Archive for the 'Manga and Comics' Category

21
May
11

Hello, Doctor.

So, remember my article where I talked about making Mark Merlin a Doctor Who style adventurer to flesh out one of DC’s 52?

I’ve had a Master to go with my Doctor and I hadn’t realized it til now.

Say hello to Shade the Changing Man.

Originally created by Steve Ditko (The guy who helped make Spider-Man and one of my favorite heroes, The Question), Shade was originally just a guy from a parallel dimension who had a crazy M-Vest that made people think he had become some ultra crazy monster version of himself to fight the people who wanted him dead. Eventually, DC’s vertigo line got their hands on him and re-wrote his story to where he came from his home dimension to stop the madness of humanity from consuming the Earth. The M-Vest could now actually warp reality by taking hold of madness itself. Unfortunately, the only way for him to be able to stay on the planet is to occupy the body of a dead person. He ended up have 5 different forms during the 70 issue run, one of which was a woman. Did I mention that each of these forms had different personalities? And that he has companions? And at one point they all got a time machine to travel around in to fix stuff? And was even written by a British guy?

Just like a particular well know adventuring Time Lord, now; doesn’t it?


Hell, his third form even looks like a cross between the 9th and 11th Doctors. But, since he has so damn much in common with the Doctor, it would seem like cheating in rewriting my story to where Shade is the Doctor character (plus, I’m more partial to Mark and the Magic Only world I’ve made). So, instead, I’ve decided to make Shade more of an antagonistic character, trying to get the better of Merlin and his unlikely crew. A Master to Merlin’s Doctor. Especially since The Master’s own regeneration colours were pretty psychedelic; much like Shade’s Vertigo-era M-Vest

Shade would still come from another dimension, but this dimension is just a pocket within Earth 32. Merlin would have met Shade there whilst exploring the multiverse before adding any companions to his adventures. Shade accidentally becomes aware of the fact that his M-Vest (which have a combination of both of it’s functions) doesn’t work on Merlin, due to the former’s run-in with the Mobius Chair having made him Super Sane (driven so mad that he’s sane again). Fascinated and terrified, he vows to inhabit Merlin’s body so he, too can gain nigh-infinite knowledge of everything. This of course would mean killing Merlin, who escapes Shade’s dimension. Not taking kindly to this, Shade finds a body to inhabit on Earth and plots to kill Merlin whenever the chance permits itself.

Of course, I’d have him act in mirror of his Vertigo selves while on Earth, with his original Ditko version not only being his actual form, but act in the criminal way that everyone in the original comic thought that he was.

One of him tells would be the line that his first Earth body during the Vertigo-Era said “I’m not mad. I get mad, but I’m not mad.”

Perhaps I should just go ahead and write this story out, eh?

02
Mar
11

Webcomic Recommendations: Kyoji’s First Two

So, I’ve decided that I should some of the amazing web-comics that I’ve read over the years, plus a few new ones, because, goodness help me, I lover being bound to a running series that I can get updates on. For a while, I’d base what day it currently was off of three things: classes, work, which web comic uploaded.

First off, I’m going to start off with the two first webcomics I ever started reading:

The illustrious, famous, and hilarious 8-Bit Theatre. Running from 2001 to 2010, this webcomic is supposed to be a straight translation of the original Final Fantasy, but various hilarious things happen, including appearances of characters from other Final Fantasy games, digs at the conventions of the original game itself, and a tight woven together continuity (there’s a joke stated in the very first few episodes that become’s true towards the end of the comics run). Even the writing is fantastically well done, which isn’t a surprise in hindsight; Brian Clevinger is the creator of the Atomic Robo comic book series. If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy, metaphysical hi-jinks (what happens when comic strip characters are aware of their actions from every panel in a strip? They form an army), ridiculous violence, and a total disregard for Dwarves, this webcomic is for you.

The Second Webcomic is one that’s more of a Main Comic and it’s influenced side comics.

That’s right, Bob and George; a ridiculous “retelling” of the first 6 Megaman games. Originally started as a hand drawn comic until the creator finally had to admit that he couldn’t draw worth a damn, then shifting to a sprite comic (allegedly the first sprite comic), it ran from 2000 to 2007. Aside from the hilariousness of all of the characters dying around each of the comics anniversaries (but it’s okay, because, since they’re robots, they can just be rebuilt), it’s one of the few sprite comics full of dozens of recolours that actually manages to be good. The titular Bob and George are characters from the comic’s original hand drawn strips that ended up in the Megaman Universe. But this is a different Megaman Universe to what we’re use to. In this one, most of the Robot Masters are ridiculously incompetent, as is Megaman and most of the good guys. Dr. Light accidentally programmed him to have the Prime Objective of being an Idiot and a Secondary Objective of being a Hero of Justice. Most of the recollections of the original games are grossly inaccurate due to Author intervention (this being a comic where the Author has a self insert character who does nothing but try to keep order, but ends up being a pain in the ass sometimes), Time Travel Shenanigans (which are essentially the most hated thing in the entire comic, due the to absolute bullshit time travel causes, like George being the main bad-guy of Mega Man 5) and the speculation of the event known in the comic as “The Cataclysm”, which boils down to the explanation as to why the original MegaMan characters aren’t around in MegaMan X by saying that Zero activated early and killed everyone. NOw, for the longest time, Bob and George also hosted several sub comics, some relating to Megaman, others not at all. As of this writing, the only one that’s still actually updating and being linked to from Bob and George’s front-page is MSPaint Masterpieces.

