Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Random Thoughts #34 - Creed's first album was kinda good!

Well, another year ends. It’s the last day of 2014, so I think it’s finally time for some random thoughts. As for Creed, I picked their first album up during the year and I like it for the most part. I know it's weird especially when the lead singer has apparently lost it these days.

2014… not too bad
As a year, 2014 was fine. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either. It was just a good year. Heck, I made it to the end of the year, so I guess I can say that. My family is doing well for the most part. My grandfather on my dad’s side died in June, and that was pretty tough. The pastor to my parents’ church passed away only a few weeks later, so death is getting around these days. If there’s one thing that will affect anyone, it’s death. Still, I can say that it’s been a good year. God helped get through this pretty weird year. My family’s doing well, the job’s good, and a lot of friends are moving on in life. Now all I need to do is find the next Mrs. Williams which hopefully isn’t too hard.

I checked my resolutions/plans for 2014 and I stuck to it a bit. I did go to the gym. I don’t know if I lost any weight, but I do feel a little more healthy. So, here are my plans for the new year:
  • Eat healthy and exercise.
  • Get rid of more debt.
  • Do more remodeling.
  • Find a good woman.
  • Live life to its fullest.
  • Get rid of baggage.
  • Be a better man.

Women… hmm… I got nothing to say this time. Maybe I’ll have something to say next year… I will have something to say next year.

I meant to write about these movies during Thanksgiving, but I didn’t feel like it. Thanks, Grant Morrison! Anyway, I used that holiday weekend to finally watch some movies that I’ve wanted to see: Pacific Rim, Transcendence, and Edge of Tomorrow.

  • Pacific Rim – I thought the movie was okay, but it didn’t blow my socks off. I liked the overall plot and the effects, but something felt missing. I think it had to do with some of the characters. I liked Idris Elba and the woman who played Mako (Rinko Kikuchi), but the main lead was pretty bland. I did like Ron Pearlman in his small role though. I thought the plot involving Charlie Day’s character was interesting. Overall, it was alright. It definitely needed some “teenagers with attitude!”
  • Transcendence – This was also in the “just okay” bracket. For those who probably didn’t see this movie, you can get a better view of it here. While it’s a sci-fi story, it’s more of a love story between Depp’s character and his wife. I honestly thought Johnny Depp was about to fall asleep in the role. The other big actors also don’t get to do much either. I also wasn’t a fan of most of the characters in this movie. They were either too na├»ve or too paranoid about the A.I. taking over everything. It brought the idea of A.I. forward but it didn’t do anything with it. The idea of whether the A.I is good or evil isn’t even debated at all. In order to stop the A.I. that really hasn’t done anything evil, the “heroes” have to basically destroy the Web which will throw the world into chaos. Only one person in the group questions it and he (Paul Bettany’s character) was my favorite character of the bunch! He questioned a lot of dumb decisions in the movie and no one listens to him. Overall, I thought was okay but weird in places.
  • Edge of Tomorrow – This movie was awesome. There’s really nothing horrible about it. I liked Tom Cruise in this especially since he plays a character I don’t think he’s played before: a coward who doesn’t know anything. I liked seeing his character develop into a warrior as well as his many, many deaths. If you don’t like Tom Cruise, you may like this movie. I also liked Emily Blunt’s character as well.  The effects were cool, the story made sense, and the action was awesome. I will say that the ending does feel a little predictable but it’s not a horrible ending. If you haven’t seen this movie, check it out. I definitely recommend it.

Well, it’s been good. I’d make a joke about how some random marathon was held to keep the lights on, but I’ll pass this time. I still have things to talk about, so I’ll be Bach…or Mozart, either guy works. I don’t know about that Beethoven dude though.


Well, I am done for the year. Peace, God Bless, and be safe in the new year. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Crisis Time! - Favorite Crisis to Least Favorite Crisis

Now that I’ve looked at Final Crisis, I think it’s time to see which of the four Crisis events is my favorite one. I’m including Zero Hour in this as well. After all, it was a “Crisis in Time,” and it should be here. As you can tell, Identity Crisis isn’t on here. I haven’t completely read it and it’s not really a cosmic story like these are. Before I made this list, I decided to re-read the other three events. I also went and looked at what I wrote about them. One thing can definitely say is that my writing is much better than it was back then. I’m looking for which one was not only good (they all are by the way) but also which one just hit the spot for me. What had the best story, the best use of characters, best villains, and best art? I might as well start off with the one about that mad Green Lantern.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Here's a little quick post to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Whatever you celebrate, I just hope you're with love ones. It's been a strange year, but I'm still here to say that it's been good. I'll leave you with a page from a great comic book series, Starman. Peace, God Bless, and don't get too fat!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Battle of the Origins - Green Lantern Part Four

Well, it's been a treat doing this. Now, it's time to end it with these two last categories.


If there is anything I can say about both of these origins, it would be that the art is pretty good. Both Emerald Dawn series were penciled by M.D. Bright, inked by Romeo Thangal, and colored by Anthony Tollin. I think they were on the main Green Lantern book at the time, so they knew what they were doing. Secret Origin was done by the art team on the book at that time. The story was in the main title. The issues were penciled by Ivan Reis, inked by Oclair Albert, and colored by Randy Mayor. I don’t know when they came on but I know that they were on the book around the time of the “The Sinestro Corps” storyline.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Battle of the Origins - Green Lantern Part Three

Today, I'll be looking at the supporting characters of the origins.

Green Lantern Corps

Today’s post will talk about the biggest supporting characters of Hal’s: The Green Lantern Corps (Corps for short). Of course, The Corps is heavily featured in the stories. I mean, this isn’t Alan Scott we’re talking about here. We end up seeing the large scope of the Corps. We get all sorts of aliens as well as characters that are featured in Green Lantern lore. We also get the short, Smurf-like buttheads known as the Guardians, the creators of the rings. So, which origin used the Corps the best?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Battle of the Origins - Green Lantern Part Two

Today, I'll talk about the villains of the stories and Sinestro himself.


When it comes to villains, Green Lantern doesn’t have the best. Some of them have gotten more play since Geoff Johns has been on the title but I can’t really think of any other than the recent ones. So, which origin has the best villains? I’ll try to figure that out.

Emerald Dawn has one villain: Legion. Deriving its name from the Bible, Legion is actually a collective of what was left of the Tchki-tchki. Years ago, they were a war-like race that the Guardians imprisoned on their home planet. Over the years, they evolved into a gelatinous collective and developed a yellow battlesuit in order to fight the Corps. With the suit, Legion causes a lot of rampage on Earth and Oa. Legion’s the main reason Hal gets the ring since it kills Abin Sur. It also kills Hal’s paralyzed friend on Earth. Hal does get his revenge on Legion at the end.
Uh-oh. Hal's about to get beat up by Big Bird's cousin!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Battle of the Origins - Green Lantern Part One

Well, it’s been two years since I did my “epic” match-up of the four Superman reboots. While it wasn't completely perfect, I thought it was a nice challenge. For those who don’t know, I basically put the four Superman rebooted origins (Man of Steel, Birthright,Secret Origin, and New 52) beside one another to see which origin was the best. It was kind of based off the Nostalgia Critic’s “Old vs. New” segment. It took a while, but I got through it. Afterwards, I tried to think of other things I could do this to. It took a while to come up with some things. Green Lantern’s origins were one of the first things to pop into my mind.

In 1989, DC decided to do a retelling of Hal Jordan’s origins in a miniseries called Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn. Its sequel, Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn 2, actually takes place during towards the end of Emerald Dawn. It was worked on by Jim Owsley (aka Christopher Priest), Gerard Jones, Keith Giffen, M.D. Bright, and Romeo Thangal. I actually talked about both mini-series a long time ago. I still think both stories are pretty good. In 2007, DC decided to do another retelling of Hal’s origins that tied heavily into Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern. Instead of a mini-series, the origin was featured in Green Lantern #29-35. Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Oclair Albert reintroduced us to a young Hal. It is also pretty good.

While Hal Jordan isn’t my favorite character (or my favorite GL), he’s still a nice character and is a major part of the Justice League. Plus, his origin stories are pretty good. Still, which one is the best? My plan is to look at the major features of each origin and see what was done better. I only have about eight things to look at, so this won’t take long. I’ll look at things like the heroes, villains, supporting characters, art, and overall story. I’ll now start off with the main man of the origins, Hal Jordan.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

TV Talk - Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 3

Well, it’s finally time I got back to Lois and Clark: the New Adventures of Superman. I’ve gone through the first two seasons and they were good for the most part. It took a while to get through this season since I had other stuff to do. I remember seeing most of these episodes when they first aired. I know I missed some episodes including most of the season finale. It probably had something to do with church or we were out of town. The show still had a bit of an ongoing narrative with Clark’s and Lois’s relationship. Last season ended with something that was a big game-changer: Clark proposes to Lois. Even though they really only went out about four times, he asks her to marry him.

Season Three picks up that big plot point as well as Lois realizing Clark is Superman. The season basically revolves around them trying to make their relationship work through a lot of obstacles. There is a wedding and that’s all I’ll say about that for now.  There really aren’t any major cast changes this season or in the final season. Unfortunately, there aren’t many villains from the comics this time as well. We do get the return of Lex Luthor, which is always cool. We finally get some other Kryptonians showing up on the show. The season ended on a downer this time with Clark… well, that would be spoiling, wouldn’t it?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weird Star Trek Episodes - "These Are the Voyages..." aka "Wait, These Flippin' Idiots Did What? Part 2"

Okay, I'll admit that this scene was good. That's all this episode gets though.

So, I’ve finally finished Star Trek: Enterprise… or at least the final season. There were some season 2 episodes I skipped, so I guess I have to go back and see those to get a better picture. Yay, I guess. I thought I may take this time to talk about the much-criticized series finale. No, I’m not talking about “Terra Prime” which I consider to be the true last episode. I’m talking about “These Are The Voyages…” which I felt I had to watch again. So, “hold on to your butts” because this might take a while.

The whole episode basically revolves around Commander William Riker making a decision on following orders. Yes, this is Star Trek: Enterprise, but someone had the “bright” idea to get Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis to reprise their roles from TNG. The episode actually takes place during “The Pegasus”, a pretty good Season 7 episode. Riker uses the holedeck to pull up the NX-01’s final mission and get advice from the main crew. He plays as the unseen cook to get some advice from everyone. Even Counselor Troi takes a tour of the ship.
Jeffrey Combs... not even you can't save this episode.

For the crew, it’s been six years since “Terra Prime” and Capt. Archer is going to give a speech at the signing of the Federation Charter. They’re contacted by Shran, an Andorian and former ally. His daughter was kidnapped and he needs help to get her. The crew decides to help him out and save his daughter. Unfortunately, it comes at a price. The Enterprise gets boarded by the kidnappers and Comm. Tucker risks his life in order to save Archer. Even though Trip dies, Archer goes on to do his speech (WHICH WE DON’T EVEN SEE) and the episode ends with Riker ending the program. 

So… is there anything good about this episode? Nope. Peace, God Bless, and don’t forget to neuter your dogs or something.
Ugh, I guess I have to say more than that.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Crisis Time! - Final Crisis #7

Well, here it is. It’s the final issue of this pretty weird event. I have to say that it’s been interesting. It’s been cool going through this event with a more critical eye. I may need that eye for this issue.

