Comics: Rogue’s Revenge #2

Heat Wave Unleashed

Heat Wave Unleashed

Admittedly I’m a bit behind on my reading as of late.  I’m behind on both DC and Marvel books as things such as work tend to get in the way.

On a related note, I really don’t know what to say about DC right now.  With all the hype of Final Crisis, the main arc hasn’t been able to hold my interest and so far hasn’t delivered like I was hoping for or what it was hyped up to be.  It doesn’t help matters either that the book is shipping late, and there is quite a bit of time between issues 3 and 4 right now for readers to follow closely enough.

Since I personally consider Final Crisis a ‘bust’ so far, I’m really banking on the upcoming Green Lantern maxi ‘Darkest Night’.  Perhaps that will be DC’s redemption.

With that being said, the best tie-in book so far has to be Rogue’s Revenge.  I commented on issue one a few weeks back and was so impressed with the tone and story direction that I was really looking forward to issue two.

And it totally lived up to my expectations.

Once again, this book delivered more insight and action into the [The Flashes] Rogue’s mythos and lore in one issue than many regular books do over the course of many arcs. 

Libra draws the battle line as he and the Secret Society he now leads mount an ultimatum to lure the Rogue’s into his fold.  Libra musters up a ‘replacement squad’ of Rogue’s who imitate our wary villains in both powers and looks to take out Captain Cold’s estranged father and taunt them into action.  What the replacements don’t figure into their initial plans is that Captain Cold and his allies have been pushed too far and really don’t care so much as to the fate of Cold’s father.  The original Rogue’s (with the help of Mirror Master) track down the ‘new’ Rogue’s and unleash a very brutal and lethal ass whooping unlike what the reader usually sees in monthly books.  Devoid of compassion, empathy, and emotion the original Rogue’s maim, destroy, and kill their would-be replacements before the ‘new’ Rogue’s even know whats going on.  Of course Libra seemed to know this would happen and this fits into his plans nicely.

Cold is able to confront his father, and in a great flashback scene and strong dialogue between the two, new readers who may not even know the history of Captain Cold are quickly brought up to speed on his background and motivations.  In a sudden twist of self-morals, Cold can’t end his fathers life, but turns to Heat Wave who does so both willfully and unsympathetically.  All this action is a way for the Rogue’s to mentor the ‘new’ Trickster (Alex Walker) in their ways, a sort of ‘trail-by-fire’ to see if he has the mettle to hang with the boys.  It’s a hard lesson for Trickster to swallow at first…but he does, and thus we are witness to the ‘hardening’ of the new Trickster.

Meanwhile Zoom continues his forceful tutelage on the futuristic young villain of Inertia (who Zoom helped escape from captivity at The Flash Museum) and forces him into the deceased Bart Allen’s Kid Flash costume for his own designs.  It appears that Zoom is working for Libra and that Inertia will play a big part in issue 3.

The Rogue’s want Inertia dead for his role in having them ‘accidently’ kill Bart Allen.  Inertia is now with Zoom.  Zoom is in league with Libra.  Libra has plans for the Rogue’s.  The Rogue’s who wanted to be left alone feel that they have been pushed back into action, and aren’t gonna hide any longer.  They are coming for Libra.  Wow!  Oh, and lets not forget Pied Piper…it seems Libra has plans for him as well.  How is this going to pan all out in one more issue?  I don’t know.  This is so good, I would like to see it pan out over the course of 4 issues instead of 3.  This is the best thing Final Crisis has going for it right now, and Geoff Johns really elevates the Rogue’s here into a force you can get really excited about and be fearful about at the same time.  Who needs hero’s when you have some bad ass villains going after each other?

G.I. Joe movie update (part I)

Cobra Commander

Cobra Commander

The following excerpt was taken from a recent interview with Joseph Gordon Levitt (who plays Cobra Commander) with MTV news:

At this point, we have seen a shot of just about every character from the upcoming “GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra,” except for Cobra Commander himself, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

In a recent interview, Joseph revealed that he does wear a mask and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura later added that it wouldn’t be the classic hood.

The cool thing about my character was that it’s not that digital,” Gordon-Levitt told MTV News. “I get to put hours of prosthetic makeup on and see a different creature altogether. I’ve seen how he looks and it’s really cool.

Di Bonaventura earlier stated that the film will tell the origin of a “very twisted” Cobra Commander and that Gordon-Levitt will provide his own take on the character’s famous high-pitched voice from the 80’s animated series.

