper. They had to go back through these comics and make sure to permanently endow them all with these characteristics or explain why it is suddenly different. I think the labyrinth that was created here worked to the advantage once deeper mythological research was done, Asgard was brought to life in the comics, and all the other gods/monsters began to take on a comic book form out of the ashes of their dormant mythological state.
Perhaps I am wrong and this was all extensively researched right off the bat, but reading it I get the impression otherwise. Sometimes the conflicts seem to move along like two eight year old kids battling in the back yard. The first one says, “I attack with a blast of ice!” The other laughs and counters, “I use my fire shield and it bounces right off back at you! Now you are frozen!” The first kid hadn’t remembered anything about the second kid saying he had a fire shield, but he throws himself to the side anyway to avoid the blast and yells, “I use my super speed to dodge the blast!” The second kid is all like, “You don’t have super speed! But fine! I jump into my super car that can go faster than super speed!” This collection seems to move like that at times, but as I said before, I really think that works out for the best later on because once it’s in writing they have to get creative on how to elaborate or annihilate the reasons for it happening in the first place.
I have heard some people say that this collection is too simple and cheesy. Well, I ADORE these parts of the battles, and if you’re a true Thor fan I can’t see how you could not be eating up every page of this! Maybe Loki would be nice enough to turn the book into candy for you to make it more tasty just like he mischievously turned everything into candy in Journey Into Mystery #88: The Vengeance of Loki! He does that right before he just so happens to choose to stop a Russian nuclear bomb test that was meant to intimidate America. Perfect!
Loki was so crafty and definitely did not disappoint! So mischievous!!
Overall, the search for new bad guys is hit or miss at this point. The main villain throughout is Loki, whether he is directly facing off with Thor or if he is manipulating other villains to target Thor while he watches and laughs. This really helps develop Loki as the central, ultimate conflict in Thor’s life and helps to mold the hero into who he is, (and the other way around). Thor and Loki need each other to play off of in the Thor world, and I think that the time and intensity that goes into Loki from the start of these comics is one of the foundations that makes it so great. Loki does all he can to point out that Thor and the other gods are flawed, and I think people can identify better with flawed heroes. In the same sense, Loki really believes himself to be justified for the things he does. He isn’t some two dimensional passing villain that was tossed into the story only to be forgotten. It’s made clear even in these early comics that Loki is a central force that is vital to Thor’s entire world. Journey Into Mystery #88 is one of my favorite issues because it really shows Loki’s versatility. What does Loki choose to do once he has Thor incapacitated? Why, turn everything into candy to confuse people and then turn people into blank ‘nothings’ so they panic. He laughs at their terror, but states to himself that he’ll change them back in a moment. Then there’s the whole accidental hero thing he does when he stops the Russian nuclear bomb in the midst of his anarchy. Loki’s character development early on is one of the best moves I believe that Marvel (Stan Lee) ever made.
The artwork is basically what’s to be expected from classic 60s comic books. It’s colorful and fun, but not super detailed at all. Often times there isn’t even a background behind the characters at all. It is all in color. I had heard of another comic company reprinting their old issues in large tomes and making them black and white for no reason at all. I would’ve had a stroke had I opened this comic and found out I’d been cheated from the seeing the rainbow bridge in all it’s glory!
It’s hard for me to empathize with Donald Blake, Thor’s human counterpart who walks with a cane and has an eternal crush on his nurse, Jane, who he is too frightened to confess his feelings to early on in the story. Maybe it’s because in current times no one is calling someone half a man just because they walk with a limp. Maybe back in the 60s things were different and a secure job as a very sympathetic doctor who respects your female nurse was frowned upon if one of your legs didn’t work like normal.
