Saturday, 23 May 2009
Holy crap, what a slugfest; with sound effect text that fills an entire splash page. The art and feel of things beat any of the slugfests produced by Marvel or DC in recent times (for shame Superman, for shame). It isn't over yet it looks to be a three issue or so slugfest, also in this issue some nice overshadowing of Cecil's plans.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
All hell is breaking loose on Oa, the Corps can't seem to deal with one red lantern and their Sciencells prisoners. Sodam Yat has a moment of pure epic heroics on his home planet and Sinstro reveals a lot about his long term plans. Good solid Green Lantern action, I just hope that Blackest Night doesn't ruin all this good build up.
The start of a new plot arc for walking dead, it seems to be another study in how the humans are still more dangerous and horrible than the zombies. There is a moment in the issue that gives you pause even compared to all the dreadful events that have come before. The group is again fractured in what answers they have to tough situations. It remains one of the best lines out there.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
A confused Grundy gets flashes of his life from the 1800's and encounters Poison Ivy. Slightly above average reading this issue, I do like the Solomon Grundy character but I don't think they've hit the sweet spot yet. The art can be cluttered but suits the flashbacks.
What happens when supermen go bad, we've all seen an evil superman story before. A bit bland on the whole; an array of heros and villains hiding from and trying to kill or capture the Plutonian. This issue is a discusion with the Lois Lane-a-like on the Plutonians weaknesses and background.
Friday, 1 May 2009
A selection of short stories staring the villians who make up Norman Osborne's ruling group. Lots of villains plotting and the sparkling gem is the Dr. Doom story "... And I'll Get The Land". The art is varied and well considered, I enjoyed this one shot of villainy.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Josh is in a pretty bad way but at least he does now have superpowers; mindbending nightmares and deformity are small things in exchange for superpowers right? The art style is growing on me, it certainly shows horror quite well. The Front Line becomes more and more sinster, excellent stuff.
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Walking dead is one of the best ongoing series ongoing these days, written by Robert Kirkman (of 'Invincible' fame); it is a zombie movie that doesn't end. I'm avoiding spoilers here, but the group is currently travelling across the country and have encountered huge herd of undead. Characters become more and more bitter but this is a comparable lull in the series of horrific things that happen to the survivors. Pick up the previous trades for this series, they are reasonably priced and well worth it (I'll be writing a special review for all the trades to date at the start of next month).
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
A surprisingly good one shot under the Battle for the Cowl crossover, but nothing to do with it. Some original non violent inmates of Arkham and the descendant of Amadeus Arkham reclaim the burnt out shell of the Asylum. Pity it's only a one shot, hopefully we will see some of these interesting characters again.
An ex-super villain is in a witness protection program; stifled and drugged (to suppress his powers) his normal life is smothering him. He turns to fighting crime, under the radar so to speak, to relieve the tension. The art is impressive, the writing is splendid; there is nothing not to like in this title. This kind of reminds me of Fight Club for some reason. This issue chugs along nicely as we see some other super villains to compare and contrast.
Thursday, 16 April 2009
All hell breaks loose from the cells in Oa and Daxam's lost son returns to his shitty home planet. The art remains great, with the world sized snake Sinstro Lantern is my favourite image. This issue is less about the plot and more about the light based slugfests, which is no harm. If this is a taste of the war a light to come the Corps are not as prepared as they think.
Friday, 10 April 2009
A psycho from the future, Spider-Man thrust into a dark future with re-imagined heroes; it’s all a bit bland. It has a feel of the later episodes of the animated Spider-Man and of Batman Beyond; except all quite average. It’s all about spotting where Marvel superheroes made their mark on the future (cap selling addictive softdrinks). I wouldn’t suggest this unless you want something not too taxing on the brain.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Holy shit things are going well with House of Mystery, some great answers that just lead to more questions (defiantly pick up the first and second volumes, if you can). The book remains original, esoteric and dark; without becoming confusing. The little one off story is excellent and the main plot moves quite a bit.