The creative team has gone through some changes for this final issue. Morrison is still the writer while Doug Mahnke is penciling the whole issue. The issue also houses a lot of inkers and I mean a lot. I don’t even think I know most of these folk. The main cover has Superman flying toward us while the variant shows the Multiverse being destroyed. The covers are okay this time around with both feeling pretty lackluster for a final issue. Now, excuse me as I try to recap this loopy issue.

Final Crisis #7
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inkers: Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Christian Alamy, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Doug Mahnke, and Walden Wong
Colors: Alex Sinclair, Tony Avina, and Pete Pantazis
Letters: Travis Lanham

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Crisis Time! - Batman #682-683 and Final Crisis #6

Well, I’ve gotten to the penultimate issue of Final Crisis. It’s been an interesting ride, I’ll give it that. I’ll be also briefly looking at Batman #682-#683. Both issues tied into what Batman was doing or not doing in this case. Remember that he was kidnapped in Final Crisis #2 and he’s been off the board since then. The creative team for Final Crisis is the same but more people have been added. Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy have come in to do some pages. We also got another colorist along with Alex Sinclair this time around. Morrison also wrote the Batman issues. The art for those was done by Lee Garbett, Trevor Scott, and Guy Major.

The main covers for the Batman issues were drawn by the always awesome Alex Ross. The covers for #6 are cool as usual. The main one features Batman and the variant features Darkseid holding a disheveled Superman. While the Batman cover is fine, I have to say that the variant is the more interesting one this time around. What’s weird (and kind of sad) is that scene NEVER happens in the event. This is actually the last time we see that new suit of Darkseid’s. I’m a little disappointed by that. Oh well… Let's see what the Dark Knight was up to!

Batman #682 and #683
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Lee Garbett
Inks: Trevor Scott
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Crisis Time! - Final Crisis #5

Well, I’ve gotten pass the midpoint for this event. This time around I’m just looking at one issue: Final Crisis #5. The covers have some of that “Girl Power” this time around. Wonder Woman graces the main cover while a fight between Supergirl and Evil Mary Marvel is on the variant cover. I’ll have to go with Wonder Woman’s awesome image this time around. If Evil Mary Marvel wasn’t looking “toe up from the flo’ up,” I might actually go with the variant. The creative team is pretty much the same with Marco Rudy coming in to handle some artwork along with the other three. I don’t have much to say, so let’s hit it.

Final Crisis #5
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: J.G. Jones, Marco Rudy, Jesus Merino, and Carlos Pacheco
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Travis Lanham

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Crisis Time! - Final Crisis: Submit and Final Crisis #4

After some universe-traveling hijinks with Superman in his Yellow Submarine, it’s time to get back to Earth and its “little” predicament. At the end of Final Crisis #3, Barry Allen and Wally West went ahead a few weeks in the future. They find their home looking pretty bleak. Some tie-ins like Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge and Final Crisis: Revelations looked at what happened during that time. Another book, written by Morrison, was Final Crisis: Submit. Since it was included in the trade, I’ll be looking at that as well as the fourth issue of Final Crisis.

Final Crisis #4 is still being written by Morrison. J.G. Jones is not the only artist this time around. He’s joined by Jesus Merino and Carlos Pacheco for those duties. Alex Sinclair still provides the coloring for the issue. The covers to the fourth issue are pretty cool this time around. One shows Darkseid and another shows some heroes taking on Darkseid’s forces. The main cover wins with Darkseid looking pretty cool in his new design.  As for Submit, it was penciled by Matthew Clark and inked by a few inkers. It came with two covers with the cover featuring Black Lightning being my favorite of the two.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crisis Time! - Final Crisis: Superman Beyond

Well, it’s another day and another post about "Final Crisis." This post is a bit different since it’s not part of the main series… more on that towards the end of this event. Final Crisis: Superman Beyond was one of the tie-ins released during the event. In a move that still perplexes me, it was printed in 3D. You had to have 3D glasses on in order to get the full effect. Since it was written by Morrison, it was included in the trade paperback. Luckily, the trade didn’t do the 3D thing and left it as regular print. 

Of course, Morrison penned the two-issue tie-in. Both issues were penciled by Doug Mahnke. The coloring was handled by David Baron in both issues. The inking was handled by a lot of folk this time around. Just know this carries into the main series as well. The covers were okay. They’re just images of Superman looking cool and that’s pretty much it. With all of that out of the way, let’s see what happens when Superman goes universe-hopping. If you thought the New Gods invading Earth was weird, you’d be wrong.

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Rodney Ramos, Tom Nguyen, Walden Wong and Doug Mahnke
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Steve Wands

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Crisis Time! - Final Crisis #3

Greetings and salutations. I only have one issue for today: #3 of Final Crisis. I don’t have any tie-ins for this segment. The creative team is still the same for the issue. The covers to issue three do look a little weird. What is Supergirl doing? Is she shocked, is she trying to sensualize herself to the audience, is she hungry, or is she trying to strike a weird pose? I don’t get it. The variant is not as weird but a little spoiler-ish. I actually prefer the variant this time around.  That’s all I got to say, so let’s get to it.

Final Crisis #3
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: J.G. Jones
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh

"Know Evil"
We start out in Gotham City. An organization called SHADE busts into the Dark Side Club. Frankenstein (I’m not kidding) and SHADE operatives find the Question (Renee Montoya) over the mummified remains of Boss Dark Side. After a little banter, the Question escapes the building and changes back into her civilian clothes. As SHADE investigates the remains, they mention that Bludhaven is getting worse. Suddenly, something falls out of the sky. Renee is one of the first to find a blond woman wearing some sort of military garb at the center of the crater. She’s also speaking German. Before Renee can do anything else, SHADE operatives find her and take her away. Elsewhere, Nix Uotan gets fired from his job for being nuts. On the street feeling dejected, he sees a news report about Metron’s symbol. Unbeknownst to him, a Monitor watches him from across the street.
Frankenstein (The Monster) is a character in the DC Universe. Figures.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Crisis Time! - Final Crisis #2

Hello and hello. I’m back with the second issue of Final Crisis. I don’t have any tie-ins for this post. The creative team is still the same for this issue. As for the covers, There’s not really much to say about them. All of the covers to the event look good in my opinion. The cover to issue 2 is a bit spoiler-ish if you know who that really is. Let’s just say that it isn’t Jay Garrick. The variant is also really spoiler-heavy. With that said, let’s go to Japan!

Final Crisis #2
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: J.G. Jones
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh

We start out in Japan at a dance club. It’s here where we meet the Super Young Team. We got Superbat,  Atomic Lantern Boy, and a couple of other young heroes. They’re sitting around living it up while watching the big screen. Suddenly, a man named Sonny Sumo walks in. The team’s starstruck by the guy. A guy called Megayakuza attacks Sumo, so Sumo retaliates by straight-up killing him. When Sumo heads into the bathroom to clean up, a well-dressed man follows him in. His name is Shilo Norman and he is Mister Miracle or at least the new one. Norman heals Sumo with his Motherboxxx and they talk as the Super Young Team spy on them. Norman tells Sumo that there was a cosmic war that he needs help in building a team to face the evil ones.
Well, he's dead.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Weird Star Trek Episodes - Dear Doctor aka "Wait, You Flippin' Idiots Did What?"

Huh... I guess dude saw the ending as well.

Well, it’s time to enter the world known as Enterprise or Star Trek: Enterprise. Call it whatever you want. For the last few weeks, I’ve been going through the show on Netflix. I do have to say that it’s been a rough ride. I skipped one episode from Season One and quite a few from Season Two. At least Season Three has been been good so far. As of now, I’m almost halfway through the season. Today’s episode is from Season One and it’s called “Dear Doctor.” It’s an episode that… well, kind of perplexes me.

The whole episode revolves around the Denobulan doctor known as Phlox. He’s part of an exchange program and he was called to serve on the Enterprise because of his expertise. Some of the episode has him deal with being around humans and getting used to their customs. He also has someone who is pretty interested in him. The main drive of the episode comes when the Enterprise finds a downed pre-warp ship in space. They find survivors (the Valakians) and it turns out that they left their planet in order to find a cure for a planet-wide plague. The Enterprise takes the survivors back to their planet. The crew does what it can in trying to help them find a cure to the disease.

Phlox: Crewman Cutler, I've found a weird message here. It says "Are you interested in me? Check Yes or No." What does it mean?
Crewman Cutler: Uh... it must be a weird custom from the Menks. Yes, that's it! Excuse me...

It turns out the Valakians have another primitive species on the planet called the Menks. The Menks may be primitive but the crew finds that they have the ability to learn fast. They’ve also been treated poorly by the Valakians. It’s revealed that they haven’t gotten the plague, so Phlox checks them out to see if he can find a cure. Towards the end of the episode, Phlox finds out that the plague is actually a genetic disease and it’s killed the Valakians’ gene pool so that they’ll be extinct in 200 years. Phlox has made a cure but he thinks it would be wrong to cure the Valakians since it would hinder the Menks’ growth. Captain Archer doesn’t agree with it, but he eventually decides to defer to the doctor this time. The episode ends with the Enterprise giving the Valakians some medicine to ease the pain of the disease and more or less dooming an entire planet to an illness that could be cured… Well, they did!

The episode is pretty decent for the most part. It’s a “Prime Directive” episode and those are usually decent. It also serves as a Phlox episode which is nice. Barring the last few minutes of the episode, he’s actually one of the more interesting characters on the show. He’s definitely more interesting than Mayweather (sorry, bro) and a couple of others in the first season. I also like his scenes with his “crush” which were kinda funny. The stuff involving Archer and whether he should give the Valakians warp technology was fine and actually made sense other than the “other” plot involving the cure.

Then, there’s the whole issue about the cure. On the one hand, I can understand why Phlox didn’t want to use the cure. In his mind, the Valakians had to go in order for the Menks to thrive. I don’t like it, but I understand it. On the other hand, it just feels wrong. So, you’re going to leave them to die because evolution says so? What about that whole Hippocratic Oath you supposedly live by? The whole planet is suffering from this illness and I kinda think that this situation does fit with that oath. What’s even weirder is that Archer agrees to it albeit reluctantly. Also, you'd think he would have found another way to help both species without dooming one for the other. He doesn't know what'll happen in 200 years let alone three minutes!

Counter this with Archer’s decision to give warp specs to the Valakians. Archer doesn’t give it to them mostly because dealing with that technology is dangerous. There’s also the fact that they really don’t have the resources to teach them about it. It’d be like giving a kid a loaded weapon without teaching him how to use it. That was a decision that actually made sense. The decision with the cure made no sense to me at all. It made a decent episode smell pretty rank. I heard there were some editorial changes made by UPN with the ending, so that’s probably why it feels so “bleh.”
Hmm... I count three cavities, a busted molar, and some messed up gingivitus! What is Vulcan dentistry like?

Overall, it’s a decent episode with a crappy ending. I see why SFDebris gave it a 1 out of 10 but I wouldn’t go that far. It has its moments. The first season in general isn’t bad nor is it really good either. In fact, it has a lot in common with the other series since their first seasons were pretty subpar. Exclude TOS from that list since its first season was pretty good. Well, I’m outta here. Peace, God Bless, and don’t commit genocide anytime soon. It’s just not nice.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Crisis Time! - Final Crisis #1 and Final Crisis: Requiem

It seems like this is the year of Grant Morrison, isn’t it? I looked at most of his run on Batman, All-Star Superman, and some of his stuff from Action Comics. Well, it’s time to dip back in the weirdness as I jump into the event known as Final Crisis. I’d be correct in saying that this was a weird event. It didn’t tie into a lot of books like events of the time did. It had a prelude (Countdown to Final Crisis), but that 52-issue weekly series is rarely mentioned in the event itself. There’s also the fact that Countdown apparently sucked. Just look at Linkara’s review of the series.52 done right?” I don’t think so.

