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Category: Comics

The Solar Farms

Alright, so this is a pitch for a story at DC about Superman using the Kryptonian propensity for Energy Storage as a way to grew and sell living beings as batteries.

So the setting is like this.  Centuries before Krypton was poisoned and Kryptonians could still leave the planet without special aids a “Tropey” Grey Alien is found kidnapping Kryptonians of every station and house.  The Grey Alien ignores their indignation, some of them talk about a truce or an agreement with “the Grey” and the Alien just turns away and proceeds to stretch them on a medical device to the point they call out in pain and several devices appear from arms around them and extract matter from every part of them.  They scream or complaint, the Grey looks on dispassionately, gesturing to a machine that displays “memory alteration” and we see the Kryptonian returned to where they presumably came from, like they had stumbled or had a bad dream.

Earth, START LABS YEAR CURRENT -5 a scientist has been sequencing Kryptonian DNA from samples from Superman when he has been de-powered here and there (they are all over the place if you look!) and has determined that while cloning a perfect copy is out of the question due to handwaved technology limits for the story.  Buuut, there is the possibility that they could tease out a few features of Kryptonian Physiology, namely the ability to absorb and retain solar energy in order to use that stored energy to “Dealers Choice of Supermans Powers”  only one power at a time, but you could potentially be super strong, or have eye blasts, or something, but there’s no way to control it.

So we’ve set up two threads.

Somewhere in Sector 7821 Green Lantern Grtan of The Osmis Cluster runs into a space cruiser stuck in a null sector, a sector of space with a negative infraction ratio it absorbs light like a black hole.  It has shut down the craft.  On investigation the Green Lantern digs in the bowels of the craft and discovers a humanoid baby inside a massive solar reactor,.  Grtan ignites their ring and orders it to create a stable yellow sun radiation field.  At which point the child appears to swell as it absorbs the light, slowly at first and eventually to a grotesque extent, until it’s flesh touches a contact point on the reactor and THE REACTOR LIGHTS!!!

The craft explodes from the Null sector, the Green Lanterns corpse is expelled from the craft by an unseen person and the spacecraft zooms into the stars, leaving Grtan floating in space.  A ring distress signal summons “Dealers Choice Green Lantern” who takes Grtan to a nearby planet.

 

STAR labs has some test subject, animals that have been given one each of Superman’s powers, so they have a dog that can fly and horse that can stomp and cause damage and a cat that is VERY fast, but it has to be coated in a special suit because it keeps tearing it’s fur out. Jimmy Olsen comes across a mouse that seems to be able to find treats no matter where they are hidden, and discovers a tattoo on it that leads back to start labs. The little mouse escaped the lab (because it has Superman’s prodigious senses) and so it was able to navigate to the open air where Jimmy Found it and snatched it up and “saved it” from being stomped on by a passerby.

So we have two threads, Earth Scientists are using Superman’s Genetics to create potential weapons and the Grey who has turned Kryptonian Clones into batteries.

Neat!

Legions of Things

It took what seemed like years to finish “Watch Dogs: Legion” and literal Years for me to sit down and finish “Legion” from Marvel Television and I didn’t plan it, but I finished them both the same night.

Watchdogs: Legion is the continuation of the series started with “Watchdogs”, continued in “Watchdogs 2: Silicon Valley Monsters!” and now “Watchdogs: Legion” and I think this latest edition might have finally figured out the formula for the games, and that is to not have a primary character.

“Watchdogs: Legion” is (like the previous games and pretty much every Ubisoft game) an open world with a bunch of stuff to do while following a main mission. The “twist” for WD:Legion is that you can recruit “anyone” to join your fight. Including “bad guys” which is really where the game play system shines, you recruit someone, do a couple missions (sadly repetitive ones) and they join your team. All you can customize is their clothes, and the clothes and “battle mask” (my name, but you put it on to fight so “battle mask”) The main plot takes FOREVER to get through, there were what seemed like over 100 plot missions to get through and who you embody (the operative) matters, so choose your team wisely! I had a blast in the game, but the writing was kind of weak for the main plot, I had it sussed out in the first cinematic so I spent the whole game waiting for what I saw coming in the first minutes of the game. Which is sad, but there are only so many plots in the world and when it looked like I was going to be wrong, I was intrigued, but the mystery the game does a masterful job setting up really doesn’t “matter” in the game, you had to seek it out and the payoff isn’t great storytelling, but it *is* good world building, I think they were going to go somewhere else and left in the bits. I’m tiptoeing around the plot details as i don’t want to spoil it for anyone. The game is good, I WANTED to finish it, so yeah.

LEGION (from Marvel TV) WAS great, but I think they had wanted to go in a direction and had to swap motivations around a bit to make drama and it all got very “Manson with Powers” and if I’m honest, they went all cosmic, they didn’t need to ground so much of it after that.