This month a fun little departure from the usual with date night, where Deadshot and co attempt not to kill anyone for one night. Also in the issue, a look into ragdoll’s childlike brain. This book continues to be the amusing bad guys as anti-heroes DC title. Nothing to brain melting, just entertaining.
Thursday, 2 April 2009
The story mostly concerns the other slayer Faith (a far more interesting character). Faith is the bad girl of the Buffyverse, originally a pawn of a major villain and then just off the rails. Faith is given a way out of the whole slayer thing by Giles, now pretty much in charge of the Watchers. She has to kill a slayer who’s made the same mistakes she’s made and is skating on the edge of pure evil. All the while there is recurrent and sinister group or individual manipulating events; represented by the symbol of a red setting sun and star in the sky.
Vaughan has got the tone of the show just right and kept intact the sense of humour and characters that had built up over the seasons. The plot is better than your usual Buffy season. The art is just slightly off, constrained by the fact that the artist has to base his models on actors. I did not read this in single issues but after reading this I’ll be picking up the rest and probably following Season 8.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
So Barry Allen back after his death in 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths and penned by Geoff Johns. First issue means an explanation of who the current Flash people are and where Barry has been. The art is attractive and a lot of information is imparted in this one issue. A good start, but remains to be seen if a good Flash plot can be carried through to completion.
Kirk Langstrom must control his Man-Bat / Jekyll and Hyde urges. Seems like an excuse to have two Batman villains face off, the plot is a bit poo. The dialogue is decidedly average; also there is an equally average preview of the new Powergirl run.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Gordon and some of the GCPD deal with riots because there’s no batman to sort things out. The art is quite nice and Gordon versus Mr Freeze has Freeze using his freeze ray solve all his problems (as usual). Bit on the average side here, Freeze is a bit too super for a good GCPD book.
Well Dr. Strange is having a bit of a magical mentor moment setting up supernatural things to come. Great dialogue as the issue of Spiderman’s identity and the new avengers is resolved and more than one plot is set up. I'm really quite enjoying this and becoming fond of Bendis's writing, I loved the Jessica Jones and Spiderman conversation.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
The Zombie Suvival Roleplaying Game - Revised Edition
All Flesh Must Be Eaten (AFMBE) is a Zombie Survival Roleplaying Game. It has a great range of options for bother zombie creation and characters. The system is simple but can be made more complicated for those who want more combat related stuff.
Characters are built with points based on what they are; Norm, Survivor and Inspired. Norms are your bog standard person of the street, Survivor’s are tougher with more points and the inspired a like norms but have some points to spend on mystic stuff. I don’t think you really need the Inspired for your good old fashioned Dawn of the Dead style game, but they give you options for some supernatural stuff. Dice rolling is taken down to one mechanic roll a d10 add your skill to the roll if your get a 9 or above you succeed. Modifiers are added to show difficultly and penalties are added when taking more than one action. So if you’re dodging more than 4 zombies and fighting you're brainmeat.
Building your zombie is the most fun section for GMs. What does it eat, how fast and how does it move, where do little zombies come from and how smart are they. Most importantly you can choose your zombie’s weak spot (if it has one); I personally have to go with the classic headshot. At the end of the process it’s gauged how dangerous your zombie is to players.
Deadworlds are the sample campaign settings given to you in 4 or so pages. They give you what happened to cause the dead to rise and your sample zombie for that setting. Detailed is to what extent humans have dealt with things and a nice bit of fiction to give a flavour for that setting.
There is also at the back a conversion guide and rules for the game in D20 modern. Nice that it is added but unnecessary. The layout is clear and easy to read. The art translates well as black, white and shapes of gray. The book itself is a nice hard back slight smaller than most RPG books and a bit lighter (a big plus).
On the whole All Flesh Must Be Eaten is a solid survival zombie game. It could do with more ideas for defences and the like for players (but I hear the player’s handbook is more or less that). With just this and the suggested reading of the Zombie Survival Guide a good campaign of a Zombie Apocalypse could be run quite successfully.
