Friday, April 29, 2016

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Prince and the New Power Generation: Three Chains of Gold

You know, I was saving this issue for one rainy day. Unfortunately, it had to be for this. As some you y’all might know, Prince suddenly passed away last week. It was a bit of a shock to me and pretty much everyone else. I’m not the biggest Prince fan out there, but I like some of his songs. I’ve listened to most of his stuff from his prime. I can say that he was really gifted musician. The guy could almost play anything and that’s really cool to me.

I found this issue during Free Comic Book Day last year. I even tweeted on it since it literally looks like one of the most random finds ever. I mean, a Prince comic book? I’m not surprised that there would be something like that out there, but seeing is believing in this case. This was done by Pirhana Music back in 1994 and was an adaptation to a video Prince released around that time. Prince and the New Power Generation was shockingly written by Dwayne McDuffie… yeah, that Dwayne McDuffie! David Williams (no relation), Steve Carr, and Deryl Skelton handled the pencils for this 48-page issue. Inks were done by long-time inker, Josef Rubinstein.

Prince and the New Power Generation: Three Chains of Gold
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Pencils: David Williams (pages 1-22); Steve Carr (pages 23-48); Deryl Skelton (pages 23-48)
Inks: Josef Rubinstein
Colors: Danny Vozzo
Letters: Robert Lappan
Editing: Andrew Helfer

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weird Star Trek Episodes - Turnabout Intruder aka "MUTNY! BLOODY, STINKING MUTNY!!!"

Not even your telekinetic abilities can save this episode, sir!

There are so many names I could give this episode. There’s “Captain Kirk Turns Into A Woman,” “William Shatner Goes Where No Actor Has Gone Before,” or “An Study In Ham.” If you’re wondering, yes, I did spell “mutiny” wrong in the title. See the episode and you’ll know why. “Turnabout Intruder” is the final episode of the original Star Trek TV show. As I’ve said before, that third season was far from decent and this episode is just one example of it. Technically, it’s not the last mission of the show. That’ll have to go to “All Our Yesterdays,” a much better episode than this.

The episode starts out with the Enterprise heading to Camus II to help in a rescue operation. We find out that Janice Lester, a former love of Kirk’s, is there and is one of the injured. When the two are by themselves, Dr. Lester uses a machine to put her mind in Kirk’s body and his mind in her body. Apparently, things didn’t turn out well for her at Starfleet Academy (she didn’t get a command position), so she went bonkers and found this machine on Camus II to make the switch happen. She (in Kirk’s body) tries to kill Kirk (in Lester’s body) but the others come back. They all then head to the ship.
I give the look Scotty gives a lot these days.

Lester does what she can to get her helper, Dr. Coleman, to be in charge over her regular body. She takes command but the crew notices that all is not right. McCoy has Lester (in Kirk’s body) checked up on. Kirk (in Lester’s body) does escape sickbay and tries to tell Spock and McCoy the truth but he’s looked on as crazy. Spock does mind meld with him and learn the truth. Unfortunately, Lester uses her power as captain to conduct a court-martial on Spock. When Scotty and McCoy also begin to side with Spock, she orders to have them all executed. Luckily, the crew isn’t stupid and the process that caused the switch starts to wear off. She and Dr. Coleman try to kill Kirk but the process wears off and they go back into their regular bodies.

This episode is a bit below average for me but it is pretty entertaining. The story is a "body-switch" episode and those aren’t always good. What I do like here is that Spock and McCoy know something’s up from the beginning with the possessed Kirk. They just have to take time to figure out the truth. Even Scotty know something’s not right with Kirk foaming at the mouth during the court-martial. Then there’s Shatner’s acting… oh boy. While it is really hammy and kinda bad, it’s actually pretty entertaining to watch. He is acting as a crazed woman in a man’s body, after all.
Uh... I... Hmm... this rendition of Swan Lake is quite riveting!

Then we get to the weird stuff with the sexism and the weird fact that women can’t be captains. Considering that Trek was pretty progressive, I doubt that’s what was supposed to be conveyed there when Lester said that. Personally, I think Starfleet knew Lester had some bolts loose up there and kept her out of a command position. Besides, considering how crazed she was in the episode, what she said about female captains could be taken with a grain of salt. Even after that, it’s just a pretty below average episode that doesn’t do anything that interesting.

Overall, it’s an okay episode. It’s definitely not the best of the series and it is a letdown of a final episode. I will say that it’s definitely better than Enterprise’s horrid finale. This one didn’t make me tear up at the end for all of its badness. If you’re looking for some unintentional laughs, you’ll find them here. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 10: Hollywood

Well, I’m back with another tale from the Ultimate Spider-Man series. We got a couple of more weeks until Captain America: Civil War. Early press has said it’s good but I’ll have to be the judge of that. This week’s trade has most of the usual team. Bendis is writing, Bagley is penciling, and Thibert is doing some inking. Scott Hanna also does inking and will take over after this arc. Hollywood contains Ultimate Spider-Man #54-59 and is kind of a throwback to an old issue of Amazing Spider-man.

Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 10: Hollywood 
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis 
Pencils: Mark Bagley 
Inks: Art Thibert and Scott Hanna 
Colors: J. D. Smith 
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Trek Novels – Star Trek: Heart of the Sun

Well, it’s about time I get back to talking about some novels especially since I'm on days for a bit. While next month will have more of a overall scifi feel, I still want to look at some Trek novels. I wanted to go on and get this one out of the way first. Star Trek: Heart of the Sun was published in 1997. I’ve actually have had this book for years. Someone got it for me for Christmas one year. I don’t know if it was my mom or grandmother. I did try to read it a few years ago, but it fell over to the wayside. Since I’ve had it for almost two decades, it was finally time to finish it.