I remember some of the tie-ins sort of tied into the event while others really didn’t. Why did Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds (something I’ll look at in the future) get included with that anyway? It really didn’t tie into that story. Anyway, I did get the first issue to Final Crisis when it was released, but that was it for me since I was on a college budget (food, clothes, and gas).  I kept up with the event via Internet. I actually ended up reading the whole event (main series and a couple of tie-ins) through a hardcover at the library in Pulaski. I acquired the paperback a while back on Amazon.

My plan is to go through each issue and some tie-ins this month. Today’s issues are Final Crisis #1 and Final Crisis: Requiem. Grant Morrison is the writer the first issue as well as the whole event. J.G. Jones does the art for #1 and for most of the event. He has mostly done covers and some interior work. He’s most known for Wanted, a Mark Millar penned series. For Requiem, Peter J. Tomasi writes the issue. Doug Mahnke pencils the issue and Christian Almany inks the issue. The covers for Final Crisis #1 were both done by Jones. While the one with Green Lantern is okay, the variant is actually the better of the two.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Trek Novels - Star Trek: The Kobayashi Maru

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at a Trek novel. This one gets the vote for today. I picked this book up some time ago. The title kind of called out to me and it looked interesting. For those who don’t know, the Kobayashi Maru is a scenario that Starfleet cadets go through at command school. In the scenario, a Starfleet ship gets a call from a downed freighter in the Neutral Zone. They go in and end up facing three Klingon cruisers. It’s a no-win situation that designed to see how cadets deal with loss. It was first introduced in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and again in the rebooted Star Trek from 2009.

Julia Ecklar is the author of the novel. I’ve actually never heard of her. She’s done other novels. She also teamed up with other authors to write other Trek novels under the name of L.A. Graf. The Kobayashi Maru actually takes place sometime after Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Now, I have to imagine Kirk and crew in those gray and tan suits… oh man. I should be able to persevere.

Star Trek: The Kobayashi Maru 
Author: Julia Ecklar

BRIEF BLURB: While Kirk and some of the crew are on the search for a missing team, their shuttlecraft is heavily damaged. While they deal with the situation, Kirk, Sulu, Chekov, and Scotty talk about their experiences with the Kobayashi Maru.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Random Pics For The Month - October

Well, here's something I haven't done in a while. Here are some of the things I've got planned for later on. 
More Grant Morrison? Yep, yep, and yep.

It's another "old vs. new" project that similar to the one I did for Superman a long time ago. I can safely say that it won't take two months to do!

Yeah, I'll get to this franchise eventually.

Well, it took me a couple of months to do it, but I finally finished the Mass Effect Trilogy. I might talk about it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Music Retrospective - Michael Jackson: Invincible

Well, it was bound to come to this. I’ve finally gotten to Michael’s last album… official last album, anyway. I’m not counting the post-death ones like Michael and Xscape. Invincible was released in 2001 and it was Jackson’s first studio album in a long time. He had help in writing a lot of the songs. The album sold well but not as well as most of his previous albums. I do remember that there was some talk going on about the album not being promoted enough. The album only released four singles. It was apparently supposed to release more, but that didn’t happen for some reason. One song did get nominated for a Grammy though.

This is another album I don’t own physically own though I probably should. My sister has it, so I downloaded it from her. It’s also one I really hadn’t listened to until I really started this project. The only songs I knew about were the two singles that were played on radio back in the day. I really didn’t know what to expect when I got to listening to it a few months ago. So, how does this album ultimately shape up?


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Favorites - Top 10 Sixth Power Rangers

Since I’m not doing much this month, I think it’s time to look at the Power Rangers once more. “Oh Yeah, boy,” or whatever those youngsters are saying today. The show has usually started out with three to five people getting summoned by someone good to keep the world safe from evil of all kinds. After some episodes, we get a new Ranger: The Sixth Ranger (or fifth considering the makeup of the team). They’re usually introduced and then turned “Evil” for a few episodes. They also tend to beat the everliving crap out of the team. Eventually, they're made good and join the team in the end. I know it was like that for some of them. They also ended up getting some cool Zords.

So, here are my top 10 Sixth Rangers. I stuck with 10 simply because those are the only seasons I’ve really watched and know of. Yeah, I’m a horrible fan, ain’t I? If you’re wondering why I’m not putting any from more recent seasons, I can answer that. I really haven’t watched any of them. I’ve only seen one or two episodes of those respective seasons.  I did watch RPM all the way through but the sixth (and seventh) Ranger on there were actually pretty annoying. I’ve thought about looking at Samurai and Megaforce on Netflix but I haven’t yet. So, let’s start this list off with a bit of a weird one.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Superman Month/Month of Superman: The Conclusion

So, I’ve finally gotten to the end of Superman Month/Month of Superman. As usual, it’s been fun going through these different stories. I might be doing it again next year, but I’m not sure yet. Since I went into why I liked Batman a couple of months ago, I might as well see what keeps bringing me back to the Man of Steel. It’s a question I’ve also thought about and I think I have an answer. Don’t worry, folks. It’s not his chiseled chin, the briefs, nor the powers that literally come out of nowhere. That’s right; I’m looking at you, gay pride beams that apparently make little versions of someone!

I don’t know where my fandom actually started. I was first introduced to Superman through the Donner movies and a couple of episodes of an old Superboy series from the 70’s. My first Superman comics (and possibly my first comics) were Superman #82 and The Adventures of Superman #505. I still have the AoS issue and actually repurchased the Superman issue in college. My fandom really began to grow with Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. It’s not the best interpretation of the character, but it had everything a fan would need. My fandom continued to grow through Superman: TAS, the Justice League cartoons, 10 seasons of Smallville, Superman Returns, and Man of Steel. I’ve even built up a nice selection of comics from the 80’s to today. He’s actually the only character I’ve done that for.