Or maybe Jane’s weird attitude has something to do with it. She’s always thinking to herself that she knows Dr. Blake likes her and how she thinks he’s not much of a man because he won’t confess it. Of course he can read that on her face when he walks up to her and thinks about coming clean about his feelings. Then she does things like wish for Dr. Blake’s attention and then in the same breath leans on the desk and starts talking out loud to Dr. Blake about how manly and powerful Thor is. I’m sure he fills in the blanks of what she means. The worst part of that, the thing that irks me to death, is that Dr. Blake is really brave and pretty hardcore. For instance, they go to a warring foreign country to give medical aid to people that need it. They all get captured, but Dr Blake can’t turn into Thor without giving himself away, so he stands up to the rebels in his mortal form and challenges the leader to fight like a real man and let Jane go. I mean…that’s balls right there, and does Jane remember any of that later? No. All she remembers is how awesome Thor was and how much of a wimp Dr. Blake is for not confessing his love. See Jane. See Jane run from rebels. See Jane be a superficial prep. Later this romantic situation is complicated further when Odin forbids Thor to tell Jane who he really is and says he may not marry a mortal.
Now is where I need to remind myself that these comics used to be targeted towards kids. I notice that everyone states what they are doing in the pictures just to make absolute sure we’re understanding what we’re seeing, even when it’s super obvious! As a Thor-obsessed fan, I find that so charming, but I could see how it could drive others crazy. I found I can even read the comic out loud to Master Betty (my husband) and he can see what’s going on in his head just by the statements alone without even glancing over at the pictures. It gets pretty repetitive in places, though. I feel like this is what’s going on: Thor wants to throw his hammer, so he thinks to himself that he wants to throw his hammer. Then he throws it and states out loud, “Verily, I throw my hammer!” Then a bystander says, “Look! He’s throwing his hammer at the bad guy!” The hammer hits the bad guy, and sometimes there’s an editor’s note that says something like, “Editor’s note: Thor’s hammer is so heavy that no one can pick it up or stop it’s force once he throws it!” Then a bystander will say after the panel where it obviously knocks out the villain, “It knocked him out cold! That must be a super heavy hammer!” And…so you get the picture.
The villain and hero talk, though over the top, is very pleasing to me. One of my favorite comic conflict dialogues ever comes from Journey Into Mystery issue #97: The Mighty Thor Battles the Lava Man!
But suddenly, like a blazing streak of unchained fury, Thor, God of Thunder, leaps to the attack!
[Thor says] “Back, you demon from the nameless depths! The surface belongs to mankind, and Thor is their protector!”
[Lava Man counters] “Your words are as futile as your deeds, costumed one! The day of the humans is over! Do not prolong their agony!”
All in all, as an avid Thor fan, I give this volume a green heart, (which means if you’re already a fan and can’t get enough then this is perfect for you, especially as far as history/origins go and definitely worth the buy), and a three heart normal rating.
One last thing! Remember that picture I drew where I made Master Betty = Thor, and I was Loki and hiding behind him because our pet Turtle had turned into Turtle=Hulk and she was mad at me again? Yeah! That was fun. The end, lolz!
Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones
First off, the art in this comic is beautiful! The colors are rich and earthy, and I think it’s very creative how the panel dividers change shape and design with the theme on the pages as the story goes along. Instead of strait lines when the ‘green’ characters are present, there are lovely vines and branches gracefully stretching across the page to frame the panels. Then when the rot comes into play the panel dividers become black and red and appear to be spreading across the page as if the story is eating it’s way to my eyes!
I felt the story did really well in describing the basic foundation of what the green (plants/flora type stuff) and the rot (decay) are and why they are always at odds. The heroes of the story (Swamp Thing) can manipulate the green (plants), and the villains can manipulate decay.
There is a third force of life that is mentioned in this volume, which is the Red, but not much description of that third faction is in this volume. My husband, Master Betty, says that he read Animal Man volume one and that the red is about animals and the ability to influence/borrow characteristics from animals. So it would probably be a good idea to read along with Animal Man sense they compliment each other so well. The Red and the Green are apparently against one another and each want control of the world, but they work together to fight the rot. This is the same basic principal that has always been throughout the Swamp Thing comics, but it never gets old. There have always been creative writers to take this horror fic to new terrifying levels.
