Saturday, December 31, 2016

Trek Novels - Star Trek: The Captain's Table - Dujonian's Hoard

Well, it’s the end… or the beginning of the year and I’ve decided to finally talk about this novel. I don’t know exactly why I took so long with reading this one. I guess it’s because there’s so much out there to do… or it could be I’m lazy. It could also be the book itself but I’ll get to that down below.  For those who don’t remember, I started a look at this small anthology series called The Captain’s Table. It revolves around a weird bar that captains can only enter. Last time, it was Captain Kirk and Captain Sulu. Today, it’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s turn to spin a tale.

Dujonian’s Hoard is written by Michael Jan Friedman. Friedman is no stranger to Trek. Not only had he written some Trek novels, he also wrote comics for the franchise with DC back in the 90’s. I’ve talked about some of the stuff he’s written here. As for when Picard’s visit and story takes place, I can’t tell. No stardates are given. Since events about Season Seven are mentioned, it has to take place after the show and before Star Trek Generations. Either way, it really doesn’t matter too much since the Enterprise actually doesn’t play a role here.

Star Trek: The Captain’s Table – Dujonian’s Hoard
Author: Michael Jan Friedman

BRIEF BLURB: During a conference on Madigoor IV, Captain Picard and a friend visit The Captain’s Table. At the bar, Picard tells some of the patrons a story about a recent undercover mission he took to find a former officer who was looking for a treasure.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 13: Hobgoblin

Since it’s the end of the year, I thought I’d try to end with some more Ultimate Spider-Man. I didn’t talk about the newest trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming last time, so I’ll give a couple of thoughts here. It looked fine. We’re back to high school with an even younger Peter Parker. He’s even got Tony Stark as his mentor. It also looks like we’re getting a new villain in the form of the Vulture played by Michael Keaton of all people.  I don’t know if I’ll see this in theaters or not yet. I’ll just have to see when July comes. As for this trade, this is Hobgoblin. It contains Ultimate Spider-Man #72-78. The team is pretty much the same. Bendis is writing, Bagley is penciling, Hanna is inking, and J.D. Smith is the sole colorist on this one. So, let’s see what happens when Harry Osborn returns.

Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 13: Hobgoblin
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Scott Hanna
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors:  J.D. Smith

Monday, December 26, 2016

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 12: Superstars

You know, if there’s one thing that literally gets away from me here, it’s talking about some Ultimate Spider-Man. Luckily, I think I know where I’m going to end it here with that series. I think after the last volume, I needed a break. It’s not that it was bad, but Bendis did do away with a character I liked. For now, let’s get back on the show. We’ll finally get an idea of what the new Spider-Man movie will be soon, so this feels like a good time to get back on the horse.

The next volume is titled Superstars. I don’t know if Bendis was a fan of Molly Shannon’s character from Saturday Night Live, but there you go. Instead of some weird woman, we get some heroes in this new batch. Think of it as “Ultimate Marvel Team-Up” or something. The creative team is pretty much the same as it has been for the last couple of volumes. Bendis is writing and Bagley is drawing. The inking is handled by Scott Hanna, the colors are done by J.D. Smith with Chris Satomayor, and the lettering is done by Chris Eliopoulos. So, let’s see Spider-Man go through some “hilarious” hi-jinks, make a friend, and suffer through a demonic nightmare.

Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 12: Superstars
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Scott Hanna
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors:  J.D. Smith and Chris Satomayor

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Random Thoughts On... Geoff Johns' Run on Justice League

For the last few months, I’ve been trying to go through my collection and see if some of it is worth keeping. One series that I think needed a full read-through was Geoff Johns' run on Justice League. I think I started on it back in the summer. It took me a while to finish it all since there were a couple of issues missing. Heck, I even re-read Forever Evil which is something I will talk about soon. Just recently, I finished it off with #50. I wonder why he cut his run short since he didn’t even make it to #52. Maybe he was working on making DC Rebirth #1 an awesome read which it was.

For those who don’t know, John’s run on Justice League basically kicked of DC’s “New 52” phase in August of 2011. The plan was to basically reboot the DC universe (again) and get the heroes looking fresh, new, hip, or something like that. When I heard that Johns was going to be on Justice League, I was more or less sold since he is one of my favorite modern writers. What made it even more interesting was that he would have Jim Lee doing the art. So, all was well in the land of DC, right? Well… sort of, but I’ll get to that later.

Johns would remain on the book until #50 which was released during May of 2016. I guess his departure kind of made the New 52 officially come to an end. Artists came and went with this book, though. Jim Lee was really only around for ten of the 12 issues in the first year. Afterwards, it became a bit of a hodgepodge of cool artists. We had guys like Gene Ha, Carlo’s D’Anna, Tony Daniel, Ivan Reis, Jesus Merino, Doug Mahnke, Francis Manapual, and Jason Fabok doing art chores. There was also a back-up strip in the early issues that showcased a revamped version of Shazam formerly known as Captain Marvel. Gary Frank handled the art duties to all of that. The inkers and colorists were a plenty for the series.
Hey, J'onn! What's... Oh. Crap.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Favorites –16 TV Shows That Ended Too Soon

With everything that’s going on these days, we may have something pretty good to look forward too: another season of Young Justice. This was one show that I felt got cut down too soon. It ended with a crapload of stuff left to talk about. When you have the Lord of Apokalips show up in the last minute of your show, you better do something with it! I hate it when shows get cut off too soon. It definitely sucks when they’re just one season in. Even when it’s lasted for a few years, something happens and it’s gone like a fart in the wind or something.

So, here are a few shows that went away too soon. If you notice some popular underrated shows missing, that’s because I can only do so much. Besides, Pushing Daisies didn’t sound like my thing. There were a couple of shows that went away before I could get invested in them like Almost Human and a couple of others. Whether they were animated or live-action, there have been ones that I was pretty sad to see go. The list isn’t in complete order, but the first few are ones that I still feel jaded on.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Favorites - 11 Favorite James Bond Theme Songs

For Thanksgiving, I was going to post something different but this little topic recently popped into my head. This is something I’ve wanted to blog on, so this feels like the right time to do it. Besides, there’s probably a James Bond marathon on TV somewhere. I remember TBS or SpikeTV would do marathons of all the James Bond movies. I’d sometimes tune in especially if it’s one of the good ones.