What I loved: Behind Blue eyes!
What I hated: Problematic Protagonist and a heel turn that wasn’t

Review: Crossed 9 Limping to the End

Ten Issues of growing dread and uncertainty.

Something like two years of waiting to see what happens; to maybe understand why.

I know we will probably never see a “why” in “The Walking Dead”  because that would mean an ending and why stop riding that cash cow, huh?

At least we knew Crossed would have an ending; and I imagine there are some who read it only to see it end and not be left out when their other (in their minds) more “fucked up” friends finished reading it.  I kept wanting to know where we would be going, I had imagined for a while that the narrator was the kid and that this future history was about how the main character would become one of the crossed and then hunt him.

Instead, when you look at it again through the lens of this issue you see what the crossed is really about.  In every issue we meet a so-called clean person or group who is doing the very thing that the crossed, the MONSTERS are doing.   Cannibal Children, homosexual rape and murder, casual cruelty to the less powerful.  All there for us, and it wasn’t laid bare until the end.  The Crossed is (and always was about “the clean ones)  the Crossed is about the sickness that pervades us and we don’t treat it as such, at least when one of them has that big mark on their face one can easily separate the monsters from the innocents.  By the end though; are there any innocents left?

This last issue caps the Horsecock story and addresses the issue of the Crossed’ level of intelligence, placing them somewhere in the clever toddler level with a mean streak a mile wide and a complex reasoning ability that lets them… I won’t give away more about this issue itself.  I’m kind of glad this is over.

Where Black Gas covered much the same ground in terms of action on the page, Mr. Ennis and Mr. Burrows have attempted; I think, to elevate the message above the medium.  These things exist, they are here already and if you don’t confront them, you are as much to blame as they are themselves.

Review: Walking Dead Issue 70 – Old Rick vs New Rick

It’s been what?  Five years now since Rick was smacked on the head with a shovel while prowling outside his own home.

Did you ever get the idea that Rick died right there an then and the rest of “The Walking Dead” has been some kind of melodramatic Hell? A Purgatory for Rick who woke up after the world had ended but didn’t move on with his family.

I’m beginning to think that if it isn’t; perhaps now it’s time to just end the thing.

All of the twists have been turned; kids have been eaten.  Babies blown to bits by shotguns; rapists roam freely.

If Robert Kirkman hasn’t been describing Hell, he’s bound to be close.

The Walking Dead 70 drops the remaining survivors in what appears to be a safe town; and I say that with all the foreboding we should just expect now.  There is no safe town for Rick and crew, right?  The series can’t possibly just become a day-to-day about surviving comfortably… right?

If this panel doesn’t set off your “Oh shit that kid is getting beat at home alarm” then you haven’t been reading this comic.  Yeah, and uh, that is rick now.  He must be hungry all the time now.

Nothing plot wise goes down in this issue; however as there hasn’t been a real plot since the end of the Governor plot-line why should that matter?  I think I continue to read this comic just to find out what happens in the end.  Please, Rob, End this soon.

Review: Crossed Seven, the Crossed love Musicals and Murder

Crossed7_1-HorseCockRevue

Horsecock and crew return and while singing about how much they love rape, Ennis and Burrows take the Crossed to a whole new level of “Rob zombie villain” because really, that is all the Crossed appear to be now.  “The Firefly Family” as a communicable disease.   The Manson Malaise if you will.

Our Band of survivors continue on their way, running from Equine Penis and his band of Rapist Meth-Heads, who stopped for a bite to eat along the way.

Crossed7_2-DinnerTime

Yeah, we know they are cannibals and all, but look how happy this guy is, you might call him a Happy Meal, if you were into puns.  I’m not, but that is one gleeful dinner right there.

The Survivors don’t get far enough away and are forced to take matters in hand:

Crossed7_3-ShootingGallery

Like many of these stories, showing up after the party with guns doesn’t really go their way.  I’ll leave it to you to read the issue and find out why.

Crossed continues to be the Gross Out Apocalypse that it promised to be but the long lag between issues almost led to me missing this one.  I may even give up on it until a Trade appears, because it IS entertaining and compelling, but hard to keep an eye on.  Burrows and Ennis continue to deliver a horrifying world, much worse than say “the Walking Dead” without the need to kill off the major cast (I know its only seven issues in, but with the lag, its on par with the Walking Dead in terms of distance of time between tradgedies)

It’s sparse and horrible, when does issue 8 come out?

Walking Dead 65 – Bring it

WalkingDead65-ComeAloneFinally things look up for Rick and his Crew (except for Dale, he’s boned)

Issue 65 Opens with the Survivors holed up in a church after being attacked from the tree line outside.  Needless to say Rick is pissed off and ready to spit bullets.

Rightly so.  It’s been about 4 weeks maybe 6 since his wife was killed by the governer and his men.  Rick has been on the edge of really dangerous for a while now.

Issue 65 leaves us wondering if maybe he has stepped over the edge, (not really)

WalkingDead65-DaleAndreaIt’s been a while since Dale was bit, shouldn’t he have turned by now?

