The Archive

No, We Do Not Have the iPod Video Yet.

October-December 2005

What's New
Stream of Consciousness
My Personal Life

What's New

Games, Toons, Comics, Part 1: Comics


I recently had a conversation with my esteemed colleague Constantine where we debated the merits of Ninja Gaiden and he told me I needed to update my page more often. So then I realized that my feeling on Ninja Gaiden and why it is a classic, though flawed, game would make a perfect Stream.

So I wrote a Stream about comics I've been reading.

New Life.

New Year's Eve Anticlimax


I find myself with uncharacteristically few things to ramble on about this New Year's Eve, but figured I should put something up anyway.

New Life and Stream and some updates to the KateStory section, including finally linking to KateStory Gaiden some seven months after it started and correcting some typos on the Characters page.

Happy New Year.

Stream of Consciousness




Following: some spoilers for recent issues of Thunderbolts, Superman/Batman, Green Lantern Corps, and Infinite Crisis. You've been warned.

It's been an interesting few months for comics.

Let's start at the Marvel end with Thunderbolts.

So we have another Avengers crossover.

It seems that every milestone in the Thunderbolts' lives has been marked by a faceoff with the Avengers: when the Marvel pantheon returned from Counter-Earth to find the world had been taken over by a group of villains posing as heroes; again when Hawkeye took over as Thunderbolt leader and fought his former teammates; and finally when Baron Zemo returned to lead the team and convinced them to save the world by taking it over.

So the Thunderbolts have fought the Avengers before.

And yet, every time they fight, there's some new angle to the story...and Nicieza hasn't disappointed this time.

Now we see a world where the shoe's on the other foot, where the Avengers are outlaws and the Thunderbolts are heroes. Where the US government sees a need to rein in Captain America's ragtag band of misfits, and sees Songbird's up-and-coming team of villains-turned-heroes as just the team to do it.

And of course Songbird as leader -- this has been brewing for a long time. Years ago, Busiek showed us a glimpse of a future in which Songbird was an Avenger herself, the first of the Thunderbolts finally to put her past behind her and earn the trust to be a member of that hallowed pantheon. She's always been the strongest and most stable member of the team, but never realized it; she didn't even want to join Abe's New Thunderbolts but ultimately felt herself impelled to take the reins away from him for the greater good.

And so the story continues.

Sadly, it's about the only interesting Marvel story I've read in recent months; that House of M business that took over the universe didn't really strike my fancy. In fact, I found myself wondering "Which is worse, another damn giant Marvel crossover about a dystopian parallel universe where a villain rules the world, or another damn giant DC Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover?"

Well, I think I may have reached an answer. Where House of M did not intrigue me in the slightest, I find myself cautiously optimistic about the way the Crisis is going.

I've never been much of a DC reader; I've always been more of a Marvel boy. But I've found myself reading more and more DC books this past year, from Green Lantern to The Question to Busiek's run on JLA and Ellis's run on JLA: Classified...and, of course, Morrison's fantastic Seven Soldiers. And, last week, I finally got around to picking up an issue of Superman/Batman.

I'd been staying off the book because I've seen the kids over at Pyoko slam Loeb pretty hard. I'm also no fan of Ed McGuinness's art.

But Ed wasn't the McGuinness I was interested in in Superman/Batman #22. No, I had to pick it up because I'd read Terry McGinnis showed up. And sure enough, for a one-page teaser, Bizarro finds himself face-to-face with Batman Beyond in his first ever appearance in mainstream DC continuity. I'm going to have to keep my eye on this one.

Green Lantern Corps has proven the best new book I've read in months. Geoff Johns has treated the Corps right; even though Hal is back in the driver's seat it's good to see that John, Kyle, Guy, Kilowog, and the rest still have a place, and I think Gibbons (of Watchmen fame, of course, but he's writing here, not drawing) is doing a hell of a job. The scope of the Corps's duty as intergalactic cops is clear here, and the new recruits create a lot of interesting possibilities -- most interestingly the young woman who comes from the same planet as Sinestro and Katma Tui. (Somebody who's a bigger fanboy than me correct me if I'm wrong; again, I've never been much of a DC reader and I may be mistaken on my GL history.) And we've even got Mogo, the sentient planet Green Lantern from a classic Alan Moore story. I'm not sure I like the immediate Infinite Crisis tie-in on the last page, as I'd love for the book to stand on its own without having to participate in a giant crossover, but of course that's not going to happen so I may as well try and enjoy it.

