Friday, August 21, 2009

Time to welcome... DOC OPTIK!!

Time to say adieu to Champions Online characters Frostmane and Lasy Sting (sic! Yes, I know! I misspelled my character's name!) as their Closed Beta personas went the way of Doc Mentat before them.

Time to say hello to Doc Optik, the hero with the eye-based powers!

Here we have Defender, offering tips to the new hero on the block:

Funny thing... my screen captures don't seem to grab any of the particle effects depicted in-game. No glowy zaps...

The Power of SHAZAM!!

...once again stymies Hollywood! Topless Robot has their own take.

John August has a telling quote:
I chatted with one of the "Shazam!" producers, Michael E. Uslan, and he told me even then that any Captain Marvel movie's great challenge would be answering one question: If you were a little kid who could turn into an all-powerful, handsome adult, why on Earth would you ever change back?

Wow. It sounds like someone in Hollywood had a rotten childhood and can't imagine why they'd go through being a youngster all over again. The Howling Curmudgeons offer their own take on Mr. Uslan's reasoning.

To me, Captain Marvel is an easy concept: a young decent optimistic kid, powerless in his normal circumstances, changes into a decent, optimistic superhero (think Christoper Reeve's Superman) to have adventures and to stop bad guys adults seem powerless to stop. There could be a bit of satire (as in Jeff Smith's version) showing adults as kind of... dopey or blind or too willing to give up their power to think for themselves or living in fear to do the right thing. Plus it could be about using imagination, which seems to be a thing stamped out of "normal" adults. These are not themes foreign to Hollywood movies, it's just that trying to apply them while trying to duplicate or surpass the success of "The Dark Knight" may not produce a movie most people will want to watch.

A good Captain Marvel movie would be closer in spirit and tone to something released by Pixar, something with heart and adventure. It's tough imagining "The Incredibles" or "Up" in a "Dark Knight" mold but I think that's the weird knot that's keeping the movie from being made.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Verminator Pejorative

I'll probably load this up to one of my galleries, but it's kinda late and I'm tired...

Playing around a bit with the Sixus1 Vermin set. Added a couple of giant rat monster pets. I should probably add some bats or something too.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

WOW Envy. Again.

I know I should probably just play World of Warcraft and stop wallowing in envy. But then I see how I barely play during the Champions Online Beta even though it's free, and I have a tough time justifying the monthly fee.

But one thing I've noticed is the active online community I see surrounding WOW.

Compare that to the listing of fan sites at the COH website. It's kinda depressing how many of the websites haven't been updated since 2005. Sheesh! One blog I do follow is Blog of Heroes, and even the owner's starting to look over to see what Champions Online is up to.

Meanwhile, sites like keep fans appraised of new developments and geekery surrounding WOW.

Does anyone know of any sites that are still interested in COH enough to keep up with news, developments, and fan-related activity?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why do I blog?

Because I have all these thoughts in my head.

Because I can illustrate my thoughts with pictures from around the web.

Because when I try to share these thoughts with family and friends, their eyes just roll into their heads in boredom or because I lost them as soon as I opened my mouth.

Save them from Oblivion: The Royal Flush Gang

This one's a weird one so bear with me...

The Royal Flush Gang was created during Julie Schwartz's editorship of the Justice League. As such, when fans like Len Wein and Gerry Conway started writing for the JLA, the characters seemed stuck in a strange nostalgic mode that seemed to revere the characters but didn't know exactly what to do with them. As such, they would appear in one issue to bedevil the JLA before being sent back to jail in that same issue.

No real challenge. Bizarre in appearance, with costumes George Perez was born to draw, they seemed more like a distraction than a real threat.

At least until they started appearing in Batman Beyond and other DC Animated shows.

Maybe with their bizarre appearance and modus operandi, they're tailor made for television. Maybe the current DCU is too grim to marvel at people dressed up like card characters with fantastic gadgets. I dunno.

Personally, I hope the Royal Flush Gang show up in the DCUO MMO.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

...but will there be a sequel?

Roger Ebert layeth down the smack, but still claims it was better than Transformers 2.

You know what bugged me most about the previews (which made me wish ill upon the movie) for G.I.Joe? How they went 9/11 on the Eiffel Tower.

I swear.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I confess...

This cover image makes me want to read the story. However...

1) An "Electronic Date-Matcher"? What, is Superman behind

2) Why does Supergirl look like Lauren Bacall?

Via DC Comics, 40 Years Ago...

You know, looking at that face on Superman, maybe he's just being jerk again.

Seriously, I wonder if someone like Grant Morrison should write a story that exorcises this aspect of Superman into a separate entity. Kind of like the Commie-bashing Captain America of the 1950's was made into a separate and unique character who was different from the "real" Steve Rogers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Little Idi Snitmin

The name comes from an old issue of Dragon magazine. Snitmin was (if memory serves correctly) a Kobold who led a group of his people on pesky raids and such; I think he was supposed to have stolen a set of Rings of Flight, which he and his band used on their raids. The name stuck in my head because when I came up with this little goblin, that was the name I used for the file.

Anyway, I posted copies at each of my Gallery sites, but here's a copy with some added text and a new border to give it more of a comic panel feel. Just an experiment with typefaces and line proportions, or something more...?

What's going to happen to Marvelman?

Yes, yes, da Internetz is all abuzz over Marvel's acquisition of Marvelman. Everyone is speculating over whether Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman's stories will now see print (or re-printing, as it were), whether we'll get to see Neil Gaiman's final storyline which was never published, whether Alan Moore will send a pox down upon the American comics industry, what DC might do since Marvelman is a direct copy of Captain Marvel, and on into infinity...

I'm left wondering what Marvel will actually do with the character.

See, if DC had acquired the character (which would have been a mighty interesting turn of events!), they might have re-published the original stories in some great big Absolute edition with new coloring and such, finally published the remaining storylines, printed any number of limited series and such, and, lastly, found some way to integrate some version of the Marvelman Universe into their DC Universe cosmology. Earth 16 or something would have become the world of the Marvelman Family and there might have been crossovers with the Justice League. Or the whole Marvelman Family will suddenly appear in England and there might have been crossovers with the Justice League and the Marvel Family. Or some other such thing.

But Marvel... what're they going to do?

Create some alternate dimension, like the Ultimate Universe or the Marvel Zombie Universe?

Have some sort of Golden Age/Silver Age back story like they did with The Sentry and The Blue Marvel and integrate them into the current Marvel Universe?

Introduce Marvelman to the current Marvel universe with a crossover story starring Captain Britain?

Create a line of stories in the Marvel Adventures books to introduce Marvelman to kids?

Have Kurt Busiek write up a big crossover story involving the Avengers, the Squadron Supreme, the Grandmaster and the Marvelman family?

I'm kinda convinced that Marvel as a company is now old enough to be at the Silver Age stage that DC was years ago. Older characters, like Thor, Captain America/Bucky, and Spider-Man (with the Brand New Day stories), have been re-introduced for new readers much like the Flash and Green Lantern were introduced to new readers in the 1950's. Spider-Man, their flagship character, has his share of storylines (Clone Saga, One More Day) that some readers would like to forget much like Superman and Batman did during the 50's. I'm sure there are other analogies, but those are the ones that come to mind.

One thing that Marvel is new at is acquiring licenses of existing characters formerly owned by other companies, and doing something interesting with them. For example, in the 90's Marvel acquired Malibu Comics, but let those characters disappear from the minds of readers everywhere. Here, however, Marvel's got a brand new toy to play with.

Just what are they going to do with this new toy, I wonder?