If there’s one thing that always a “must have” about the movies, it’s the theme song and opening. The visuals and the music combine to make something that shouldn’t be missed. It’s not the visuals that folk center on so much as it is the songs themselves. Unfortunately, someone didn’t tell Sam Smith that with SPECTRE. I mean, the guy isn’t a bad singer, but I thought “Writing’s On the Wall” was not a good one. I think Smith’s style wasn’t to my liking there with that whining he does. So, here are my 11 favorite Bond theme songs. I’m also including the instrumental ones too. They’re also not in order favorite-wise but you’ll know what I think are the best of these bunch.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Random Thoughts #42 - "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

So... this week's been somewhat interesting. By the way, the title isn't referring to the election though it could go that way. I actually dressed up as the Shadow for this Halloween. I'm not the biggest fan of the character, but the costume's cool and kind of cheap to pull off if you have a suit. Anyway, things are good. I just got off of a small break from work. If you want to know my quick thoughts on the results of the election, it's at the bottom. Now onto other Random Thoughts!

The Mini-Vacation
So, on my mini-vacation... I didn't do anything. I went back to Pulaski and just hung down there for a few days. I'm glad my folks live in the country. Of course, there were the cows, goats, and baby goats to tend to. I also caught up on some reading. I've started to play an old-school RPG called Chrono Trigger. I've had it on my PS3 for months and I've started to really get into it. No wonder I downloaded it! So far, it's pretty good.

Back in March, I posted a list of movies I wanted to see in theatres or when they came out. I've only seen a few of them in theaters and others I didn't plan on seeing.
  • Race – I still haven't seen this biopic on Jesse Owens yet. I plan to though.
  • Deadpool – I still haven't seen it yet. My sister said it was funny
  • Zootopia – I saw it on Netflix. It was actually pretty good. It had good animation, nice characters, good comedy, and a nice message.
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane - I haven't seen it yet.
  • Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – I've talked about this enough here. It was good even though it had some noticable flaws. 
  • Miles Ahead – I haven't gotten around to this one yet.
  • Captain America: Civil War – I saw this on opening weekend. I thought it was pretty good. It had a lot to juggle with and it succeeded for the most part. It was a better retelling of that event and it introduced Black Panther and Spider-Man well. The villain wasn't that bad either. Other than a couple of quibbles, it was good.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse – Shockingly, I haven't seen this one yet. I haven't had the time. I'll do it one day and I may even talk about my old idea of a movie involving Apocalypse.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – I didn't see it and judging by the recent Nostalgia Critic/AVGN/Black Nerd team-up, I don't need to.
  • Warcraft – Skipped it.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence – I saw this with a friend one Sunday afternoon. It wasn't good. It was nice to see some of the old faces (even Brent Spiner?), but the younger cast didn't do it for me. The first was much better even with its flaws. This movie was a decade too late.
  • Jason Bourne – I haven't gotten to this yet.
  • The Legend of Tarzan – I'll check this out soon
  • Ghostbusters – I actually saw this with the family in Columbia. While it had its funny moments, it's another needless reboot. Had it been an actual sequel (and written better), I would have better things to say about it. At least it was funny.
  • Suicide Squad – I saw this on opening weekend. I did like it but had its problems. I'll probably talk about this later when it's released.
  • Doctor Strange – This was pretty good. It's another Marvel origin but it is better than most of the lot.
  • Shin Godzilla - I talked about this here too. It was a nice re-introduction to Godzilla.

As for this subject... it's a work in progress as usual.

Well, that's all I got for now. I've got a few things I want to get through with before the end of the year. Hopefully, I can do that. For now, Peace, God Bless, and be careful out there. Oh yeah, here's what I posted.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Favorites – Top 10 WTH Moments from the Metal Gear Solid franchise

The Metal Gear Solid franchise is one of my favorite video game franchises. It mixes in spy games with scifi and some real world issues. The stories throw in a lot of things to ponder about. It’s kind of like a thinking man’s franchise. You definitely get that with MGS2. It’s talked about society, hidden government groups, conspiracies, the invasiveness of technology, politics, and people not getting their hopes up. If you know anything about Hal “Otacon” Emmerich, that last point comes up a lot for that cool but lonely nerd.

While Metal Gear is awesome though a bit convoluted, they just had to get weird with us. It may be Japanese culture or it’s that just the creators being weird. Whatever it is, I don’t know. Hideo Kojima threw some weird moments into the franchise and I’ll quickly talk about the ones that popped out to me. They were at times funny, random, unsettling, and overall weird. I got 10 of them, so this should do it for me. Also, I will spoil some things here but not everything, so let’s start out with literal toilet humor.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Movie Talk - Universal Studio's Wolf Man Movies and Team-Up Movies

Well, I hope y’all had a safe Halloween. I was at work doing my thing as usual. Yes, I’m a little late on this one. It was actually a pretty busy weekend. Next up on this week’s edition of Monster Talk, here are the Wolf-Man movies and the “monster team-ups.” Unlike Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man wasn’t based on a book. He shares that distinction with a couple of other monsters.

I first saw the Wolf Man as well as the Frankenstein Monster through Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man years ago. I actually didn’t see the movie, The Wolf Man, until later. I think I also saw Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein around that time too. I saw House of Frankenstein on AMC when they did a marathon of the movies. As for House of Dracula, I just recently watched it for the first time a couple of nights ago. I had seen snippets of it online, though. I also did a re-watch with the others.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Movie Talk - Universal Studios' Frankenstein Movies

Dude, calm down! He just had a hangover from being dead! That's all.

Since we’re coming upon All Hallow’s Eve, I wanted to get to these movies. I’ve rarely talked about any movies from this era on here, so I might as well do it with these. Today, I’ll be talking about Universal’s Frankenstein movies. I’m only looking at the main movies that involved the Monster. The others involving the Wolf Man and others will have to wait.

I more or less went into my history with the monsters before, but a little refresher on Frankenstein isn’t bad. I first saw Frankenstein when I was probably in third or fourth grade. I was also able to see Son of Frankenstein since it was also at Movie Gallery. I didn’t see Ghost of Frankenstein until sometime later on TV. I did read a book about it earlier. I actually didn’t see Bride of Frankenstein until last year. It was on Netflix and I hadn’t seen it yet. Since it’s the season for scary movies, I did a refresher on these four movies.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Random Thoughts On... Godzilla in general and Shin Godzilla

So, we now have another Godzilla movie on our hands. Shin Godzilla aka Godzilla Resurgence was in limited release over here last week. I was only able to see it on Saturday which ended up being eventful on its own. I also had to fix a kitchen sink, I finally watched the new MacGyver (it’s alright), the Tennessee Vols embarrassed themselves, and my own alma mater (MTSU) lost in a double overtime. All in all, it was an alright day. I thought I’d take some time to talk about the new movie and to just talk about Godzilla himself. If anything, most of this is my history with Godzilla. If you want to hear my thoughts on the new movie, just scroll on down past my little history lesson.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Favorites - Favorite Songs From Genesis

You know, I haven’t talked about anything music-related in a long minute. I think I need to change that today. It’s back to Genesis, and yes, I’m a black dude talking about Genesis, a progressive rock/pop/new wave band. I’m allowed to have good taste, right? Right. A few years ago, I did a small list of my favorite songs from both the group and Phil Collins and I think it’s time to update that list. I’ve listened to a lot more of Genesis since then. I don’t know if I’d call myself a big Genesis fan. I’m probably a decent fan. I’ve even listened to the era that doesn’t get played on radio.