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Aliens, robots and secret agencys with some humour thrown in. The art is quite grim and something you expect to see in a horror title. I'm not sure if the humour works yet, I'll give the next issue a go before giving up on this new IDW title.
Friday, 20 March 2009
A "big event" in one issue with a bog load of guest characters (most of which I had no idea were in the Invincible universe). A returning villain and loads of alternate evil versions of Invincible, an easy on the brain premise. Art is nicely consistent and the dialogue remains high-quality, Invincible remains enjoyable even with a big event.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
The Dark Avengers fight Dr. Doom's battles for him as Morgana Le Fay has him helpless. A large section of the issue has a dialogue between Norman Osborn and the Sentry about their psychosis (nothing interesting has been done with psycho Bob in quite some time, it's good to see some movement). The monster on villain slugfest that takes up the rest of the issue is nice and brutal.
Pretty much the end of three story arcs for Fall of Cthulhu and a worthy end at that. Fall of Cthulhu is a modern take on the Cthulhu Mythos, it's good enough to make the worst bits of the dreamlands cool. Unjust deserts are served and some things are revealed about the Harlot. Pick up the trades for the full story.
Monday, 16 March 2009
Another one of these list books, telling you who all the Z-list villains are and what the big guys are up to. Wow there are some stupid ones in here, check out the living cauldron guy, Diamondhead or Man-Bull for a laugh. Nothing interesting or worthwhile.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Battle for the Cowl so far is a shuffling around of the Bat Family and a reminder of who is connected to the Bat Family. Nothing new in most of Arkam being out and about. We have also have had a batman imposter before. The writing is average and it remains to be seen if this will pay off. At least it's comprehensible.
Some good character development for Kyle and crew, in particular Sodam Yat has a great scene with his mother. The slugfest from last issue resolves. I think the art is getting better. Roll on Blackest Night.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Monday, 9 March 2009
Up until now this run on Deadpool has been light and funny, but the dialogue in this issue seems flat. The premise is good Deadpool versus the Norman Osborne of dark reign and as a result the new thunderbolts team. Lets hope things pick up in this crossover.
I like the Star Wars universe and have somewhat of a tolerance for the prequels, so with that in mind here is my review of the most recent attempt at a RPG system for Star Wars. First a small bit of background to when this book came out. This edition was written during the time that dungeons and dragons 4th ed was being written and 3.5 materials were still being released. As such after a reading you feel the best bits of both editions were fed into this project.
There 5 basic classes to choose from when making up a character, noble, scoundrel, scout, soldier and of course Jedi. All are blank slates with you choosing feats and talents tailored for each class (much like powers in 4th edition). Multiclassing seems to be encouraged. Prestige classes are well thought out and no more powerful than the basic classes. Skill ranks have been removed to be replaced with a number of skills you’re either trained with or not. All use of the mystical force is reduced down to taking a feat for powers and one skill Use the Force. So as a summary
The background material is well researched and rounded. I would have liked more on individual planets and the eras as they are where your adventures are mostly taking place but the descriptions of NPCs from the movies and other material makes up for this.
The layout and presentation of this book is top notch. The cover is a lovely print of Darth Vader in gold on black. The interior art is the best of old editions, movies photos and some nice original art.
I will be reading the campaign setting books for this edition as they seem the most extra materials. In particular the “Knights of the Old Republic” campaign setting seems like fun. My only complaint is not keeping on the wound point system from the previous edition, but that can easily be played around with. All in all a good way to play everything from your disgraced Jedi to demented droid to nefarious bounty hunter.
Friday, 6 March 2009
Solomon Grundy and Alan Scott are convict and keeper, trying to solve how Solomon was first killed in 7 days or his soul will be lost forever. Nice little 7 issue run here with a mystery from turn of the century Gotham and some good looking slugfests to come. I'm fond of all the characters that are included and I'm sure there's much more to come. It all has the feel of sympathy hulk story, with a dash of swampthing.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
The lives of normal people in Gotham go on while Batman may be dead. Nice to see some of the bat family's support characters getting some love. Too soon to see if the Battle for the Cowl stuff will be any good, but I see Bruce Wayne back in time for the hype for the next film.
Saturday, 28 February 2009
The New Avengers react to Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers (reviewed previously) with some smart dialog. The real gem is the 8 or so pages of guest artists giving each of the new avengers their due. Bendis is still tying together Dark Reign nicely, I'll be following more of the new avengers.
Thursday, 26 February 2009
No Hero is a Warren Ellis project I've been reading, that poses the question what would you do to become superhuman? The anwser is playing out and by issue 4 things are getting pretty horrific for poor Josh after the process of him becoming superhuman has finished. The art takes a while to get used to but suits the terrifying subject. You would do well to pick this up from issue 1 but if not it would probably read better in trade paperback.
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
More build up and interaction between the now different coloured corps (The War of Light is coming). Slow burning character interactions, a new restrictive law for the green lanterns to follow and a prelude to a pretty good slugfest. Also at the end of the issue a pretty creepy and respectable Omens and Origins bit from a black perspective. All in all GLC is a great support book for the high drama that happens in the main GL line.
Monday, 23 February 2009
A good little villain book where you root for the nefarious team. Some good soap opera revelations and flashback histories this issue. The Orgins and Omens bit of the issue seems abit forced and leads to things feeling disjointed at the end.
Friday, 20 February 2009
The basic setting is a great premise, the world’s oldest war between heaven and hell continues on to this day as a cold war. Earth is a Casablanca with agents of both sides of the war influencing the humans.
The real shining gem of game design meeting fluff is the mindsets of the different sorts of angels and demons. It gives a great base for players to role-play from. A good example is the choir of Seraphs angels of truth they can see the truth in the universe and it hurts them to lie. By contrast equally interesting is the fallen Balseraphs, they too do not lie; they believe what they say to you and force you into their world view.
In the time I've been gming In Nomine I have seen it run zombie games, mythical games, action games, low powered humans games and high power American gods style games. On the whole it is extremely versatile for any genre you may want to run.
The only criticism I have is the art. The original soft cover had a beautiful piece of art of a flaming feather and the layout of the book was also spot on. But I really dislike SJ Games line art that is through out the rest of the book, it's overly simplistic and cheesy and gives the wrong visual tone to the entire book. It you want to make your eyes bleed have a look at the GM Screen.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Due to a technical problem updates will not be as frequent over the next week or so. My PC has died a death and is to be repaired.
As such I'll be post some reviews of a collected edition of something and maybe an rpg system in the next week to keep things flowing somewhat.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Saturday, 31 January 2009
Looks like Dark Avengers will be a continuation of what Warren Ellis did with the Thunderbolts recently. Tommy Lee Osborn is a great reinvention of a character that will carry this book. The line up of faux heroes is in some ways obscure to a non Marvel fanboy. The art follows on the style from Thunderbolts and Bullseye has an excellent reaction to becoming an avenger.
With Tommy Lee Osborn taking on the visible side of things in Dark Avengers (taking the rest of the Thunderbolts with him), this new team is pitched as the covert and nasty end of his work. It's good to see the new Antman hasn't been forgotten, but it's to early to tell if this new Thunderbolts have any chemistry as a team. An adequate first issue for a new line up, but nothing special.
Friday, 30 January 2009
Final Crisis #7
There is a smattering of good ideas throughout this series that don't pay off. It ends up being a incomprehesible mess. There was a vampire and an explosion and it still sucked.
Final Crisis: Revelations #5
The best thing to come out of the Final Crisis storyline, it makes a lot more sense. It has a good biblical feel and lovely art that suits the Spectre well. It also adds a new dimension to the existing mythology, by giving the Wrath of God a counterpart in the Mercy of God (The Radiant).