Speaking of which, if infected meat doesn’t turn you, doesn’t that mean that the “fairly fresh” dead are a good source of iron?

Yum, wandering Long Pig Sashimi!

This is a good issue, but it is over so quickly I’m about ready to chew the pages.

Amateur Super Heroics sometimes involve nightsticks

Kickass01-NoWaytoStart

This is no way to get things going if you are going to pick up Amateur Super Heroics.  In fact, I might suggest that this looks like total failure.  This is the climax of issue one of Kick Ass (soon to be a major motion picture in theaters from Lions’ Gate).  The basic plot isn’t really that much, no real motivations except heroics (maybe dead mommy issues) and the desire to do something.  The “real” world has a share of the “Duff Man” styled super heroes running around being fat in tights.  Kick Ass looks to say “those are the posers, this is what happens when you really want to do something”

Things improve for our protagonist by issue two:

Kickass02-Better

I can’t say I was really into Kick Ass when it first came out, I had a full plate of Invincible and other standard superheroes and “alternate superheroics” (The Boys, Black Summer, Etc) do read.  So when Kick Ass wasn’t right there for me to read, I missed a few issues and then forgot about it.    It was violent and gritty, but “The Boys” showed superheropes getting their orbits cracked by a little scottish Simon Pegg.  How could Kick Ass compete?  A Movie is a good start.

The Intro seems to mirror the first pages of the Comic and the extended trailers looks REALLY amazing and the clips convinced me of Nic Cages commitment to the material.  It looks like Kick Ass will be setting the “Violent as a Japanese Guro Horror” bar for 2010, but really, I hope it’s not just ridiculous violence like Machine Girl or Tokyo Gore Police.

Review: Invincible 65 : Eve lives, someone else died.

Invincible65-Killthemall

When they gave me my powers the installed mental blocks — That’s the only reason that I can’t use my powers on living organic matter. — Atom Eve explains why her powers are not the exact same as Firestorm and totally fails.

The Invincible War has ended and provided a nice narrative device to excuse an art change, a cast change and allow the lead singer of My Chemical Romance a chance to build murder zombies out of a whole raft of super corpses.  Isn’t war grand?

We were left with a dead or dying Atom Eve at the end of 64, I’m gonna spoil this one and say that Eve is still alive.  If this was a spoiler, congratulations, you are a long time Kirkman reader, expecting fully that Mr K would have not only killed Eve but had her cooked and them vomited into her own grave.    I expected it, I was surprised that things didn’t turn out that way, golf clap for Robert Kirkman and Company for the twist.

Everything else, sadly, goes exactly how you expect.  I like Invincible a ton, I don’t stop reading it and buy the big hardbound editions to read over and over, it is THE BEST “young” superhero comic out there.  It hits all the correct notes and gives us enemies we can dig:

Invincible65-Whatdoyouwant

However I keep expecting Mr. K to kill off the main cast and start fresh with Allan the Alien or something.  This might actually be the real appeal of the comic.

Either way. we don’t see much of the world in mourning after a global attack by Invincibites and the Cavity Creeps so we’ll have to wait another issue before we see the global Anit-Invincible movement getting up to steam.  Also, that is Mark claiming that he’s going to go all Dirty Harry some time in the future.  Can’t wait.

Review: Walking Dead 64: Finally! Something to Smile about

Dale has a big Surprise
Dale has a big Surprise

After about what 10 issues of “Let’s Shit on the main cast some more” we get an issue where Rick is neither a giant blubbering douche or leading his son into mortal danger.  While it opens with Dale getting served as a nice leg-o-retiree but at least it’s amusing;  see, Dale is laughing!  It’s not all bad being kidnapped by cannibals during a zombie apocalypse, clearly there’s some kind of upside.

The Cannibals would be a nice change of pace if it wasn’t for the roving rapists from a few issues back. The Man’s inhumanity towards man plotline was pretty much settled during the climax of the fourth year with Rick losing his entire family and 75% of the main cast dying.  Adding more “Oh, here’s some more people who gave up on humanity after the big die off” is just ridiculous, it might be more realistic (in comic logic) but it’s not really.  People tend to bunch up in adversity and while some fall to criminality and lawlessness, the majority try to get by and survive, a cannibal community doesn’t exactly have survival in mind, does it?

Oh well, overlooking this clunker of a plot point (seriously, it just sets up more people for murder by Rick and Son and doesn’t really make them any more heroic, just bloody handed) besides all that we don’t get to hear from the magic phone in this issue (so no insight into Rick’s mental state either).  There is a bit of action too, but it’s more of the “RUN AWAY” kind:

Run Away!
Run Away!

I won’t spoil it, since it sets up the first really badass moment we’ve seen in a while.

So thank-you Mr. Kirkman for making Issue 64 interesting, maybe the thought of a TV Series won’t seem so bad in light of an equally uplifting issue 65