I love that voice [from the cartoon],” enthused Gordon-Levitt. “Chris Latta is a fantastic voiceover artist, but if you did that exact voice it would sound ridiculous in a live-action movie. I guess it’s half Chris Latta and half me.

He added that it’s not only the voice that will sound unfamiliar to the fans. “Everything is different. I think it maintains the spirit of it and all the fun, but it brings the character into three dimensions,” said Gordon-Levitt. “It wouldn’t look good if you did an exact replica of the cartoon. You wouldn’t want me wearing a skin-tight bright-blue dictator’s uniform. It would look silly.

Kablams thoughts: While I’ve always like Joseph in ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact he’s playing Cobra Commander.  I expected a somewhat older and more established actor who embodies both sinister and meglomaniac tendencies.  I may well indeed be proved wrong.  I never thought anyone could top Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and then when I saw Heath Ledger’s portrayal in The Dark Knight, I accepted it.  Too bad Gary Oldman isn’t a few years younger…

 

I am a bit worried that they are discussing a lot of prosthetics for Cobra Commander…are they thinking Cobra-La origin here where he really does have reptillian features?  God, I hope not.  I’m glad they are keeping the voice somewhat similar to the cartoon version.  But I am disapointed with the departure of the traditional costume.  The uniform of Cobra Commander is iconic to any kid who grew up in the 80’s and lived for G.I. Joe.  From the costumes I have seen so far, perhaps only those of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow pay somewhat of an homage to their 3.75″ counterparts.  The rest of the Joes costumes look very generic as of now and the rumored idea that G.I. Joe stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity is bad enough for this purist.  I just want ‘A Real American Hero.’

Tell me your thoughts on the rumored costume and who’d you pick to play the Commander in the film.

Movie’s: Batman 3 rumors

Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth) recently spoke with MTV news and spoke about rumors of possible casting choices for the third installment of the latest and successful Batman franchise.

Caine says, “I was with a [Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make another one?’  They said yeah.  I said, ‘How the heall are we going to top Heath?’  And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath – Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’ I said ‘Shit, they’ve done it again!'”

Hoffman’s name as a British or Russian arms dealer of the ‘the Penguin’ first floated in 2006, before the villains of ‘The Dark Knight’ were announced.  Depp recently said he’d be open to considering the opportunity.

We’ll have to wait and see the direction in which Cristopher Nolan wants to take the next film and whose schedules will be free at the time.

Comics: Teen Titans #61

Finish them already!

Finish them already!

I collected the George Perez run of the Teen Titans back in the 80’s and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It introduced me to a lot of DC characters for the first time outside the big three and was probably my first understanding and exposure to the DC Universe (which was then clarified for myself even more so with Crisis On Infinite Earths). 

While I admit I didn’t jump on the newest incarnation from it’s outset, I ended up picking up one of the early Judd Winick collection trades which ended up being pretty decent.  So after reading at least two of the collections, I went ahead and started picking this up on a monthly basis.  At first, it was pretty exciting, with a roster including Superboy (Conner Kent), Cyborg, Wondergirl, Robin (Tim Drake), Beast Boy, Ravager, and eventually Kid Devil.

The stories and action were good, and the plotlines and interpersonal relationships between some of the characters (Superboy/Wondergirl, Ravager/Kid Devil, Beast Boy/Raven) was pretty dynamic, but I have to say the recent direction under head writer Geoff Johns in recent months along with the roster change just doesn’t feel epic enough to carry the ‘Titan’ moniker. 

Conner Kent (Superboy) is gone, as are some of the original Titans and Ravager as well, with recent additions of the new Blue Beetle, M’gann, and upcoming Static and possibly Kid Eternity.  It just feels that all the major arcs and flowing storylines under Winick’s direction have been substituted with disjointed filler material as of late, and nothing seems to gel right now.

Issue 61, with Kid Devil and Blue Beetle working together to take down a common threat just seemed forced to make the reader try and understand their ‘opposites’ dynamic, but still just seemed forced and unnatural.  The joking between Kid and Blue just fall flat and read very predictable and juvenile.

By the end of the issue we see Kid Devil unveil his new uniform and name, Red Devil and then there’s the official inclusion of Blue Beetle to the team.  The only characters that lend any weight to this book right now are Robin and Wondergirl and this clearly wasn’t their issue. 