So, what is it that keeps me coming back to the character? Is it the powers, the man, or both? I think it’s a lot of things. If I had to pinpoint it, I’d have to say that the man himself that keeps me coming back to the franchise. When you remove all of the “Super” stuff, all you have is a good man who wants to help wherever he can. That’s an important message to send not just to kids but to anybody. The powers are also cool, but they aren’t the only thing to him. He’s just a good guy who stands up for what’s right.

While the powers aren’t the only cool thing about him, they are still cool. I mean, he’s called “Superman!” He’s more powerful than a raging storm! He’s faster than a speeding bullet! He can leap over skyscrapers! He can even heat food with his eyes! Now, I am more a fan of an underpowered Superman. The Superman who can do any and all things is cool, but I like it when he’s challenged. I also like the weird aspects like the Fortress of Solitude.
Huh... looks like my room sometimes.

I also like his supporting cast. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen (sometimes), and Perry White are great supporting characters. I do like it when his adoptive parents are around, but they’re not always needed. We got Supergirl, Superboy (the Conner Kent variety), Steel, and Krypto around. Then, there’s his friendship with Batman which is great when handled by good writers. I also like his friendships with other superheroes as well.

He’s also got some of the best villains in comics. His gallery may not be as big and diverse as Batman’s, but they aren’t pushovers either. He has villains like Metallo, the Parasite, Toyman, Bizarro, and Intergang to face. He has Brainiac, General Zod, and Mongol who are pretty cool alien villains to battle. While I consider Darkseid to be more of a Justice League villain, he’s more entrenched with Superman than most heroes. Finally, we have Lex Luthor who’s one of my favorite villains in general. As for Mr. Myxylptlk, he’s more like Q from TNG to me than a big threat.

As for what did the character best, Superman: The Animated Series and the Justice League cartoons get my vote. They have good versions of Superman, his allies, and his villains all there. The Donner movies aren’t perfect (well, the first movie gets close) but they have their moments. Man of Steel has its issues, but it brought a nice punch. Smallville did its best to give a different origin and Lois and Clark gave us one of the best versions of Clark Kent. There’s really something for me to like in all the media.

Well, I’m done talking about the Boy Scout who apparently wasn’t one. While I might not do another Superman Month, this isn’t the last you’ll hear of the Man of Steel. Peace, God Bless, and Happy Tuesday! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do a little reading.

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Action Comics #9

Well, I’ve finally made it to the end. After this post, I’ll have a couple of more things to say about Superman. Since I’ve done two Grant Morrison stories this month, I might as well do another one. Today’s issue is Action Comics #9 and it actually features a completely different Superman… or at least different in that he’s got my skin tone. Not only is he black, he’s also the President of the United States. “Hmm… I wonder who he’s based off of,” I sarcastically say.

This isn’t the first time this Superman has made an appearance. The Superman of Earth-23 made his first appearance in the weird event known as Final Crisis. He’s actually made a bit of a comeback in another Morrison-penned book called Multiversity. In a lot of ways, this issue is kind of a prequel to that new book. Of course, Grant Morrison is the writer of the main story. Sholly Fisch handles the back-up. Gene Ha handles the art duties on the main story for this issue while Cully Hammer handles the back-up.

Action Comics #9
Writers: Grant Morrison (main) and Sholly Fisch (Back-up)
Artists: Gene Ha (main) and Cully Hammer (back-up)
Colorists: Art Lyon (main) and Dave McCaig (back-up)
Letters: Patrick Brosseau (main) and Carlos M. Mangual (back-up)
Assistant Editor: Will Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman #13

It’s time to come back to the present… or at least 2012 to look at what’s going on in the other Superman book. While Action Comics had Grant Morrison consistently putting out stuff, Superman was pretty inconsistent. George Perez and Jesus Merino did an arc and left. Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen did an arc and left. It seemed like no one was staying on the book or most books with DC Comics for that matter. Then a man named Scott Lobdell came in. All I can say is that at least he stayed on for more than six issues!

While Superman #0 was his first issue, I’m looking at Superman #13 since that officially started his time on there. Lobdell was also writing Teen Titans, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Superboy at this time. He had also worked on the X-Men books in the 1990s. The art is done by Kenneth Rocafort who was also on Red Hood and the Outlaws with Lobdell. Rocafort also did pencils for Action Comics before the New 52 and did a lot of stuff for the publisher, Top Cow.

Superman #13
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rockafort
Colors: Sunny Gho
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman: The Man of Steel #0

Well, I’m back in the mid 1990’s. I don’t have too many books from the late 90’s, so I decided to look at this issue from 1994. At this time, Superman had been back from the dead for a while and was dealing with a crapload of stuff. Bizzaro came back, Lex Luthor went nutso, and Superman put on some weight… that was weird. Anyway, the “Crisis” event, Zero Hour, happened and while that was pretty convoluted, it was cool. I talked about it and the Superman tie-ins last year. Now, Superman’s done with his space and time adventure.

After Zero Hour ended, DC released zero issues for their titles. All four Superman books went through this as well and they all tied in together pretty well. I might touch on the rest of those issues someday since they actually introduced a new villain for Clark. Superman: The Man of Steel #0 was written by Louise Simonson. The pencils were done by John Bogdanove and the inks were done by Dennis Janke. So, let’s see what happens when someone has their sights out on Clark Kent!