And then Infinite Crisis...boy oh boy. I wasn't even going to read the damn thing. I belong, solidly, to the club that believes Crisis on Infinite Earths was a bad idea -- the goal to simplify DC continuity was noble, but the execution merely made the continuity even more nonsensical. But I decided I'd give Johns a chance, since he really seems to know what he's doing, and anyway any book whose goal is to make it so Batman's not a dick anymore can't be all bad.

So #1 is, as all #1's in all massive crossovers are, setup-setup-setup-setup-BAM twist ending on the last page.

And what an ending. I'm no DC afficionado, and Newsarama's recent rundown of Crisis history really helped make sense of things for me, but I still know the original Golden Age Superman when I see him.

The major thrust of this story was to show a rift between the Trinity. I haven't read any of the Countdown titles except for that #0 or whatever it was where they killed off Blue Beetle, which I must admit I really didn't care for. Nor did I read Identity Crisis. But I got the gist of what was going on -- the Big Three have, shall we say, irreconcilable differences. Wonder Woman has taken a "do whatever it takes" philosophy, believing murder is justifiable in some cases; Batman's approach is "do whatever you can", obsessive as always but still refusing to kill under any circumstance. As for Superman...well, it's really hard to tell what the hell he stands for anymore.

And at first I thought that was bad writing of his character, but the truth is, it's accurate -- Superman's become a giant pussy. He's lost his way. As Batman puts it, the last time he inspired anybody was when he died.

And that's why the world so desperately needs the real Superman. The original Superman. The hero, the beacon, the man who was sure of himself, who never lost his way or surrendered to angst.

So I'm still on the fence. This thing could still go either way. And all in all, this was a pretty mediocre issue right up until that last page. But I'm going to pick up #2.

I'll see if maybe Marvel can start winning me back. Once Black Panther's done making me buy X-Men for no good reason, it might get good again, and I'm really looking forward to the return of X-Statix, one of the most brilliant books in years which tragically jumped the shark when Editorial refused to allow the use of a back-from-the-dead Princess Di superheroine.

Well, you can't win 'em all.


Lick My Jellicle Balls


Was planning on doing a big long end-of-year post but not really sure what to do with it. Guess it's been a good year overall; the best bits involved a woman named Denise who doesn't seem to want to talk to me anymore and a trip to New York to see Broadway. I think my favorite movies of the year were Narnia and Producers but am suspicious that perhaps my attention span only goes back a week. My new favorite comic is The Walking Dead and my favorite episode of Justice League this year was the Batman Beyond one. (I am currently wearing a Batman Beyond T-shirt.)

Saw my good friend Mr. Ringler (seen previously being hit on by Richard O'Brien and in the gayest picture ever -- my God, was that really three years ago?!) in a touring production of Cats last night. I still think Cats is some goofy-ass shit (what the fuck does "jellicle" mean, anyway?) and goes a long way toward explaining why most people hate musicals, but it's hard to argue with the costumes and the dancing, and this was an excellent performance, much better than the last one I saw with the dogs with the shoebox heads. What the fuck was up with that? And of course Alex is like a brother to me, although much gayer and much less stoned than my actual brother.

Not sure why I've been so scarce on updates these days, but I'm willing to believe that it's equal parts having a messageboard to say all the shit I want strangers on the Internet to know about and the fact that I've made my page rather unwieldy to update ever since I added those permalinks. I'm considering biting the bullet and trying out some actual blogging software, but I still think I'm way too good to resort to LJ or MySpace as my main pissing grounds (although I do have accounts on both).

Guess that's about it. Expect a Ninja Gaiden feature when I stop procrastinating and when my special guest finishes responding to my interview questions.

My Personal Life



Games: City of Villains beta and the original Ninja Gaiden. More on both later, I hope.

Books: Thanks for Tuning In by Richard Ruelas. A must-read for anybody who knows what I'm talking about when I mention Wallace and Ladmo. ...I was actually lucky enough to meet Wallace recently; more on that later too, I hope.



Games: Dragon Quest 8, Final Fantasy 4 Advance, Kirby's Canvas Curse, Mario Kart DS. Christmas was good to me this year.

Created 05.10.15
Uploaded 05.10.15
Last Updated 05.12.31