Saturday, September 27, 2014

Let The Rebellion Begin

This morning I got to go to a special screening of the first two episodes of the new Star Wars cartoon show, Star Wars: Rebels. The show itself doesn't premier for a few weeks, so this was a cool little sneak peek for Star Wars fans.

I will start off by saying this was a far better beginning than what we got with the last SW cartoon, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.We've been given a much more interesting group of main characters fighting the good fight.

It seems to me that one of the reasons Rebels works so much better than Clone Wars is because with Rebels we have all new characters, on new planets, using aged equipment and actually being a small band of average people (With the one Jedi exception) fighting for what they believe is right. So much of it feels like classic trilogy style. It gives us hope that the new series will actually stay true to what made the original movies so good.

I won't go into the plot here, as some might feel there are spoilers to be found there. I will say it is a fairly basic story to begin with, which makes sense, as we need to focus more on the characters and their relationships to start with before we let the story get complicated. So we get what we need here to draw us into this new area of the Star Wars universe.

One of the more noticeable aspects for fans like me is the use of the earlier concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. His conceptual design for Chewbacca has become the character Zeb Orrelios. The speeder bikes and some of the new category of Stormtrooper are the concept art. The show's main astormech droid 'Chopper' has some of the concept for R2-D2 to his design. In the preview for the rest of the season we see a concept C-3PO. My guess is we are in for surprises as the season progresses with various nods to all manner of unused ideas from over the years.

I never like saying this earlier on what I think of a new series. There is no way to tell in just the first few episodes how good the full series will be. I will say Star Wars: Rebels is off to a good start and if they can keep the story going at this level it should be a truly enjoyable ride.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Did You Know It's Banned Book Week?

Yesterday my oldest boy asked me if I knew that there were people banning books. I of course told him it has been happening for a long time and is nothing new. Then we had a good conversation about banned books and censorship. I was proud that he knew banning books was wrong without me needing to have the talk. I explained to him about people who wish to limit the availability of information and knowledge.

Now to help promote Banned Book Week, here are a few links to articles about it.

Banned Books Week and the 'Dangers' of the Comic Book
-This is a good one to learn about the history of the Comic Code and the misguided attitudes some idiots had concerning comic books.

33 Must-Read Books To Celebrate Banned Books Week
-I've not read as many of these as I should have, but it is a list worth trying to complete.

Texas school district suspends seven books from high-school curriculum
-Here Texas shows us that the need to promote and encourage ignorance is still alive and thriving.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Will Captain Citrus earn a spot in the Avengers?

I always find it amusing when comics are used by various companies to promote their brand. I still have the old Kool-Aid Man comics that Marvel did way back when. Some times it can be fun and others it can be too corny and idiotic. Still, it must be deemed worth doing, as companies still spend piles of cash to get their own super-hero.

Today I found out about Captain Citrus,, the new hero created to promote the benefits of Florida orange juice. In his first digital comic book he teams up with the Avengers. There will be free print comics given away to schools (Yes, I am hoping my boys' school get them). Here is the press release on it,

After reading the first digital comic, this looks to be one of the better thought out promotional character. He doesn't come off as being silly or too over the top connected to the product. I am guessing his origin story will be the free print give away issue, as we get none of his origin in the digital comic. We get a sense of his powers and a hint that he is just starting to learn all he can do.

Apparently Florida Sunshine is more useful than we thought. I am wondering if Captain Citrus is powerless outside of Florida. Or are his powers diminished in sunlight other than Florida's? I get the feeling they won't be exploring any of that. I doubt we'll get much in the way of depth with this character for some reason.

Though after he picks up a cult following, the Death of Captain Citrus will become an historic issue. His arch-enemy Sour Rot (I looked it up so that my name for his villain was an actual mold that contaminates oranges) will infect him and rot him from the inside out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Do You Believe in Haven?

This last week we had the season five premiere of the Sy-Fy channel original show Haven. I have really enjoyed the show. Unlike so many other similar shows, there has been real progress in the storyline, especially at the end of last season.

For those unfamiliar with the show, it is based off a Stephen King novella titled 'The Colorado Kid'. The show takes place in a small new England town on the coast of Maine called Haven that under goes a unique and scary 27 year cycle. Every 27 years, corresponding with a meteor shower, things get a little crazy in Haven. At that time people who are 'troubled' start to display dangerous, and often uncontrollable, supernatural abilities. Also at this time a young lady comes to town. She always has the same face, but a different name and personality. She is uniquely immune to the 'troubles' and always ends up working with those who are 'troubled' to keep the chaos as diminished as possible.

For the present cycle the young lady has taken the identity of FBI agent Audrey Parker. This, like all her past identity, are copied from other people. At one point the real Audrey Parker actually hunts down the copy and confronts her. We have now learned the her original name is Mara and that as Mara she was involved in actually creating the 'Troubles' with a mysterious man named Williams.

One of the main aspects of Haven that I like, unlike so any other similar shows out there, they do not run in circles. Time and time again we have gotten real answers to the big mysteries of the show. Pieces have fallen into place and that has not taken anything away from the greater story. We have gotten actual progress in the storyline and it has been well done.

The story is coming together and I very much could see this being the last season, even though they have not announced it. The storyline is getting to a point where they could pull of a great ending that is not needlessly drawn out, where everything is pulled together in a satisfying manner. I really have high hopes that is what will happen with Haven. Too many shows have failed to properly take the time to end the show in such a manner. So many seem to think they need to not answering anything until the final episode, which normally makes it all rushed and confusing with nothing satisfying about it.

So I have high hopes for where Haven is going this season. It has been an enjoyable ride so far and I am looking forwards to seeing where they take us now.