Superman: The Man of Steel #0
Writer: Louise Simonson
Pencils: John Bogdanove
Inks: Dennis Janke
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Ken Lopez
Associate Editor: Frank Pittarese
Editor: Mike Carlin

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Movie Talk - Superman: Brainiac Attacks

Well, I had to change plans a little bit. I was originally going to look at a somewhat forgotten Superman animated series from the 1980’s. Maybe it’ll be something for next year. Today’s post will be about the direct-to-DVD movie known as Superman: Brainiac Attacks. The movie came out in 2006. I’m guessing it was to help promote the fact that Superman Returns was being released that year. I rented this back in 2006. Recently, someone got this at Wal-Mart a while back. All I know is that it wasn’t me.

Now, I sort of talked about this a long time ago when I talked about Superman in the DCAU (DC Animated Universe). I now realize that I may have been too harsh on it. It turns out that it doesn’t tie into the DCAU. The creators of the movie only used the designs from Superman: the Animated Series. We even have some voice actors (including Tim Daly) from that series as well. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini didn’t work on it, so I really didn’t consider this in continuity anyway. So, how does this movie stand on its own two feet? I can safely say that it needs a cane, crutches, and some prayer. This was… yeah.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman #423 and Action Comics #583

So, Alan Moore… he’s alright in my book. I haven’t read much of his stuff. He’s just a writer that really doesn’t draw me in with his stories. The stories of his I’ve read are okay in my opinion and that does include Watchmen.  Hopefully, I don’t gather some online trolls by saying that about Watchmen. I’ve read all of his Superman stories in the Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? trade. Other than Watchmen, Moore is also known for crafting a two-part imaginary story that ended the Pre-Crisis Superman.

“Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” is a story that is loved by a lot of folk. Moore was asked to end this Superman’s story and he did it with a bit of a bang. It’s usually at the top of every “Favorite Superman Stories” list. Is it at the top of my list? I don’t know since I haven’t even made one yet. Moore is the writer of both issues. Curt Swan, one of the most well-known Superman artists, pens the issues. George Perez inks the first issue while Kurt Schaffenberger inks the last issue. After this story, Superman as renamed “The Adventures of Superman” while a new Superman book was created.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman #2

A lot of interesting stuff happened in the 1980’s. The Berlin Wall fell down, music videos became a thing, and Eddie Murphy had a singing career. We only wished he stopped at acting. It was a nice decade for Superman. He had two (technically three if you count Supergirl) movies, a television show (Superboy), and even an animated show on CBS. The final thing I haven’t mentioned is the fact that his continuity got a big face-lift after Crisis On Infinite Earths. As we saw in the Man of Steel miniseries, a lot of stuff changed for the character.

One of the biggest things was changing Lex Luthor from a mad scientist to a corrupt businessman. It’s something that has stuck with the character from the 80’s even to now. This version has been everywhere from TV to the movies… wait, I take the movies part back. Singer definitely failed the character in Superman Returns. Anyway, today’s issue is Superman #2. The writer and penciller is John Byrne. Terry Austin inks the issue, John Costanza letters the issue, and Tom Ziuko colors it.

Superman #2
Writer and Penciller: John Byrne 
Inker: Terry Austin 
Letterer: John Constanza 
Colorist: Tom Ziuko 
Editor: Andrew Helfer 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - All-Star Superman

All-Star Superman: a 12-issue series that took 3 years to come out. Yeah, if the All-Star line of books is remembered for anything, it’s going to be for lateness. At least the story ended! I know there are people still waiting for Frank Miller’s and Jim Lee’s “Magnum Opus” to end.

For those who don’t know, All-Star Superman was the second (and really the last) book to come out of the All-Star imprint in 2005. It was supposed to be a lot like Marvel’s Ultimate Universe where a creative team would take a character and do what they want to do with them. I believe the book started out bi-monthly, so it would have taken a couple of years to end anyway. I was just starting to get back into reading comics at the time, but this series wasn’t one I wanted to pick up. Maybe it was the Silver Age feel of it or maybe my wallet wasn’t interested. Instead of the trades, I only have the single issues. I was able to find them for cheap and it took me a while to get the whole story.

Grant Morrison is the writer and Frank Quietly is the artist. These two have also worked on books like We3, New X-Men, Flex Mentallo, The Invisibles, and JLA: Earth 2. Quitely has also worked on books such as The Authority, Sandman, and Jupiter’s Legacy. The series has gotten a lot of accolades over the years. It’s been well-received and a lot of people say it’s one of the best Superman stories ever. So, does it deserve that praise? Find out… after this quick synopsis!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Random Pics of the Month - The Weirdness of Superman

Superman has had his share of weirdness for a long time especially in the 50's-60's. Here's another thing that he and Batman share in common. At least it's expected with Superman since he's not of this Earth. So, here are seven things that definitely throw Superman onto Chloe's "Wall of Weird."

Super-ventriloquism??? Did the creators just start to pick weird stuff at random when they ran out of ideas for new powers?

The mix of Superman and adult entertainment was unfortunately brought to us by John Byrne. No, I'm not kidding.

Uh... on second thought, whoever wrote this comic may have had some "entertainment" on his mind as well.

One Superman, Two Supermen. Red Electro-Superman, Blue Electro-Superman. No, I can't explain it either. At least Superman went "all-Jacob" on us and wrestled with an angel at this time in JLA.

You know, I thought that Superman keeping a pet sun-eater would be the weirdest thing on this list. Man, I hate being wrong!

Now, I know it's Superman, but how is this possible???

Creating life from a small figment of the universe? Weird. What's even funnier is that this is supposed to be the real world. Morrison's weird like that.

Friday, September 12, 2014

TV Talk - Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 2

You know, it really didn’t take long to get through Season Two. Luckily, that’s not a bad thing as you will find out. My memories of the second season of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman are a little fuzzy. I remember some episodes but not all of them. I do remember the somewhat big cast changes. I also remember a supporting character getting killed at the end of an episode. Finally, there are the final moments of the season finale where something big happens.