For those who don’t know, Genesis started out in the late 60’s and grew over time into a progressive rock group. Collins wasn’t even in it at the beginning. He didn’t come around until their third album. After their original frontman, Peter Gabriel, left in the mid-70’s, the group stayed like that until the late 70’s and 80’s where their music started to become more mainstream. You didn’t come here for a history lesson though. Today, I’ll list off my favorite songs from the group. Since the group’s catalog is pretty sizable, I thought I’d split it up by eras: The Gabriel Era and the Collins Era. That should keep things simple.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Random Thoughts On... The Universal Monsters

I thought I would really change it up today and talk about a genre I’m not a big fan of: horror. I don’t know why I’m not into horror that much. My dad and sister like horror movies. I know I’m not a fan of most modern horror. I’m really not a fan of gore. If I do watch any horror movies, they’re usually older ones like the Halloween series, the Friday The 13th series, or other stuff. I do like horror movies with a sci-fi feel like The Thing and the Alien series. I think it also has to be a pretty good movie for me to really get invested.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Random Thoughts On... Grant Morrison's Action Comics Run

So, I’m at the end of another Superman Month. I’ve read/seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. When I mean ugly, I kind of mean “For Tomorrow” since that story just… let's just say I’m not a fan. I rather watch Steel again than read that. I thought I’d end the month on a bit of a high note by talking about Grant Morrison’s run on Action Comics.

Now looking on it in the Rebirth era of DC, Superman got the short of the stick with the New 52. I’m not saying that weren’t good stories (there were), but some of them weren’t the best. Luckily, it did start out well with Grant Morrison’s Action Comics. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the Superman book that much. I know what came afterwards with Scott Lobdell was… okay? Maybe I’ll find out one day when I read more of what he did post “H’El On Earth.” I heard Greg Pak’s stuff was good and I even have his part of the recent “Truth” arc.

Morrison stayed with Action Comics from #1-#18 with a #0 thrown in for Zero Month. The artists varied throughout but the main one was Rags Morales. Others were Brad Walker, Gene Ha, Brent Anderson, Ben Oliver, Andy Kubert, Travel Foreman, and CAFU. Starting with Action Comics #4, there were also 8-page back-up stories and that lasted for Morrison’s run. Those were written by Sholly Fisch. He also did the annual for this series. The artists also varied with Brad Walker, Chris Sprouse, CAFU, and others contributing.

The idea, at first, was to show Superman at the beginning. As I’ve said before this month, it’s the thing to do with the character these days. What Morrison and Morales did was throw a lot of the Golden Age into Superman’s new beginning. He wasn’t the nice guy we’ve known for years. Well, he was nice to everyone else but criminals which is something I really liked. If you’ve read those old Golden Age comics, Superman was a rough guy. He even killed some criminals or he at least left some to die. This new Superman also had the same power set he had in the Golden Age, so he couldn’t fly yet. His parents were back to being dead and died when he was in high school.
Nothing to say here. Just Superman doing the impossible.

Tales From The $3.99 Bin! - Action Comics #14-#18

Next up in this final week of Superman Month, I thought I might as well finish off Grant Morrison's Action Comics run. I’ve more or less talked about every aspect of that run here except for #0 from Zero Month. Morrison’s run was pretty good and I will do another post about the run as a whole. The ones I'm talking about today are Action Comics #14-#18.

When we last left off, Clark Kent had died… kind of. Basically, Superman had to let “Clark Kent” die when an accident happened. Anyway, Superman tried on a new identity but he missed being Clark Kent. Mrs. Nyxly revealed herself to be from the 5th Dimension and basically wished Clark Kent back to life. Yeah, it gets weird and it’s going to get much weirder. This is Grant Morrison, after all.
Grant Morrison handled all of the main stories while Sholly Fisch handled the back-ups. The artwork gets varied up a lot in this one. Rag Morales and Brad Walker handle the pencils for the main stories while Chris Sprouse handles the pencils for the backups.

Action Comics #14-#18
Writers: Grant Morrison and Sholly Fisch (back-ups)
Pencils: Rags Morales (main), Brad Walker (main), and Chris Sprouse (backups)
Inks: Mark Prospt and Andrew Hennessy (main); Karl Story (backups)
Colors: Brad Anderson (main); Jordie Bellaire (backup)
Letters: Steve Wands, Carlos M. Mangual, and Taylor Esposito
Editor: Matt Idelson and Wil Moss

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Movie Talk - Supergirl (1984) and Steel

Well, I knew it had to come to this. I’ve looked at all the modern live-action Superman movies, but there are two “spin-offs” that got to be mentioned. While the new Supergirl show is going well for the most part, there are other live-action things that might have missed the mark. I know they missed the mark with critics and most fans. Did they do that with me as well? You shall see when I talk about the 1984 Supergirl movie and 1997’s Steel. Yes, you read that right. They made a Steel movie and it starred “The Diesel” himself, Shaquille O’Neal.

Supergirl was made to cash in on the popularity of the Superman movies at the time. It was supposed to be released in 1983, the same year Superman 3 was released. For whatever reason (probably the poor reception of Superman 3), it got released in 1984 instead. It came out and was pretty much panned from the beginning. Helen Slater did get nominated for a Saturn Award, so it has that at least. I ended up seeing it on TV when I was younger but I don’t think I ever rented it.

As for Steel, it was released in 1997 which was pretty much a bad year for comic book movies in general. It too got panned when it was released. For those who don’t know, John Henry Irons was a supporting character in the Superman books at the time. He was one of the Superman clones who appeared during the Death and Return of Superman storyline from the 90’s. He even had his own series at the time the movie was released. I ended up seeing the movie on VHS and I even read (and still own) the junior novelization of the movie.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TV Talk - Supergirl Season 1

Next up for this month is something I wasn’t expecting. While I was looking on Netflix for something to watch, I suddenly noticed this in the “New” section. Since it is September and Supergirl is related to the subject of the month, I decided to watch the first season of the show. I had watched a couple of episodes during the season’s run and I did keep up with it online. I just didn’t watch it all until now, so I finally have something to say on this show. For those who may not know, Supergirl first aired on CBS on the 2015-2016 schedule. It’s now on the CW which is a better fit for the show since it had “the attractive yet non-threatening, racially diverse cast of a CW show.” It was also a nice fit since most of the creative force for the show is also behind Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.