The authors are Pamela Sargent and George Zebrowski. They’ve both written novels in the scifi genre. The two have also teamed up other Star Trek novels. One of them even centered on the Garth of Izar. Sargent is a pretty well-known feminist which explains one character in the novel. That’s not a complaint on the character (Myra was cool) but it was something I noticed when researching her. There is no stardate for the mission (I never understood them anyway), but it looks like it takes place during the first season of TOS. Chekov isn’t around yet and other members like Janice Rand and Lt. Riley are featured here.

Star Trek: Heart of the Sun
Authors: Pamela Sargent and George Zebrowski

BRIEF BLURB: While on a mission to the planet, Tyrtaeus II, the Enterprise encounters an asteroid that moves like a ship. The crew and representatives of Tyrtaeus II investigate it as it’s heading for the system’s sun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Weird Star Trek Episodes: Elogium aka "A Very Special Episode of Star Trek: Voyager!"

I think this is the look I had when I saw a small mouse on my counter top recently.

I just realized I haven’t done anything Star Trek related yet. I’m one bad fan, ain’t I? I think I got a little tired of Trek after last year, so I needed a break. I think the fact that I was coming upon Voyager was also a cause. Recently, I’ve started at the beginning with the show. It’s… well, it’s not as bad as SfDebris has said but it’s not really good either. It’s just another Trek show in its early years, so you know how that goes. Today’s episode probably fits in that mold. “Elogium” is a Season Two episode. It was originally supposed to be a Season One episode, but they decided to move it for some reason. I can definitely say that it shows.

In the episode, Voyager encounters a swarm of beings that live out in space. As Voyager gets closer to the swarm, the swarm magnetically pulls the ship into their nest. This somehow causes Kes, an Occampa, to act pretty weirdly. She’s in an eating frenzy and her temperature’s rising. Neelix takes her to Sickbay to get her checked out. It turns out that the swarm’s energy patterns are making Kes go through a premature “Elogium,” the time when Occampian females hit puberty. When these females hit this phase of life, they have to mate soon or they may not be able to have a child after it passes.
Do you like the new look, Chakotay? I call it, "A Sweet Summer's Day."

Of course, Kes and Neelix aren’t taking this lightly. They both go back and forth on whether they’re ready to have a child. Meanwhile, Chakotay and Janeway are wondering if this ship could handle being a generational ship. Eventually, the crew finds out that the swarm is attracted to the ship’s warp signature and looks at it as a potential mate. They find this out when a bigger being, a “suitor”, come and attacks the ship. Thanks to a suggestion from Chakotay, they’re able to get the swarm to get attracted to the bigger being and they get out of there. In the end, Kes decides not to have a child at this point and it even turns out that she may be able to go through the phase when she’s ready. The episode ends as Ensign Wildman comes to Janeway and lets her know that she is expecting a child soon.

I thought the episode was alright. I think this was the first time I’ve actually seen this episode. The plot of Kes going through Elogium was somewhat entertaining. I especially thought the stuff with her eating random crap was actually pretty funny. With the way she was acting, I was wondering if she was pregnant or something. Thankfully, we didn’t get Voyager’s rendition of TNG’s “The Child.” I thought that the aspect of Kes and Neelix wondering about having a kid was alright. We actually got a nice moment about Tuvok and his children.
Oh man... will someone please keep the mustard away from Kes?!??!?

The other plot of Voyager being stuck in the swarm was alright. It wasn’t anything special but I did get a smirk at Tuvok mentioning “sex appeal.” There is stuff that make the episode a bit rough to get through. We have Neelix being annoying in places. The first scene in Sickbay and his complaint to Janeway was pretty annoying. Plus, the whole plot of Voyager being viewed as a sex object is kinda out there. Overall, this was alright and definitely fits as an early season episode. It definitely ain’t the best but I can’t call it the worst either. Well, that’s all I got for now. Here’s hoping I can get through Voyager intact. Peace, God Bless, and don’t let the Neelixs in your life get you down.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 9: Ultimate Six

Let’s see if I can keep the Ultimate Spider-Man juice up for a while. As for the latest news, we have finally seen what Spidey will look like in Captain America: Civil War. It was only a glimpse but he did look fine. It’s definitely got a classic look to it.  I’ve gotta see what’s up with those eyes though. I still wish other movies didn’t get pushed back for another Spider-Man movie, but I just have to get over that.

Today’s trade is a bit of a mix. Ultimate Six includes Ultimate Spider-Man #53 and a seven-issue mini-series that came out between 2003 and 2004. As you could probably tell by the title, it has to do with this universe’s version of the Sinister Six, a team of Spider-Man’s villains. Not only is it that, it’s also a place where the Ultimates (This universe’s Avengers) basically get to do something after their first series came to an end. Brian Michael Bendis writes it all. The regular team of Bagley and Thibert handle the USM issue. For Ultimate Six, Trevor Hairsine is the penciller and Danny Miki handles the inking. Former EiC Joe Quesada also penciled some pages of the mini.

Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 9: Ultimate Six
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley, Trevor Hairsine, and Joe Quesada
Inks: Art Thibert and Danny Miki
Colors: Dave Stewart, Ian Hannin, Avalon Studios, Transparency Digital, and Richard Isanove
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos