Categories
Comics

Marvel Joins Amazon Prime Reading

Just a head’s up for anybody who likes to get their money’s worth out of their Amazon Prime subscription, Marvel is now partnered with Amazon to have their comics show up there (as well as some selections in Kindle Unlimited and Comixology Unlimited).  Those are cool if you already pay the extra subscription fee for either service, but even if you don’t, there’s some very good stuff to check out in Prime Reading.  Here’s my favorites:

Star Wars, Volume 1 and Darth Vader, Volume 1:  When Marvel got the license to publish Star Wars comics, they went big.  Assigning some of their best writers and artists (Kieron Gillen, Jason Aaron, Salvador Larroca, John Cassaday, Adi Granov, and others).  These comics both follow on straight out of A New Hope, and they go a long way to re-establishing Darth Vader as the pre-eminent menace in that galaxy far, far away.

Ms. Marvel, Volume 1:  If you haven’t read this yet, there’s no excuse.  Kamala Khan matters more than ever in our current political climate, a daughter of Muslim immigrants who fights crime not because of some great tragedy, but was inspired by other heroism in the world.  And the story is a ton of fun, to boot.  G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona made a great creative team (along with Stephen Wacker and Sana Amanat editing and helping to create the character).

Hawkeye, Volume 1:  I’ve evangelized this series before, so hopefully you’ve already read it, but here’s yet another chance.

There’s also some Iron Fist, Deadpool, the first volume of Alias (Jessica Jones), and a few other solid comics.  If you are already subscribed to Amazon Prime, there’s no reason not to use Prime Reading.

Categories
Comics Review

What’s New on Marvel Unlimited – May 22 to May 28, 2016

Every week, Marvel adds new comics to their Marvel Unlimited service. Sometimes it’s new stuff – most series they publish get issues added about 6 months after they are released in shops – and others it’s older comics. But there’s always something interesting and I will point them out weekly.

Starting thing this week is the new Ms. Marvel #1.  Kamala has everything she ever wanted (mostly).  She’s an awesome superhero, an Avenger even, hanging with the likes of Tony Stark, Miles Morales, and Sam Alexander.  But Kamala learns that once you go public, you’re no longer in control of your image.  And sometimes that shady real estate developer using your face to pave over your neighborhood just might be hiding something more sinister.  G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa, and Ian Herring are your creators.

Next up is Star Wars: Vader Down #1.  If the prequels’ take on Lord Vader depressed you, this should cheer you up.  THIS is the Darth Vader who stomps onto Rebel ships and chokes the life out of anyone in his way.  Just check this out.  Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato and Frank Martin Jr creating based on an overall story arc by Aaron and Kieron Gillen.

VaderDown1

Lastly, you have Spider-Woman #1, starring Jessica Drew…pregnant??  It’s a cliched twist I admit, but it’s handled in a fun way here.  I definitely want to see what’s coming next.  Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez.

Other comics of note:

  • Star-Lord #1 – go back and see how young Peter Quill lied, cheated, and stole his way into space.
  • This week’s 90s nostalgia is thanks to a bunch of X-Factor issues getting added.
  • The Astonishing Ant-Man #2 for more Scott Lang adventures
Categories
Comics Review

What’s New on Marvel Unlimited – May 11, 2016

Every week, Marvel adds new comics to their Marvel Unlimited service.  Sometimes it’s new stuff – most series they publish get issues added about 6 months after they are released in shops – and others it’s older comics.  But there’s always something interesting and I will point them out weekly.

First thing to check out is All-New Wolverine #1, starring Laura Kinney.  She’s rumored to be appearing soon in the movies, and she’s now got the Wolverine name all to herself.  This is a great set-up if you aren’t 100% up to speed on what’s up with Laura (formerly X-23), and involves a team-up with Angel.  Tom Taylor writes, with David Lopez and David Navarrot covering the art.  Nathan Fairbain (colors) and Corey Petit (letters) round out the team.