As the title suggests, the show is about Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers, Superman’s cousin. She was launched along with Kal-El as a teenager and was ordered to take care of him. Unfortunately, her ship fell into the Phantom Zone where it remained for 24 years. When she made to Earth, she was still young and Kal-El had grown up to be Superman. Since she had to acclimate to Earth, Clark let her be adopted by the Danvers. 12 years pass and we find Kara living a normal life in National City as Cat Grant’s assistant. When a plane almost crashes, she comes out as a super-powered person. After the people in her life give her some help, she comes onto the scene as Supergirl and works for the DEO.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Random Thoughts On… Superman: American Alien

I thought I’d change it up a little for this post. Next up for the month is a pretty recent miniseries called Superman: American Alien. The book is more or less a look at the early days of Clark Kent before he became The Man of Steel. If that sounds familiar to you, then join the club. As I said before, it seems like the thing to do with Superman now is to look at his early days. Secret Origin, Birthright, the Earth One universe, and the movies have done it. Heck, there was a hit TV show that centered on them! It’s gotten to the point where I might as well pull out my notebook and do an origin for the guy.

So, here comes Max Landis with his own version what made Clark Kent into… Clark Kent? Well, that’s what he said in an interview about the miniseries. For those who don’t know, Max Landis is a writer in Hollywood. He’s well known for writing the script for Chronicle, a found-footage movie with superpowers. It’s sitting in my collection unseen but I've heard good things about it. He’s also known for a short film/parody where he talks about The Death and Return of Superman. Some Superman fans were peeved about that film. I saw it myself, laughed little, and thought his message was a little flawed. Landis then made his way into comics by writing a few stories for the character. He’s even been online talking about the character, so I see why DC decided to let him do his own take on Superman’s myth.
With the way some folk are, I can see this happening.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Trade Tales! - Superman: Earth One Volume 2

Next up on Superman Month is something I have been meaning to get back to. Back in 2010, DC released Superman: Earth One Volume 1. It was basically another retelling of Superman’s origin but in a different universe. The idea of the Earth One series was to give the heroes more modern origins. If there’s something DC is good (or “meh”) at in the 21st century, it’s retelling Superman’s origins. It took me a couple of years to get around to reading it. I thought it was fine and even reviewed it here in 2012. The whole Earth One series is something I’m still behind on. DC decided to do a couple of more sequels in this new Superman and followed it up with Volume 2.

The second volume to Superman: Earth One was released in October 2012. It’s supposed to take place sometime after the events of the last volume. J. Michael Straczynski came back to continue the story he’s been writing on this new Superman. Shane Davis is also back handling the pencils. Sandra Hope also returns to do the inks. The coloring is a little different this time around. But it is still being handled by Barbara Ciardo.

Superman: Earth One Vol. 2 
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski 
Pencils: Shane Davis 
Inks: Sandra Hope 
Colors: Barbara Ciardo 
Letters: Rob Leigh 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Trade Tales! - Superman: Secret Identity

Next on the list of stories is one I’ve heard good things about. Superman: Secret Identity was a mini-series that was released in 2004. It's an Elseworlds while not actually being labelled as that. Kurt Busiek took inspiration from the Superboy of Earth-Prime to make this story. For those uninformed, Earth-Prime was supposed to be the real world and it had no superheroes except for “PRIME”. It was destroyed during Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Busiek’s story more or less asks what if the Crisis never happened and Clark kept on living on that world. I doubt he even knew that the character who I call “PRIME” for really no reason would come back the way he did.

I never really sought it out until a few months ago though. My thing about some stories is that if I see it and it’s really cheap, my curiosity monkey will start to itch.  That was how it was for this one.  Busiek, who wasn’t a stranger to comics, wrote all four issues. Reading this made me see why he was ultimately brought onto the Superman books a couple of years later. All of the artwork (pencils, inks, and even colors) were handled by Stuart Immonen. Immonen’s no stranger to comics nor Superman. He drew and even wrote the character for DC in the 1990’s.

Superman: Secret Identity
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Letters: Todd Klein

Friday, September 16, 2016

Trade Tales! - Smallville Season 11: Guardian

Next up for this month, it’s time to revisit something cool. Smallville may not be one of my favorite TV shows, but it is at least in the top 20. The show went from showcasing the early days of Clark Kent to almost becoming a Superman show in itself. It definitely felt like that in the last few seasons when Clark actually got his crap together. I know the series finale disappointed some and I was a little underwhelmed as well. It was less “where is the suit” and more “this should be a little better” for me. I still enjoyed it in the end.

In 2012, DC was getting its digital release schedule together and one of the new series put out there was Smallville Season 11. The comic was released weekly digitally in parts and the whole story would be put into print the next month. The comic ended up getting written by Bryan Q. Miller, one of the show’s executive story editors. He pretty much stuck with the series until its end in 2015. The pencils and inks for this volume was provided by Pere Perez.

Here’s a quick recap or those who don’t remember the finale.  The forces of Apokalips were staging an invasion on Earth. Clark ultimately saved the day when he finally donned the traditional costume and literally pushed Apokalips out of Earth’s orbit. How he did that and how Apokalips was able to do that, I don’t remember. Also, Lex Luthor returned to the land of the living via cloning, Darkseid, and a Lionel Luthor from the alternate Earth. Unfortunately (for him since he knew Clark’s identity), his memories were somehow erased when he killed his illegitimate sister, Tess Mercer. Wow, that show got convoluted in the end. The comic series would take place six months after those events.

Smallville Season 11 Volume 1: Guardian
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Artist: Pere Perez
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Colors: Chris Beckett and Randy Mayor
Cover Artist: Cat Scaggs

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tales From the Trade! - Superman: For Tomorrow

Next up on the list of stories I want to look at is this one. This was one I was always curious about mostly because it’s not exactly well-liked by most. I kind of remember seeing this out on stands whenever I’d go to a book store like Waldenbooks. The covers to the issues looked cool but that was all I really saw of it. I’ve seen the artwork just about everywhere online. I mean, it’s some good Jim Lee artwork. Recently, I finally decided to check it out by getting the two trades that contains the story.

“For Tomorrow” was a storyline that took place in Superman #204-#215. Jim Lee was the big artist for this one. He was fresh off from his time on Batman. I guess he decided he wanted to tackle DC’s other big hero. The inks are mostly handled by Lee’s regular inker, Scott Williams. More did come on though as the arc went along.  Along for the ride is writer Brian Azzarello. I mostly know for his later work like Wonder Woman and some other stuff. I know he was on a Vertigo book called 100 Bullets at the time and I’ve heard it’s not bad. So, sit back as I try to synopsize this story where Superman gets philosophical.

