A Media Entry – Random Thoughts of the Mid-week: Random Wars 2

DC Rebirth – Hey, DC’s rebooting their universe again, to the surprise of no one. All I’m going to say about this inevitably short-lived new status quo is that I am liking the previews of Black Canary’s new costume. Yeah, yeah, she’s still got the same Naughty Biker Chick Halloween costume, but it actually has a bird on the jacket! In yellow and black, even! Wow!

Marvel Legendary –
a) I got a chance to play with the Secret Wars 2 expansion and I realized that Marvel is attempting to push the current canon of the comics, hard, with this game. I suppose that comes as no surprise to anyone but me. New characters include Ruby Summers (the other-dimensional daughter of Cyclops and Emma Frost), Soulsword Colossus, Phoenix-Cyclops, and Beast, who is associated with neither the X-men nor the Avengers but instead the Illuminati. The ’92 X-men are included as villains.

Now, the game has included hero groups that are played as villains. These include the Thor Corps and the Ultimate Avengers (universe 1610). Once defeated, these villains become playable heroes. What makes it particularly interesting to me about the ’92 X-men is that there are several of them already in the game as straight heroes – Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, and Gambit. I remarked on this choice before and used it as evidence that the ’92 X-men were the target amalgam of many Marvel fans.

However, this particular choice, and the cards obviously inspired by recent comic events, seems to me to state clearly that the ’92 X-men, while certainly popular and important, are not the relevant heroes any longer. Of course, they can’t take back the characters that are already in the game. And it may be petty of me, but when I purchase Secret Wars 2 myself, I’m going to remove Ruby Summers, Soulsword Colossus, and Phoenix-Cyclops from the deck. I’m also going to reassign Beast to the X-men and the Avengers. Marvel’s “creative teams” aren’t the only ones who can re-write a universe through a game.

Or maybe I just need to get out more.

b) Another new card is “Time-travelling Jean Grey” who appears to be based on the version from the “First Class” set of X-men comics (which is in no way related to the movie). While I’m all for more female characters, there is one card of hers that I really don’t see the point of. I feel like a condition was left off of it. There’s a card that if the bridge space is empty it allows the player to draw an extra card next turn. This bridge card costs four recruit and there are no other effects. Why would a player want to effectively reduce the current hand to five in order to increase the next hand to seven? I feel like that card should have at least a value of one for fight or recruit.

Gloom – Since I’m on a game kick (I am such a geek), I was introduced to this game recently as well. The morbid premise is to make your unhappy family suffer horribly before you kill them off and then count up points. There are modifier cards that make the characters unhappy that stack on top of each other, literally. There are also modifier cards that make the characters happy, which are usually played on opponents’ characters. The really fun part to me is the storytelling aspect. Players are encouraged to explain why such miseries (like “Pursued by Poodles”) have befallen the hapless characters. I didn’t win either game, but I did learn not to keep the dog in my family.

And that’s all folks. I am exhausted beyond all expectations these days and sadly the reasons for it are in no way as interesting as being pursued by poodles.

A Comic Book Entry – Conversations that May Have Happened, Part 5

I often wonder how certain decisions in my beloved comic book medium come about. As a writer, I often ponder other stories and the thoughts behind them. I’m interested in that creative process, which is of course complicated when more than one person is involved. But because I am not a third-person omniscient narrator, I can only speculate as to how certain stories came to be…

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A Writing/Comic Book Entry – Meditations Upon Badassery

I was perusing the interwebs for entertainment and stumbled upon a heretofore unknown to me movie critic’s videos. He was arguing eloquently about the merits of the unfortunate Spider-man 3, and one of his arguments caused a revelation. The mental fog cleared, the light shone down upon me, and I finally realized why Man of Steel was such a divisive movie – the misapplication of badassery. I also realized this mistake is behind many of the worst stories, to me, in comic books and their cinematic adaptations.

But first, a discussion of badassery, which may be punctuated with examples as examples may get my point across better than so very many words (which is my way of saying this entry is pretty dang long).

Continue reading A Writing/Comic Book Entry – Meditations Upon Badassery

A Media Entry – Cinematic Ouroboros

I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about movie remakes lately. When pondering why movie studios keep doing this, when a remake might not ever be the worst thing in the world, it suddenly struck me how weird and singular movie remakes are in the art/entertainment world (of course, it could be I’ve led a sheltered life). So I got to thinking, what other form of media exploits the past to the point of replicating it?

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A Movie Entry – Robbing the Vault

This is basically the Disney special of the previous entry on re-whatevers.

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A Comic Book/Movie Entry – Fight Club

Round 1: Can’t Fight This Feeling
This is the second topic numerous repeated viewings of the latest Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailers sparked in my fevered hamster brain. I am apparently very strange (shocking, I know) in that I really don’t understand the appeal of heroes fighting heroes.

Continue reading A Comic Book/Movie Entry – Fight Club

A Writing Entry – The Absence of Chekhov’s Gun

I’m working my way through some Agatha Christie right now and noticed something that bothers me a great deal. I’m reminded of a movie I saw some time ago. It’s called Murder by Death and it’s a sharp and absurd parody of murder mysteries featuring imminent British actors playing thinly veiled parody versions of well-known (in 1976) fictional detectives. There is a murder and all of them try to solve it using the modus operandi established in the literature. In the end, one of the main characters calls out all of the detectives for the annoying faults in their literary counterparts. The Agatha Christie parody pair was accused of holding back information so the readers could never solve the mystery. I thought this was pretty unfair.

Continue reading A Writing Entry – The Absence of Chekhov’s Gun