I’m also very sad to say that it looks like both Wendy and Marvin (with Marvin’s recent death) have been written out of the book.  They lent a special ‘cloak & dagger’ aspect to the book as treated the fanboys to a nostalgic yet updated fresh take on these two, and their time was cut short before they were properly utilized.

Suffice to say, I think until the book settles back down with an established roster and spanning storylines and plot threads I may be shelving this book for a bit.  Too bad, because if you would have asked me what one of my favorite team books was a year ago, Teen Titan would have been near the top of my list….now I just don’t care to spend my $2.99 on a book that just seems to be trudging to nowhere.

Delayed Dell

LG 22" 2252 LCD

LG 22

As I mentioned before, it’s been over six years since my last home PC purchase and it’s been long overdue for a new one.  I think my registry is pretty much ‘borked’ with junk…enough junk where it slows my system startup to almost a crawl these days, and good luck trying to launch Outlook Express in under 2 minutes.  I even notice with around 768 RAM, I can’t usually have more than 2 programs open at a time without the PC taking its sweet time chnaging between programs.

So I ordered my XPS630 on Aug 28 and it was supposed to ship on September 5th.  Well, it didn’t.  My new ship date was updated until September 12th which of course bummed me out.  The thing is, I cannot figure out ‘why’ the delay, unless it was related to hurricane Gustav and getting parts out to TX (where Dell’s custom assembly plant is).

I called Dell on Sunday and requested more information on the delay.  I was a bit surprised when the lady told me it was the battery.  The battery?  What battery?  I didn’t order any UPS?  She asked me if I was getting a laptop?  A laptop?  Damn, I gave her my order number and everything and clearly I ordered no laptop.  Needless to say, now I’m getting a little skeptical.

She finally found the correct order and aplogized and said they would upgrade me to next day air.

Finally my PC shipped yesterday, the 8th, and on my online account it does indeed say ‘Next Day’, however, the tracking order is Ground, and as of this morning, it’s sitting in a FedEx center still in TX with a new estimated arrival date of this Friday, the 12th.

Don’t ask.  I have no idea.  But so far, while they didn’t screw up my order, but my Dell experience this time around is about a ‘B/B-‘ if I were to grade it.

In the meantime, Best Buy put its LG LCD monitors on sale.  I couldn’t resist the sale on the 22″, so I bought one which will indeed replace my 17″ this weekend.

Here’s the specs on the LG 2252:

  • 2 ms response time.
  • 10,000:1 contrast ratio; 300cd/m brightness.
  • 1680 x 1050 resolution.
  • DVI-D w/ HDCP input along with standard VGA input.
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Energy Star compliance.

So I figure this weekend will be re-intsalling WoW, CoH/CoV, Quick Books, and email.

PAX 2008 gaming coverage – part II

Just some general PAX related news:

XBox 360: Rumors continue to support a price drop coming September 5th.

Fallout 3: Bethesda promises to have some serious DLC to be released after the initial game.  Unlike Mass Effect which only saw ‘one episode’ of DLC which spanned about 90 minutes, Bethesda claims they will have multiple releases culminating in many more hours of content. Yay!

Resident Evil 5: Developer says they will be unveiling a controller scheme that will closely mimic the controsl fo Gears of War.

Halo 3: It appears there are rumors for an expansion pack possibly coming for Halo 3 as it’s been reported that at least 20 new achievements were recently spotted/leaked.

Little Big Planet: There will be a Best Buy exclusive skin that will let your ‘sack-girl’ emulate Nariko from Heavenly Sword fame.

THQ: Showed off quite a bit more of Red Faction: Guerilla multiplayer elements including ‘Team Anarchy’ and ‘Damage control’ modes.  Claims to have ‘very destructible’ environments.  Yay!

Destroy All Humans 3: Gameplay footage shown.  Takes place now in the 1970’s as opposed to the 50’s in the first two versions.

My new Dell is taking forever :<

Seriously, I ordered it on Aug 28th, and as of this morning, September 4th it is current status is still ‘in production’.

WTH?  We aren’t building Rome here or reinventing the wheel.  It’s a mid system at best with no major bells or whistles.  For all intents and purposes, it’s pretty much a stock rig for the XP630’s.  I’ll change it up after the fact when I get it.

What’s worse is the estimated ship date is tomorrow with an esitmated receive date of the 10th thru the 12th.  Basically two weeks.  Yeah, maybe it sounds like I’m being overly picky on Dell, but the build time seems exceptionally long compared to the previous two I have purchased from them before.