For the second season, the show itself went through some changes. The major changes were that Michael Landes and Tracey Scoggins were gone. John Shea also left but the finale easily gave an answer for that (Lex dead, ya’ll). Justin Whalin replaced Landes in the role of Jimmy Olsen. Apparently Cain and Landes looked too much alike… Grrrrr. Anyway, the show also started to focus more on the growing relationship of Lois and Clark. They went through the usual obstacles like other love interests and the fact that Clark has a double life.

Another change was that stuff from the comics began to show up. Professor Emil Hamilton was in a couple of episodes. Some of Superman’s villains even showed up. We got versions of the Prankster, Toyman, Metallo, and even Doctor Light. Intergang, a crime organization from the comics, played a large role in the season. We unfortunately didn’t get Morgan Edge or Manheim though. The season started also gained a tighter grip on their continuity. It had more of an ongoing narrative instead of the episodic format Season One had. There’s also a little more action in the season as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Action Comics #13

Well, it’s time to get back to that Grant Morrison fellow. Just know that this isn’t the only Morrison-related story I’ll be looking at this month. I’ve already looked at most of his work on the rebooted Action Comics. Today is no different. I sort of looked at the first 8 issues a couple of years ago and at his “Death of Clark Kent” arc last year. Originally, I was going to look at Action Comics #9 (Black Superman ,ya’ll!!), but I’ve decided to look at Action Comics #13 today.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my family’s dogs, Spot, died from a heat stroke. Unlike most dogs we’ve had, Spot was around for the long haul. My dad got him back in 2001, I believe. He’s been at the house since then. He knew to stay away from the highway. He also tried to sneak in our house during thunderstorms. He was a cool dog and he will be missed. Anyway, Morrison was the writer of the main issue while Sholly Fisch handled the back-up. Instead of Rags Morales, Travel Foreman handles the art duties for the main story. Brad Walker pencils the back-up story.

Action Comics #13
Writers: Grant Morrison and Sholly Fisch
Artists: Travel Foreman (main) and Brad Walker (back-up)
Inker: Andrew Hennessy (back-up)
Colorists: Brad Anderson (main) and Jay David Ramos (back-up)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"It's A Video Game!" - Ideas for a Superman Video Game

When it comes to video games, there is one superhero that’s drawn the short straw: Superman. Heroes like Batman, Spider-Man, and the X-Men have mostly had a lot of well-received games. For Batman, there are the Arkham games. For Spider-Man, there were the movie-based games and the one on the PS1. Unfortunately, Superman can barely even get a decent game. Now, I’m not talking about fighting games like Injustice: Gods Among Us since that was a Justice League game that featured Superman.

I’ve really only played two Superman games: The Death and Return of Superman and Superman Returns. They were the only ones that were on the consoles I had. They were… less than stellar. I know Superman Returns was. I remember renting that game and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance one weekend. I started out playing M: UA for a while and then played SR for a while. I got to the third level of that game and I was done with it. I went back to playing the M: UA which was definitely the better of the two games. It’s not that SR was crap through and through. It was just boring. I’ve seen other comments online and they more or less say the same thing.

So, what can make a good Superman game? I heard some ideas running around a few months ago and it really got me thinking about it. I’ve heard that Superman can’t work in a game because he’s so powerful. To me, that’s a pretty lazy comment. I do believe that one could do a pretty decent Superman game if they really know their stuff and understand the character. So, here are some ideas that could work.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Adventures of Superman #627-628

The 2000’s for Superman (especially the late 2000’s) was weird. I wasn’t reading comics much in the earlier part of the decade since there was really no way for me to read any. The only time I’d peruse any would be at a bookstore in a mall. I know I saw Superman: Birthright on the shelves at the time, but that was it for me. I know the early part of the 2000’s had two soft reboots before Infinite Crisis. They had Jim Lee on a book. They also had Chuck Austen on a Superman book… no comment.

Today’s issues are Adventures of Superman #627-628. They’re both written by Greg Rucka. He came on during the “Godfall” arc (haven’t read it but might someday). This was the beginning of his run and I think he was also on Wonder Woman at the time. Rucka has also written for books like The OMAC Project, 52, Batwoman, Detective Comics, Batman, and Gotham Central. I will say it sucks that he’s not with DC anymore. Personally, I kind of can’t blame him. Both issues are penciled by Matthew Clark who’s done work on books like the Outsiders. The inker for both issues is Nelson.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Trade Tales! - The Death of Superman

I think I'm going to try out a new title for now. It just makes more sense. 

The 90’s were a big time for comics. It was when I started reading them. It was also when DC Comics decided to shake up the status quo for their major characters. I’ve talked about Batman’s shakeup with Knightfall, so it’s time for me to finally look at The Death of Superman. I’m sorry if I’ve spoiled for you. Now, I didn’t read any of this when it came out. The podcast, From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast, somewhat fueled my interest in the storyline. I was actually able to find the complete storyline of the Death, the Funeral, and the Return at McKay’s in 2011, I believe.

Sometime later, I found out how this storyline came about. Originally, Lois and Clark were going to get married during this time. Then, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman came and killed that story for a long while. I think upper management wanted the comics and TV to have them get married at the same time or something. Anyway, someone came up with an idea of killing Superman and that idea came to fruition here. The issues in this trade are Superman: The Man of Steel #17-19, Superman #73-75, The Adventures of Superman #496-497, Action Comics #683-684, and Justice League America #69. We got some of the most well-known writers on the books. Dan Jurgens, Louise Simonson, Jerry Ordway, and Roger Stern handle the writing. The pencils are handled by Dan Jurgens, John Bogdanove, Tom Grummett, and Jackson Guice.

The Death of Superman
Writers: Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, and Jerry Ordway
Pencillers: Dan Jurgens, Tom Grummett, John Bogdanove, and Jackson Guice
Inkers: Brett Breeding, Rick Burchett, Doug Hazelwood, Dennis Janke, and Denis Rodier