The Vision #1 is the next stop, and seriously, if you haven’t read my previous reviews, check yourself and read it.  Don’t wait.  Or just buy the trade already.

Other titles of note:

  • This appears to go back for a while, but Marvel is adding a ton of X-Men issues to Marvel Unlimited, mostly from their heyday in the 90s.  Lee, Kubert, Nicieza, that era.
  • All-New, All-Different Avengers #1
  • Carnage #1
  • Darth Vader #12, Chewbacca #3 – go back and read the rest if you haven’t.
Categories
Movies

George Lucas is Murdering Star Wars

I have to get this out.  I gave Lucas the benefit of the doubt when the new trilogy came out.  I went and saw the first two in the theaters, thinking “they can’t be as bad as people say”.  They were, pretty much, especially Phantom Menace.  I shrugged when he added a CGI Jabba scene to Star Wars, groaned and rolled my eyes when he had Greedo shoot first, gritted my teeth when he changed the end of Return of the Jedi to have the Hayden Christensen version of Anakin appear in ghostly form, but the man must be stopped.  You’ve probably heard by now of some of the further changes that are supposedly going in on the new Star Wars blu-rays that are forthcoming.  If not, check here and here

I don’t understand why Lucas can’t just release the damn movies on Blu-Ray and sit back and rake in the cash.  Each individual change is minor, but the problem is few to none of them make the movies BETTER.  In 15 years, the original trilogy is going to be completely remade, inch by inch, as GL keeps mucking with it.  All the Ewoks will be played by Doug Jones and Andy Serkis in motion capture suits, and will fly around the forest like they’re in a Hong Kong wire-fu movie.  All the droids will be CGI, and there will be a certain floppy eared Gungan added to the shuttle that Han and Luke fly to Endor.  “Ooooh Han, meesa know da code to give da bad Empire man!”  YOU KNOW HE’S THOUGHT OF IT.  Doesn’t he have any NEW ideas he’d like to make into a movie?  Most filmmakers do that, you know, even if they try to revisit the well of the best success multiple times, they do move on and make something else.  Either that, or Lucas needs a hobby, like hang-gliding, or ending world hunger.

Categories
PC Games

Vintage Gaming – Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars: Rebellion (or Supremacy, as it was known across the pond) is a real-time 4X game Lucasarts released in 1998 to quite mixed reviews.  I bought it and played it quite a bit, though almost always from the Rebel side.  I have a hard time playing the bad guys.  Rebellion is set just after the destruction of the first Death Star at Yavin, and you have to win over support of the existing core worlds while colonizing worlds in the unknown territories.  You must also recruit more heroes to your side, and they make heavy use of the Expanded universe (or “Star Wars Legends”) so you are just as likely to find Grand Admiral Thrawn or Garm Bel Iblis as you are General Covell or Wedge Antilles.

Rebel Scum

Rebellion moved at a fairly slow pace, unless you jacked up the speed on how fast the ‘days’ passed.  You could build all sorts of buildings on the planets, such as mines and refineries, defensive structures, factories for ships, and training grounds for troops.  The only ‘action’ was ship to ship combat when two fleets met at a planet, and that’s only if you wanted to micro-manage it.  Most everything else was resolved automatically, such as diplomacy missions to neutral (or enemy) planets, sabotage, and orbital bombardment.

I think what I liked most about SW:R was finding and recruiting everybody.  You never knew who you were going to find, and it seemed really cool that a lot of them were from the books.  It was very hard to ‘win’ this game with the default rules as you had to capture the two main characters from the opposing side (Vader and Palpatine, or Mon Mothma and Luke Skywalker) and since they could be anywhere, including in transit aboard ships, it became very frustrating.  You can set the game to accept just destroying the home base as a win though.

There was a decent sized mod community, though I don’t know how active they are now.  I enjoyed Rebellion quite a bit in spite of the flaws.  Worth a spin, especially now when it’s discounted for May 4th.