I didn’t expect this comic to be so frightening, but it is! My expectations could probably be blamed on the old Swamp Thing movies or TV show, so boy was I in for a shock when I began to read the actual Swamp Thing comics. Both the green and the rot are chilling to read about! Nature in general takes on a different form in Swamp Thing, and there truly were merciless sections of horror. *shudder* It really takes the primitive fears instilled in mankind and finds a way to throw back the shower curtain of civilization and dump them on you so they can no longer be ignored. The rot has a way of making me scared of the villain no matter who it’s going to be simply because they’re in tune with the rot so they’re probably thinking the same collective nasty things.
This new Swamp Thing is not the same as Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, who was actually a plant elemental and not really an actual person, allowing him to be super powerful and godlike. Although I’m thinking that will always be the most respected Swamp Thing, it’s kind of necessary to start with someone fresh or else there wouldn’t really be much of a conflict to give Swamp Thing that he couldn’t handle with less effort than swatting away a fly. I feel bad for Alec Holland, the new guy, because he is not familiar with his calling to be the Swamp Thing, nor does he seem to be very enthusiastic about stepping up to the heroic plate. This story does an excellent job of gaining my empathy for the hero so that I feel invested in his struggles.
If I had to pick my least favorite thing about the comic, I’d say that there wasn’t much of the actual Swamp Thing in the entire volume, but then again it is a kind of origin story with The New 52. All in all, the art is breathtaking, the story is intriguing and scary, and it is thoroughly informative as an origin story without becoming boring at all. I would definitely recommend it and I plan to pick up volume two when it comes out! You can click the picture above to go to amazon.com and get your own copy of Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones to read and review for yourself!
Catwoman: The Game
This is one sexy comic! There are several panels that I gasped and had to show to my husband so he could join in the ogling.
The artwork is captivating and Catwoman is drawn very…curvy. She moves gracefully and oozes seduction; whether she’s undercover or in the middle of an epic battle. Sly and sexy, she is most definitely all I could hope for out of a cat-woman!
Volume one is packed with action and suspense. Catwoman loves testing her limits and living on the edge, and this gets her in over her head repeatedly! The writers do an excellent job of making me adore her so that I am effectively anxious when she’s in the process of placing her pawns and setting her plans into motion. I get duly hooked when things fall apart and she has to use her clever brain to improvise a new plan of action. I get heartbroken when things go south for her social life and she struggles with her guilt. I feel fulfillment when she gets her way, and excitement when she shrugs her shoulders each time and decides to throw caution to the wind and lunge right back into danger.
It seems that Catwoman brings all the trouble to herself by accident rather than actually looking for it. She has fun tempting fate and living it up with her stolen goods, but she repeatedly gets more than she bargained for. She may have some subconscious death wish, for she never opts to get out when she can, rather she pushes herself and the ones she cares about deeper into danger. She starts out by hurting some jerks out of revenge for wrongs they committed to her and/or her loved ones. She winds up stealing from a guy named Bone. He isn’t the most frightening villain, even though he looks to be made of stone. His body language and lingo puts him as a respectable, though maybe lower-level, mobster type. He takes a lot from Catwoman to make up for what she took from him and talks a big pity party excuse for why he’s so upset about her stealing from him. She is not impressed with his sob story and she talks like she has seen much worse than what he’s gone through in his life to work his way up the success chain. Bone makes the mistake of being just another guy who hurts someone she loves, and he does it in a way that makes me empathize with her longing to deal him out a vengeful bashing. I’m thinking all the villains in this comic are not all that great. Their backgrounds are either non existent or mundane. I don’t find myself hoping to see them again. Catwoman’s inner struggles and the troubles she causes herself make the main course of the central conflict, though, so I suppose I can get over these random villains being tossed in there simply to give her a face and a name to embody the conflicts and project them out where we can see her fighting them. It seems the villains are more a means to an end, but not interesting characters that can stand on their own.