Superman: For Tomorrow
Writer: Brian Azzarrello
Pencils: Jim Lee
Inks: Scott Williams and others
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh and Nick J. Napolitano

Friday, September 9, 2016

Movie Talk - Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition

It’s September, so you know what that means: I get older! That’s right, my age officially gets higher and those few specks of white hair in my beard start to multiply… oh yeah, it’s Superman Month. This month really has no theme since I really couldn’t come up with one. I guess if there is a theme, it’s that I’m mostly looking at out-of-continuity stories. Anything’s really on the docket this time. Today’s quick look is definitely an example.

Back in March, I did a review on the theatrical version of Zack Snyder’s court drama, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even when I saw it, I knew things got cut out and that hurt my enjoyment of the film even though I liked it. When word of an “Ultimate” edition started to crop up, I knew I was going to check it out. Before I got it, I had heard that it was better than the theater cut but not by much. Eventually, I got it and saw it over the span of a few days. Hey, I was watching it before work, so I had an excuse to split it up. So, is it indeed better than the theater cut? By the way, "there be spoilers here, arrr!" Also, if you want to know at I originally said in March, click here.

Friday, September 2, 2016

25 Favorite Star Trek Characters

Now that I’ve gone through my favorite antagonists of Star Trek, it’s finally time to quickly talk about some of my favorite characters from the franchise. I’m sort of going all out on this one. I decided 25 was a nice number considering we’re in Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Of course, I’ll be listing my favorites from the main casts of all shows. I’ll also include some recurring characters that I thought were pretty cool. I won’t be including villains though. I already went through that.

25. Kes - Yes, Kes made it to the list. I did like her over some of the other characters on the show especially Neelix. I will say that her species kind of sucks in the evolutionary hierarchy. A 9-year life span? What’s up with that? Anyway, I liked her for a couple of reasons. She had a nice personality that made her easy to talk to anyone on the crew. I also liked that she had telepathic abilities and that she wasn’t always in control of them. It sucks that she got let go from the show. To me, her character had more potential on the show than a couple others.

24. Deanna Troi - Yeah, I got her on the list too. Even though Counsoler Troi’s role on the Enterprise-D was a little useless at times, I did like her. There were some episodes that revolved around her that I thought were nice. The one where she was surgically altered to be a Romulan (“Face of the Enemy”) was pretty cool. I also liked her rapport and relationship with Will Riker.

23. Jonathan Archer - While Archer was my least favorite captain, he did have some moments to shine for me. By the way, Archer was captain the NX-01 Enterprise. Most of those moments were in the third season during the Xindi arc. He also had some standout moments during the fourth season. Besides, it’s Dr. Sam Beckett in the role. That’ll automatically get me to like the guy somewhat!

22. Martok - Martok was a Klingon commander on DS9. While we got introduced to him in the fourth season, we didn’t get to really know him until the fifth season and afterwards. If there was a Klingon I would say was legitimately cool, it would be Martok. He even beats Worf in that aspect. He was probably also one of the more likable Klingons since he wasn’t too uptight in honor.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Favorite Star Trek Villains Part 2

Hey, all. Here is the rest of the list. As you can probably tell below, there's a reason I split this thing into two parts.

7. The Romulans
The Romulans have been major villains for the franchise since the beginning. They are descended from Vulcans who left the planet long ago to forge a different path. Instead of logic, their prime motive is maintaining their own set of order through any means. They definitely like to spark up trouble especially when it involves the Federation and its allies. Their technology is on even on par with Stafleet’s.

There have been some standout moments involving the Romulans. There was Kirk’s encounter with  a cloaked Romulan ship in “Balance of Terror.” We had the Romulans trying to interrupt the creation of the Federation on Star Trek: Enterprise. Then, there’s all the stuff they did on TNG with the Federation’s relationship with the Klingons. The most standout moment for the Romulans would have to be from the rebooted movies series where a group of them travels back in time and wreck some serious havoc on Starfleet and Vulcan. What Worf said about them is true: “They are without honor.”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Favorite Star Trek Villains Part 1

Next up on this Star Trek frenzy of mine is the topic of villains. With Trek, they tend to vary. You have some that are really good, you have some that are average, and then you have “hippies in space.” Guess what won’t be on this list, “brother!” Today’s list is going to center on 15 of my favorite villains from the franchise. I did something similar to this years ago and I actually included a couple of villains that’ll see today. You’ll probably see some of the regulars like Khan (not the Bennie Cumberbatch variety) and the Borg. You may also see some that don’t get mentioned on the top lists especially since most of those lists center on the movies. First, here are some honorable mentions:
  • Garth of Izar – Yes, I kind of like this guy even though it’s literally being played to the nth degree of cheese. ‘Ole Garth was once a famous captain in Starfleet who was driven mad and sent to Elba II’s asylum for the criminally insane. He quarrelled with Kirk in the episode, "Whom Gods Destroy." While he’s not one of my favorites, I like him. I heard someone say that he’s basically a Batman villain from the 60’s TV show and I see it. What’s even funnier is that Batgirl (Yvonne Craig) is in the episode too! I would have rather had seen Cumberbatch play him than Khan as well.
  • Soran – In Star Trek Generations, Soran was an El-Aurian scientist who wanted to go to a dimension called the Nexus aka “Red Ribbon in the Sky”. Unfortunately, he had to make a sun go nova and kill millions including the crashed Enterprise. Luckily, that dark future was erased because Picard decided to bring James T. Kirk (who then dies…) back from the Nexus at that exact moment and stop it even though he could have used the Nexus to take him to a better vantage point. Yeah, Generations wasn’t that good though it had its moments. Luckily, Malcolm McDowell was pretty good as Soran.
  • T’Pring– That was one mean, logical…woman! T'Pring was Spock's arranged wife from "Amok Time." Unfortunately for "Hot and Bothered" Spock, T'Pring wanted to marry someone else. Now, I get she wanted to marry Ston instead of Spock. It was her right. What makes her a stone cold antagonist is that she picks Kirk to take Ston’s place in the… that battle which name I don’t remember. That’s cold-blooded in my dictionary!
  • Shinzon – I know Star Trek: Nemesis gets a bad rep but I thought Shinzon was fine. It was cool that he was a clone of the Picard. Plus, the guy did some bad stuff like killing Romulan governing officials and ultimately killing Data (sort of). And that ship of his looked pretty cool. Too bad the movie couldn’t be that cool.
  • The aliens from “Conspiracy”– During Seaosn 1 of TNG, these interesting aliens caused Picard and Starfleet quite a scare in a pretty entertaining episode. They had somehow taken control of the higher-ups at Starfleet and were making plans to take over more officers. They and their queen who had taken over an officer named Remmirick were eventually beaten but others like them were still out there waiting in another system. Unfortunately, they kept waiting since this episode was all we got of them. They were never brought back to the show and I heard that they were replaced by the Borg for being the Federation’s big threat.

