He floats by the fountain in the desolate park, waiting. His allies are gone, systematically taken out . . . it all happened so fast. First, the young man in the alien suit who called himself Spider-Man, followed by Aztek, the Ultimate Man. Thrown together by fate, they were not destined to fight together for long. No, now it is only Superman. Silently, he curses these strange new energy-based abilities. If he had his old, familiar powers, perhaps, he could have saved them . . . perhaps he would have stood a chance. Perhaps.
The comic book event of the summer is nigh! Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot. Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm.
When the head honchos here at Fanboy Comics told us that they wanted each of us to review a title in DC’s Before Watchmen series, I was stoked. Watchmen was one of the first graphic novels I ever read, and the book stuck in my brain for quite some time. It’s a lot to digest, I’m sure you’ll agree, and this summer we are being given even more food for thought.
As my FBC cohort Jason Enright said in his review of Before Watchmen: Minutemen last week, our goal is not to delve into all of the controversy surrounding DC’s big event, but to simply give you our honest opinion of the quality of the issue we are reviewing. So here it is: I give Silk Spectre a resounding thumbs-up. (My thumbs make loud noises when vertically extended---it’s a medical condition.)
As a geek with over a quarter-century of experience in experiencing the last quarter century, I have seen my fair share of supervillainy. Whether of the Saturday morning cartoon “world domination” variety, or the more nuanced evil scheming in more “adult” films [but not that kind of “adult,” as that would be weird (though highly watchable, now that I think about it…I mean, I’d watch it)], supervillains and masterminds of all kind perpetually frustrate me. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I often find myself rooting for the bad guys. Not completely, of course, I’m not a monster, but sometimes I just want to see what would happen if their devious plan actually succeeded. Perhaps, I’m just tired of watching them suffer defeat after defeat at the hands of their respective heroes, and seemingly never learning anything from the affair. Well, all you evil schemers and would-be dictators, I am here to help---I am here to offer you the wisdom I have gleaned from witnessing your countless embarrassing defeats.
Ragemoor #3 is the penultimate issue of the Dark Horse mini-series, continuing the dark and twisted story of the living castle and its unfortunate inhabitants. Compared to the last issue, this one feels less impactful and revelatory, serving mostly to position all of the players for what is sure to be an unsettling climax next month. Still, despite the slow burn, it is a satisfying read, littered with cryptic bread crumbs that continue to flesh out the details of Jan Strnad’s gothic tale.
I’d like to start out by sharing something with you: I am extremely squeamish. As a result, the vast majority of horror movies are off-limits to me, which is a shame, because I would really like to see some of them. In fact, I probably know more about many horror movies than the average movie-goer, because I read all about them on Wikipedia. Still, I can’t watch them. When I was in elementary school, another kid told me a little bit about the movie Alien, and that was all my brain needed for ten years of nightmare fuel. I didn’t actually see the movie until I was 21, and when the chestburster scene finally arrived, I almost went into cardiac arrest. Then, it was over, and all I could think was, “That’s it? That wasn’t so bad.” Smell a segue coming up? Well, good nose, because Re-Animator: The Musical was a lot like the chestburster scene for me: not what I expected, and not even all that great, but definitely a unique experience that stuck with me long after it was over.
For those of you in the know, my last article was a shocking exposé on the link between vaccines and autism, wherein all of my collated data irrefutably proved---oh, wait. This is for Fanboy Comics…ok, right, then, my last article was If Superheroes Were More Realistic. I was recently reprimanded by a reader for not including any Marvel characters, but I assure you, I had my reasons:
1. I’m not as knowledgeable about the Marvel universe.
2. Marvel is already so much about covering all of the minutiae and the petty, everyday issues that their characters are faced with.
However, since I’ve never been someone who let my own ignorance or a simple numbered list keep me from running my mouth, I present the article that at least one of you has been waiting for: If Superheroes Were More Realistic---The Marvel Edition.
Fanboy Comics' newest contributor, Jordan Callarman, advises gamers about the path to glory.
By Jordan Callarman, Guest Contributor to Fanboy Comics
In light of Double Fine’s epic Kickstarter to fund an old school point-and-click adventure game (which is still happening! Click here to donate!), I’ve been thinking a lot about this style of game lately. I mean, I was raised on classics like the King’s Quest series, so this genre is nothing new to me. But, for younger generations, and even a large percentage of my own, these types of games go unplayed. They’re viewed as antiquated and lumped in with all the other old and obsolete games. This is the future! Why play something like Pong when you can play Mass Effect 3?
Which is not to say that point-and-click adventure games (hereafter known as PACAs, because I am lazy) don’t have their supporters. Telltale Games has been releasing episodic PACAs for a few years now that are set in universes like Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. The genre soldiers on, and it’s a good thing, too, because there are modern gaming lessons to be learned from PACAs, and I’ve got the list to prove it!
I’ve never really understood Facebook games. Everyone’s heard of Farmville and its ilk, all the big time casual games on Facebook that are built to appeal mostly to the middle-aged women demographic. These are video games designed for people who don’t like video games, in that they can only be defined as games in the loosest sense of the word. As an example, Farmville and all of its copycats are civilization sims stripped of most of their gameplay elements: you obtain structures and place them wherever is most aesthetically pleasing to you while you’re working towards unlocking the next thing you can get and place in your farm or town or whatever. The game spurs you on by presenting you with “quests” like “Build a henhouse!” or “Harvest 30 carrots!” and that’s essentially it. Don’t get me wrong, I see the initial appeal. I’ve played a few of these games on Facebook, and they’re great time wasters, but, eventually, I get bored and stop, because I realize that what I’ve been doing is uncomfortably close to cleaning and redecorating my room, only far less productive.
But, Marvel Avengers Alliance is different.
I recently acquired all four boxed sets of Batman: The Animated Series at a yard sale for $20. (It’s ok to be jealous.) Needless to say, I have since been watching the crap out of those DVDs. I’m sure most of you remember the show, but if you’re like me, you haven’t seen it since you were a kid. Well, I’m here to tell you that the show is just as good as you remember; nay, better. In fact, I come to you today with a bold proclamation: that the animated series version of Batman is the best version of Batman there is, and if you disagree, you are wrong.
I should probably mention up front that I don’t fully understand how arguments work.
Disclaimer: I will be comparing animated Batman to the more current and popular interpretations of Batman, since I shouldn’t have to explain why Adam West’s Batman or the Batman from Batman and Robin aren’t as cool. You should have no problem accepting that.
Superheroes are our modern-day myths, “living” legends of immense power whose exploits thrill and inspire us. In the midst of all this hero worship, though, it’s easy to forget that beneath the masks and the emblems is a real human/human-like alien/mutant with real thoughts and feelings. I say this, not as a reminder of the human frailties and emotional vulnerabilities that these living gods must deal with in private moments, but more to point out that these figures are not so different from you or me---which is why they should be screwing up much more often in stupid and embarrassing ways. Perhaps, in situations like these: