Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Have You Heard About Spider-Verse?

Right now Marvel comics is in the midst of what is the biggest Spider-man event ever, Spider-Verse. They have already said that they will included every version of Spider-Man/Spider-Women/Spider-Girl/Spider-Monkey/Spider-Ham and so on, that we have ever seen through out the years. And it really appears that they are going to live up tot hat promise 100%.

The basic premise of Spider-Verse is a family known as the Inheritors are roaming around all the realities hunting 'Spider Totems' and feasting on their essence. They are based in universe 001 (The main Marvel universe is 616) and they use the Master Weaver to open portals to the various reality to do their hunting.

So the central Spider-Man we have been following all these years has encountered one of the Inheritors before and defeated the guy twice, making him the only Spider Totem to do such a thing on his own. Because of that, when he get drafted to team up with other Spider Totems he is asked to be the leader.

During the events of 'Edge of Spider-Verse' we are introduced to a bunch o f new concepts of Spider-Man as well as previous concepts that haev been out there, but no used much. They are gathered together to fight the big threat to them all. During the 'Edge of Spider-Verse' we get to see the Spider-Man from the 80s cartoon show 'Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends' make an appearance.

In the first actual issue of 'Spider-Verse' we get a bunch of new Spideys introduced. But for me there were two standout short pieces in it. The first was from the classic comics universe were all the heroes use Hostess snack-cakes to distract their enemies in order to capture. Normally those sweet treats are desirable enough to pacify the most dedicated wrong-doer. For some reason this time the villain has no interest in golden cream filled sponge cake.

The second one of note here is all in black and white, done in a series of eight strips. Peter and MJ are having a picnic when an inheritors appears before them. The first panel of each strips more or less repeats what happened in the last panel of the strip before. The Inheritor quickly realizes that time keeps resetting itself in that reality, taking days to preform the simplest of tasks. He is pulled back before he can do anything do to that reality being 'chronally unstable' and is pulled into its own pocket universe to protect it. It was really perfectly done and shows just how dedicated they are to getting every Spider-man in there somehow.

It will be enjoyable to see how Spider-Verse plays out in the end. Outside of several new Spider-man related titles starting up for this event, there is talk of what titles will come out it. They have already said they are working on a Gwen Stacy Spider-Girl on going series.

I am curious are to how this will play into Marvel's big event for next year, an all new Secret Wars, since we have been told that right now everything big happening in Marvel Universe will play into that event.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Do You Want to Hear Me Talk About Doctor Who?

A few weeks ago at Mile Hi Con 46 I got to be part of a Doctor Who panel that was recorded for episode 267 of the SF Signal Podcast. We had a lot of fun with the panel, which was only scheduled for an hour, but with no one using the room after us we ended up going for two hours.

So here is the first half of the panel:


Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Am Not Ready To Give up On Doctor Who

Last night me and my boys once more got out to the SIE Filmcenter for a special Doctor Who event sponsored by Denver Comic Con. We got to watch the season finale 'A Death in Heaven' on the big screen. The event was supposed to mirror the one they held for the season opener with a costume contest and trivia. For whatever reasons they did not get anything close to the same crowd. A big part of it was they just were not able to get word out about the event this time around.

My youngest was the only one to show up in costume, so he was given his pick of the prizes.

I went into this with the basic idea that this episode could either redeem what to me has been a weak season, or confirm my belief that it is time for a new show runner.

I now have no doubt that Steven Moffat needs to step down and let someone new take over.

'A Death in Heaven' left me more frustrated than anything else. There were gaps everywhere you turned. Story gaps, logic gaps and continuity gaps. Too many deaths of established characters that had nothing of substance behind them. We were given a hint that Osgood could be the Doctor's next companion, and then they kill her off in a manner that was void of impact. It felt like a whole bunch of ideas and cameos were thrown together in a pot, stirred a little and put out there with no concern as to how it all fit together.

The final did fit well into what we have seen all season  long. Most of the episodes have very much been story ideas we have already seen done and done better, in a more believable manner. I was hoping that there would be some point to all these feelings of flashback. I kept hoping to the very end that we would be given something to justify being bored all season long with nothing new.

I can only think of two good episodes for the whole season 'Listen' and 'Time Heist'. They were good, but nothing like the good episodes of past seasons. Then we got pure waste of episodes that made no sense like 'Kill the Moon' and 'In The Forest of the Night', where the Doctor serves no purpose at all in being there as he does nothing to actually influence the story. The events would have played out in the exact same manner without the Doctor being there. Both episodes were filled with bad science and bad logic along with extra storylines that were just a waste. In some ways though that was the common thread throughout the season. So many wasted, unneeded storylines that weakened the stories.

Clara had some great scenes at times, but for the most part was once more under used. Her best episodes are still the ones before she became the regular companion. Regretfully Clara will end up being one of the easier to forget companions of the new series. Considering that she started off as more of a plot point, you can tell that Moffat had no clear idea as to her character.

Of course the big question is what does one think of Capaldi's Doctor. Generally by the end of their first seasons the new Doctors have grown on me. Not this time. The season ended with a Doctor who I still have no idea about. At no point did it feel like they figured out just who this new version of the Doctor was. It never felt as if he stabilized into a cohesive character. We ended with a Doctor who I do not feel as if I know and am unable to form any actual opinion of. He had good and bad moments, yet I mostly remember him being pointlessly insulting at times that it just made him look like an a-hole.

Then they ended the finale with a hint into this year's Christmas special, and I was left with even more doubt about where the showing it going. We get to see Santa Clause enter the TARDIS... Yeah, that did not leave me feeling good about what is still to come.

I am going to keep up with the show still. I was loyal to Star Wars throughout the prequels, the dark times and am going to do the same for Doctor Who through this dark period, hoping that at some point the show will get better.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

So That Was the Death of Wolverine?

Marvel comics this year decided to go ahead and officially kill off one of their biggest characters. They made a huge build up to the event, never hiding their plans or playing games. The on going Wolverine comic did a countdown to the event. Then they went and did a four issue series titled 'Death of Wolverine'.

The best things I can say about 'Death of Wolverine' is that they had some of the best cover art I have ever seen. The covers were awesome.

The story however... Well it really didn't flow or make much sense. It just kind of was there. There is no meaningful journey through his past adventures or getting caught up in some extraordinary saga or even being given a respectful end where he ties up loose end, creating some sense of closure. Yes, he does end up confronting several of his bigger past foes. None of it was meaningful in the least.

Then we get to the end. I won't go into details just in case there are fans who have not read it yet. I am fairly sure we are supposed to get a feeling of irony and of things having come full circle. However both my son and I had the same initial impression of 'That's it? That is how he died?' His death really served no purpose (Outside of making money for Marvel comics). His last action was really not that heroic or dramatic, even though I think it was supposed to be. One element building up to his death was the lose of his healing factor, which to me suggested a simple death to show him being mortal. Instead we get a death that most likely would have killed him if his healing factor was working at full strength.

So many missed opportunities in this.

The series sold extremely well and will most likely be the best selling comics of the year. So Marvel is happy with how it all turned out.

I hope they don't pull the normal route and in a year or so bring Wolverine back. Although I very much am expecting that to happen.