And now, here's the first part of the list.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Love is in The Air... Sort of - Star Trek's Favorite/Least Favorite Relationships

When preparing my Latinum/Vole Awards posts, I came across one category: Romance in Star Trek. I mulled over it and really couldn’t make up my mind on what to say. So, guess what becomes its own separate post? Yes, Valentine’s Day is far from us, but love knows no season. Just imagine me saying that in a sultry, deep voice that brings the house down. While I’ll be listing five of my favorite romances from the franchise, I’ll also put five of my least favorite romances too.  I might as well balance it out with this one. Trek didn’t always do romance that great even when the couples were cool, so I‘ll mention that as well. They’re also not in any sort of order.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Cardassian Vole Awards - Star Trek's Low Moments

Here on the Random Boat of Randomness, I try to look at the good stuff. Even when I talk about something that isn’t really good, there’s usually something in there that’s okay. Heck, I was able to find something good in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 and that mostly sucked. I even said the DVD would make a nice coaster. So, that’s where I’m going with the Vole Awards. For those who don’t know, voles are annoying ugly creatures from Cardassia that know how to muck up your standard space station. Gul Dukat must have left some over there when the Federation came to take over Terok Nor.

The things I’ll be looking at today are some of my least favorite aspects of the franchise. You’ll notice I didn’t say “worst” here. While some of these things are definitely bad, you may be able to find some good in them. There are things on here that I kind of like but they have aspects that I’m not really fond of. So, what will get a nice vole to put on their shelf at night? Find out below.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Latinum Awards - The Best of Star Trek

Greetings to the first (and probably only) Latinum Awards. Since we’re in the franchise’s 50th year, I thought it was finally time to look at some of the good things it’s given us. After all, Star Trek has given us a lot of good things over the years. This is something that fans have probably debated for years on end and it’s time to throw my cards in on the subjects. I have 10 categories and I may have some surprises in there for y’all.  Yes, I did choose latinum for the award since it just looks good. Just don’t have any Ferengis around it or it might go missing. So, what will get a statue made of gold-pressed latinum for being pretty cool?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Movie Talk - Star Trek Beyond

Nice homage to a pretty underrated Trek movie.

Well, this is a little late. I was actually planning on seeing this again and I still might, but I want to at least get my thoughts on Star Trek Beyond out. Seeing this movie ended up being a little hassle for me. I went to go see it opening weekend and it was pretty packed. I was busy earlier in the day with my family and I didn’t get to eat anything that morning or afternoon. I planned on eating something at the theatre, but that line was way too long. It was for the best though since I really need to watch what I eat. Besides, Panda Express was just a small walk away. Before you ask, I mostly got veggies.

Star Trek Beyond takes place three years after Star Trek Into Darkness. By the way, STID really doesn’t stand up on a re-watch but it is still entertaining. Anyway, they’re well on into their five-year mission. While they’re getting supplies at the Yorktown starbase, they get sent on a mission to escort a survivor from a planet in unexplored space. Unfortunately, it all turns out to be an ambush as a swarm of small ships attack the Enterprise when it reaches the planet. When the Enterprise is damaged beyond repair, Kirk and the crew must find a way to survive on the planet and stop the villain, Krall, from unleashing a deadly weapon.

Without getting into too much, I thought this was a better improvement over the last movie. The cast was at their best here. I also liked the newer characters we got. The effects and the action were on par with the previous two movies. Even the comedy worked. While I liked it, it did have some stuff that didn’t work out. It was mostly related to the villain, Krall, who didn’t get too fleshed out. Also, some of the writing could have been better. Still, I did think the movie was good in the end. If you want a better, more-spoilerish look, go on down.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Random Thoughts On... The Multiversity

I think I’m going to make this “Random Thoughts On…” section a thing now. It’ll give me a chance to talk about stuff that aren’t really reviews of different stuff. Heck, I may even go into another tangent like I did with the subject of a black James Bond. I probably won’t go too random with this new thing. I will say that today’s subject may slip into review territory though. 

Today’s subject is actually on The Multiversity by Grant Morrison. It was a limited series that was released around 2014 and 2015. It was basically Grant Morrison’s way to expand on DC’s Multiverse and basically tell a story within it. It’s kind of a sequel to Final Crisis in that he uses some characters and certain ideas in it. He apparently had this idea for years going back as far as 2010. I heard stuff here and there about it but I wasn’t really interested in it until it was officially announced. I also think the fact that I’m more of a fan of Morrison’s work these days helped too. I added it to my pull list and read it as it came out each month. I will admit that I was a little lazy with the last issue though. I’ve been going through my collection lately and I thought I’d re-read this on a whim.

Morrison wrote all nine issues. The art team varies with each issue since most of the series take place on different Earths in the Multiverse. We had guys like Ivan Reis, Frank Quitely, Chris Sprouse, Ben Oliver, Jim Lee, Cameron Stewart, and Doug Manhke handling the art in the miniseries. I’m not even going to mention the rest of the art team for the mini. There are too many names to mention. I heard that this series’ plot structure is similar to another series that Morrison worked on called Seven Soldiers. I haven’t read that yet but I’ve heard things about it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Batman: Venom

I think it is time to get back to some of that Batman goodness if there is such a thing. Today’s story comes from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, a comic series that had stories that weren’t too connected to Batman’s current status. The series started around the release of the 1989 Batman movie.  It usually had stories that showed Batman in his early years or at least it started out like that. Last year, I looked at “Gothic,” one of the arcs from this series. Today’s five-parter is called “Venom” and it went through issues #16-20 of that series. Like “Gothic,” I found this series in the cheap bins one day.

The writer of the story is well-known Batman writer, Denny O’Neil. He revitalized the character in the 70’s. I also think he was an editor on the main Bat-books at this time too. The layouts were handled by Trevor von Eden. The pencils were done by Russell Braun. The inking was handled by well-known artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (praise be his name!). If you’re wondering why I’ll add “praise be his name” to Garcia-Lopez’s name, blame Charles Niemeyer. So, let’s see what happens to Batman when he enters an after school special about drugs.

Batman: Venom
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Layouts: Trevor von Eeden
Pencils: Russell Braun
Inks: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (praise be his name!)
Colors: Steve Oliff
Letters: Willie Schubert

Friday, July 8, 2016

Trek Novels - Star Trek - The Captain's Table Book One: War Dragons

Well, it’s another day and another Star Trek novel. This one is a little special though. Today’s post is the start at a look at an anthology series that was released throughout 1998 called “The Captain’s Table.” The basic premise is that there is a special bar called The Captain’s Table and captains of all sorts come and relax for a bit. Six books looked at  the different captains  at that time. There are even a couple of surprises in there if you don’t know who I’m talking about. Obviously, there isn’t one for Enterprise (this early series anyway), so just look to my The Good That Men Do review for that goodness. I’m going to try to look each book during the next few months.

Today’s book is called War Dragons and features Captain James T. Kirk and surprisingly, Captain Hikaru Sulu. The writers are Julia Ecklar and Karen Rose Cercone. They did the book under the pseudonym of L.A Graf. The two, as well as a third writer, came together to write different Trek books. Now, the book actually has two timelines for a bit.  The first is right after the TOS episode, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” while the other timeline takes place between the fifth and sixth movie.

Star Trek: The Captain’s Table – War Dragons
Author(s): L.A.Graf

BRIEF BLURB: Captains Kirk and Sulu visit a bar at the Utopia Planitia colony on Mars. There, they tell the patrons about their dealings with the Nykkus and Anjiri, a race of space pirates.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Favorites - My Random (though not perfect) Star Trek Crew

Since this is Star Trek’s 50 anniversary, it’s finally time to make this post. I have other posts planned for the next few months and this is one of them.

Over six shows, 13 movies (I’m counting Star Trek Beyond too), and a crapton of novels, we’ve been shown a lot of officers. We’ve had some good ones and a couple of okay ones. I doubt we’ve had any bad crew members unless you count Harry Kim. Personally, he’s alright but he’s definitely not on this list. Some have braved the vastness of space and have done some cool things. Others just did their job and they were good at that. I can say one thing about the many crews: they were at least good at their jobs. You can’t always say that in real life.

So, here is my ultimate Trek crew. I know that folk online have done this, so I’ll try to do my own spin on this. By the way, some of these may not be my favorite characters from the show. They may not even be the best at their certain job. I also wondered what team-ups or pairings would be interesting. I’m also not going to crowd it with just one crew. I could do that easily, but that wouldn’t be fair to the other shows. I do think each show has at least one character that would be on a list like this. So, if I was Admiral Williams of Starfleet (played by Tony Todd or Michael Dorn for cool reasons), who would I want to head a crew that’s heading into that final frontier we call space?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Random Thoughts On... A Black James Bond? – An Opinion

‘Sup, guys. I think it’s time for something a little different on the Random Boat of Randomness. So, I recently watched Spectre a couple of weekends ago. I have to admit that it left me a little cold. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but something did feel lacking. I don’t know if it was the direction or the story, but it felt off especially towards the end. Since Daniel Craig has hinted that he may be done with Bond, the look for another woman-loving, butt-kicking, alcohol-drinking dude is probably on right now. A few names have been tossed here and there. 

One thing that has been a bit of a thing for the last few years is the idea of a black man as James Bond or a James Bond who happens to be black. Take your pick. I thought about talking about this here a few years ago, but I didn’t know what to say on the matter. In a way, I still don’t know what to say. As you can tell, that’s something I’m really good at doing. Just ask anyone I know. Would something like this be possible? Should it even happen? My answer is yes… and no. I’ll go into why below.

Monday, June 13, 2016

"It's a Video Game!" - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords

So, I’ve finally finished this game. It was a long ride. I had originally found KOTOR 2 at this game store in Columbia. I played it for a while until I found its predecessor at McKay’s. I put KOTOR 2 on the backburner and went on to play and finish the first game. After I was done with it, I started over with KOTOR 2 and eventually finished it. Was it worth it all? I’ll get to that below. By the way, I’m talking about the original Xbox version of KOTOR 2. I know there’s a more modern version floating out there, so I just want to stop the confusion here.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords was released for the Xbox during December 2004 by Lucasarts. It’s an action-RPG game that takes place five years after the events from the last game. Obsidian Software handled the development of the game instead of Bioware this time. Bioware wanted to center on its own original ideas, so they handed it over to Obsidian to develop. It also got good praise and reviews at that time. Like its predecessor, you get to build your own character from the ground up with his/her own set of skills and powers. You still can’t mess with the looks all that much though. At least that level cap is gone!
Still no similarity. Just call him “Random Black Jedi/Sith #2!”

In the game, you play as an exiled Jedi General from the Mandalorian Wars. The Exile (in my case, Kirok Vulcanos) had been in hiding for about 10 years and missed the events of the first game. The Jedi have also been wiped out by the re-emerging Sith during this time as well. You wake up a med ward at a fuel depot on Peragus. After a long while, you and your new companions head to Telos IV, a planet that’s being rebuilt. You find out about another Jedi being on the planet and after that horrible interaction (seriously, Atris is one… witch), you’re off on a mission to find the remaining Jedi and face the Sith. You and your companions face all sorts of calamity and twists will await you. This is Star Wars after all.
Well, it's either "I wear my sunglasses at night" or Geordi LaForge needs to step aside.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Turtle Tracks - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 1

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve talked about anything related to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Let’s change that, shall we?

By now, the newest movie has come out. The word of mouth has been a little mixed from fans. I know it’s not a good film, so I’ll just wait this time. Besides, there are other movies to look forward to. A long time ago, I said I wasn’t going to comment much on the original tv show. It was mostly because I had no access to the original series at that time. I am a fan the franchise, but I’m not going to go out and get everything with them in it. Besides, I think I had enough TMNT toys from back in the day to fill some sort of chest. Too bad I don’t have them now.

This kind of changed a couple of years ago when I found the DVD to TMNT’s first season. TMNT’s first season is a short one. It only consisted of five episodes and it was first aired in syndication in 1987. I guess the episode run for the season was so short so they could see how it would do, I’m not sure. Of course, I wasn’t watching the show at that time. I didn’t start to watch the show until it aired on CBS. I do remember seeing these batch of episodes on VHS. The whole season was also cut to be a feature length movie and I used to rent that at Jitney Jungle. It didn’t include the third episode for some reason though.

The season pretty much where it all began with the Turtles. We get their origin and their first meeting with April O’Neill. She’s gets accosted while reporting on the Foot Clan, Splinter’s old ninja clan, and they save her. By they way, Splinter is Hamato Yoshi here instead of being Yoshi’s pet rat. As the mutagen changed the turtles, it turned him into a rat. Afterwards, they get involved with saving her from the Foot Clan which is being led by the Oroku Saki, the Shredder. He’s also in league with Krang, an alien from Dimension X who wants to rule the Earth. The rest of the season involves the Turtles trying to stop Shredder and Krang from doing this.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

TV Talk - Star Trek: Voyager

Well, I knew I had to get to this one eventually. It was waiting in the “My List” part of Netflix for some time at least. Heck, I think a part of me was dreading re-watching this. I think SfDebris’ ramblings have latched on to me or something. So, where should I start with Star Trek: Voyager? I guess I’ll start at the usual place: the beginning.

Star Trek: Voyager debuted on UPN in 1995. I think it was one of the first shows on that station. The first I ever saw of this show was on a recorded tape my uncle owned. I couldn’t watch the show at the time since we didn’t have UPN as part of our roster. The cassette had bits and pieces of “Scorpion” on there. It wasn’t until about 2000 when I actually got to watch the show proper. UPN was finally added to our roster of channels. I was able to see the show until its end in 2001. I was also able to catch up with the show since UPN aired reruns almost nightly.