Catwoman repeatedly goes around with Batman in this story line. When they’re not rolling around with erotic intentions, it seems the main quarrel between them is when she puts herself and others in more danger than he can get them out of. I get the impression that Batman looks the other way for the kinky little temptress, and her swaying hips have certainly earned that from him, but she just keeps getting in over her head and that winds up putting the caped crusader into a crises of conscious. I think he can tell himself that ignoring her cat-burgling is fine because he’s more about stomping out violent crime and intimidating thugs, but when her shenanigans start people turning up dead he isn’t able to turn away as easily. Though it seems he is not one to victim blame, the criminals come after her because she’s stealing from or messing with them. He likes to work alone and doesn’t have any interest in being some kind of twisted, and often selfish, Robin Hood in the way that Catwoman is doing. I think he’d like it better if she would stay small time and easy to ignore, or maybe even if she would retire and cat burgle her way into his mansion (and bed) every night instead just so she would be safe. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about her safety or the safety of others she puts in danger and then, as a result, he has to rescue those she seeks vengeance on later. I could see how their agendas can sometimes coincide to cause them to work together, but it is clear in this comic that Batman isn’t able to trust Catwoman’s unpredictable and deadly behavior. She is one vengeful murder away from getting on Batman’s eternal bad side, and it is a sad, but I think necessary, part of Catwoman’s plight.
This same theme has worked for so long in complimenting Batman’s inner struggles so that the reader can be pressed into deeper thought on the shaky border of right and wrong and how blurry that line can sometimes be. The Game is doing an excellent job of bringing up all those age-old questions in the Catwoman/Batman world that cause us to reflect long after we set the book down. Especially when taking into consideration Gotham City’s signature corrupt police force, who also give Catwoman a lot of trouble. If the justice system isn’t the honorable way, then who is actually the good guy, or is there really one at all? Could it be that the most lovable villains are actually the just force? Is Batman wrong for sparing Bone’s life when Catwoman wants him dead? Is it really right to leave Bone for the corrupt system to punish or release at their whims? Is that justice, or protecting the criminal? Is Batman living in a fantasy of justice, or do his no-kill morals and ability to walk away from his own longing to overreact out of vengeance keep him even more pure and human than the corrupt cops? Does it matter not what the corrupt choose to do and only that the vigilantes stick to their codes? Batman holds himself accountable, and it is clear that he will hold Catwoman accountable in the same way. Now, is it fair for him to do so? Is he trying to protect her? Should feminists be offended by this fatherly attitude from a man toward a potential lover? Should moralists’ heads explode while trying to decide which one of the characters in Catwoman’s world is actually in the right; if any at all? What does that mean for our own world out here in reality?
Speaking of the corrupt police force, someone on the force hires a woman named Reach to go after Catwoman after the feline thief swipes some money meant for their dirty bad-cop hands. Reach has the ability to manipulate gravity. Their battles are…well…sexy, and very painful. I would not want to tick either of these women off. If I showed up to a party and happened to be wearing the same dress, I would totally go change before they noticed, because scratching and biting to them are a world different from what I’d think a civilized cat fight should entail.
If I had to pick something I like the least about this comic, I’d say that I don’t believe Catwoman’s face necessarily has to look so, very twisted and ugly when she is crying or frustrated. Several times she goes from steamy-hot leather-clad dominatrix to seventy year old constipated librarian. (And not the cute-nerd librarian type, either.) I found myself cringing and going to the bathroom mirror to mimic my own upset emotions just to make sure I did not have the same condition. However, this didn’t put me off from enjoying every page.
It gets a pretty violent in some places, and I was shocked at first because I wasn’t expecting it. I like the occasional angsty blood bath, though, and I’ll be ready to appreciate it more when I pick up volume two!! I recommend this comic to all Catwoman fans!! To get your copy, you can click on the picture at the top, or go here.
Now behold! It’s me as a sexy dominatrix!