It was a long time before I ever saw another episode of Voyager. Spike TV was playing the show for a while and I tuned in for some episodes. One thing that brought Voyager back to my attention a few years ago was an Internet reviewer by the name of SfDebris. He… wasn’t a big fan of Voyager. He tore those early seasons to shreds at places and it was pretty funny. When I got Netflix, Voyager was around, but I thought I’d hold off on it since it wasn’t one of my favorite shows. Since I got curious and I’ve reviewed the other Trek shows here, I started a re-watch of Voyager a few months ago.

For those who don’t know,the show revolves around a Federation starship that gets thrown 70,000 light years into the Delta Quadrant. Not only are they far away from home, they lost most their crew in the incident. There’s also the fact that they have to also deal with members of the Maquis, a rebel group of former Federation citizens. Captain Katharine Janeway takes the Maquis in and tries to make the best of a weird situation. I know of one person who really likes the show and my mom even likes it more that some of the others shows. So, what do I think now?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"It's a Video Game!!" - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Well, it’s time to get back to the world of Star Wars. Yeah, one could say it’s not really science fiction. Still, it does have clones and artificial intelligence, so it’s at least light sci-fi. Instead of the usual stuff involving familiar characters, I thought it was time to branch out a little bit. In 2003, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was released and got much praise. Since I didn’t own an Xbox and I’m not a big PC player, I didn’t get to play this. That changed some time back when I found KOTOR at McKay’s. I was already playing the sequel, The Sith Lords, when I found it. I was also going to talk about the sequel today, but I’m still playing it.

The game was done by Bioware. As you can probably tell by some previous posts, I like Bioware. That was one of the reasons I sought out this game. I know it’s also playable on mobile stuff, but I wanted to try it out on old-school consoles. It’s an action RPG that takes place 4,000 years before the movies take place. Like with Bioware’s more recent games, you get to build your character from the ground up with his or her own skill sets and powers. Unfortunately, you can’t change much with the size and shape of the character.

Yeah, there is no similarity. My guy does kind of looks like either Shelyn Ward from Power Rangers in Space or Vince Carter.

You start out the game as a random Republic soldier (in my case, Krell Vulcanos) fighting in a war against the Sith Empire. They’ve hit it big in the universe and the Jedi aren’t doing well. After you land on Taris, you have to look for the Jedi Knight known as Bastilla. After you save her, you and some gathered companions head to Dantooine. Since you’re apparently endowed with the Force, you’re trained as a Jedi. Since your character is having visions that involve Malak, the Sith’s leader, and Revan, Malak’s dead teacher, the Jedi Council sends you on a mission to stop Malak. Twists and turns await you… unless you were already spoiled on said twists and turns. Thanks, Internet!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

TV/Movie Talk - Firefly and Serenity

Well, it’s finally time to show some occasional fondness for the man known as Joss Whedon. He’s known for things like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and some indie movie called The Avengers. Then there’s this not-well-known property, Firefly. For those who don’t know, Firefly is the one show of Whedon’s that has kind of has a cult following. Whedon took the final frontier of space and literally made a western of it. Unfortunately (to its fans), it was one show that didn’t receive more accolades than it could have gotten. I think I may be to blame as well since I missed out on this entirely.

The show debuted on FOX September 20th, 2002, my birthday. It then ended a few episodes later in December 2002. That has got to be one kick in the face. I missed out on this show since it aired on Friday nights. While it was on, I was in a marching uniform playing quads and trying to look good while doing it. I don’t think I ever saw an episode until it aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. I think it’s possible that I didn’t watch an episode until I found the DVD set at the library in 2011. Now, I did see Serenity, the blockbuster continuation, before I saw an episode of the series. It was playing on MTSU’s movie channel back in 2005 and I tuned to see it without knowing anything about it.

This is one show I’ve wanted to revisit for some time. For the past couple of weeks, I went on Netflix and more or less watched the whole thing. There are only 14 episodes, so it wasn’t a hassle. I watched Serenity afterwards. I actually bought this when our local Movie Gallery was going out of business. The show and movie take place about 500 years in the future. Earth was used up, so humanity took to the stars in order to live. They found worlds and terraformed them to make them habitable. A civil war broke out between the rich and poor planets with the rich (the Alliance) winning. We follow the crew of the Serenity a few years after the war ended. The crew, led by Malcolm Reynolds, does jobs that are sometimes not so law-abiding. Things begin to change when they let some new passengers on board.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review/Movie Talk - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Next up is a movie that I hadn’t seen until sometime last year. I may call myself a fan of science fiction, but there are still some things I haven’t seen yet. This was one of them. 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968. It was based on a screenplay written by director, Stanley Kubrick and writer, Arthur C. Clarke. The novel by Clarke was actually written during the production of the movie, so the book is more of a novelization. That was something I didn’t know until I started researching it. I thought the movie was based on the book. The screenplay itself was based on “The Sentinel” and “Encounter in the Dawn,” two earlier stories written by Clark.

As I said before, I saw the movie last year during Thanksgiving. I had it for a while before I watched it fully. I just read the novel this month. I’ve always heard that this movie was considered to be influential in a lot of ways to different writers and directors. I heard that it’s considered to be one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. From what I’ve seen online, that’s true for the most part. I have seen detractors of the movie though. The one I remember most is Confused Matthew’s multi-part review on the movie. He didn’t like it that much. Seeing it then, I can probably see why. So, what do I think of the movie and book? Find out below.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Novel and movie written by Arthur C. Clarke

BRIEF BLURB: In the 21st century, humanity sends astronauts into deep space when they find an alien artifact that was around during the dawn of Man.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Trade Tales! - Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes

I think it’s time to return to the Planet of the Apes. Back in 2011, Boom! Studios had acquired the license for Planet of the Apes. I think they still have it. They’d have to have it in order for that Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover to come out some time ago. Yes, someone had the awesome idea to have William Shatner and Charlton Heston meet in comic form. I’m not talking about that today though. One thing Boom! did do was try to bridge the gap between the fifth and first POTA movies. I really haven’t read much of those unfortunately.

Today’s book is a prequel to the first movie in that it’s supposed to take place 20 years before the 1968 movie. Betrayal of The Planet of the Apes was a miniseries that was released in 2011. I actually found this trade and another book at Books-A-Million on New Year’s Eve. I decided to take it light that night. The miniseries was written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman. Hardman also handled the art with the mini. Jordie Bellaire handled the colors and Ed Dirkshire handled the letters.

Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes
Writers: Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Artist: Gabriel Hardman
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Ed Dirkshire
Editor: Dafna Pleban