 

MSPaint Masterpieces, unlike Bob and George, has been epicially re-telling the original Megaman games. While it started out as generic Webcomic silliness, it progressively to more and more serious in nature and deeper in tone. By the end of the retelling of the first game, the armies of the world are outside of Wily’s Castle and Megaman is nearly crap metal. To be honest, there are times when this comic is more serious and grave in nature that the famous Rockman MegaMix manga. It’s, quite honestly, the best balance for a silly comic like Bobo and George.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about the Webcomics that I’ve read, but not longer keep up with anymore.

16
Feb
11

Filling the Multiverse or Doing DC’s Job for Them.

So, for those of you who are familiar with American comics, you may know that there are alternate worlds in which the comic book characters interact. And by this, we mean things like, there’s a universe where everyone’s a zombie (Marvel Zombies), a planet where everyone’s evil (Earth-3), or everyone’s a furry (Earth-26).

Now, while Marvel’s alternate worlds are comprised of the Omni-verse (meaning that every possible dimension, including our own exists and can be visited), DC Comics has a much humbler 52.

The 52 is comprised of 52 identically different worlds. By that, I mean each of the 52 have a Superman and variations of the main DC world (which is Earth-0, as DC is Douche-bags). Most of the 52 are new versions of DC’s old Silver Age multiverse (Earths 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 being updated versions of the original 2, 3, 4, S, and X), DC’s more famous Elseworlds titles (Gotham By Gaslight, Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, Red Son), and entire Imprint franchises (Tangent and Wildstorm). However, there are around 23 worlds that haven’t been touched on at all. 8 have had specific people show up from them/we have the jist of what their world is, and 15 of them are completely uncommitted on. Now, we’ve seen 52 different Supermen show up to save reality itself once (including Obama. Not even lying; there is a world with a black US President who also happens to be Superman), so we know that these aren’t just vacant slots with nothing going on.

Now since DC has failed to realize how cool it would be to have new writers come in a make their own worlds for the uncatalogued 23, I’ve come up with two worlds of my own.

Earth-47: Lantern’s Oath Universe

In this universe, Earth has never had superheroes, nor has it come in contact with any alien lifeforms. The reason for this being that a sentient species can only be contacted after they pass the Trail of the Lantern, in which a developed enough species is given their own versions of the Central Power Batteries and are made to master the emotion spectrum. If they pass, that means that they are able to conduct themselves emotionally well enough to join the Galactic Community. One day, Earth’s skies are turned white and the Central Power Batteries descend around the world and send rings to various people (many of which have ties to or are analogues to the Lantern Corps Members of New Earth) to test their mantle and show the power of the various emotions. Each of the Central Power Batteries also sends out an avatar of it’s most illustrious member (i.e., the Yellow One sends out an avatar of Sinestro) to find as many people who have been effected by the rings and do what they will with them. This Earth’s Boston Brand also becomes the wearer of the White Ring to warn the others of the fact that the Black Central Power Battery has formed in the Earth’s core and is feeding off of the deaths of all of mankind’s history. Should the new ring-slingers fail, the Black Lanterns will cover the planet and eradicate them entirely. Also, the bearer of the White Ring changes, as its bearer is to always die.

Earth-23: The All Magic Universe

I know that there’s already Earth-33, where everyone is magic-based, but this world is different in that the only Superheroes that exist are the ones with magic based powers or are street-level vigilantes. That means that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (the circumstances of her birth are mystical, but she herself is not) are not there, but Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and Diana Price are. They’re just not superheroes. Clark Kent is still the last survivor of Krypton, but he’s just his ordinary bumbling self, working at the Daily Planet. Bruce Wayne’s parents were still shot and he still swore to end crime in Gotham, traveling the world to gain the resources to, but he does so by being a business man of high ethics, funding only the police departments that fought against mob crime, and providing any straight-laced detective the assistance that they need to bring down. Diana Prince is simply the ambassador for Themyscira. The story that I’d write about this world wouldn’t be about them, it would be about the oft-forgotten occult detective Mark Merlin, aka Prince Ra-Man.

Merlin starts the series already with the powers of Prince Ra-Man (which have been passed down his family line since ancient Egyptian times), but with only an intermediate use of them. Working with Carter Hall (who is not Hawk-Man, but is still the reincarnation of Khufu) on an excavation in Egypt. Coincidentally, they find Metron’s Mobius Chair siting within a tomb, having landed on Earth-23 after Final Crisis. Merlin sits in it, but in doing so, activates it. The chair then automatically shows him all of the knowledge that Metron had gathered, plus anything the Chair itself uncovered. essentially, Merlin learns everything that’s ever happened in the DCU, from Action Comics #1 on forward. Going momentarily insane, but becoming so insane that he was sane again, Merlin returns to his own Earth and decides to look for various items and persons and see why they are so different from the other Earths.

The book pretty much becomes DCU Doctor Who at this point, with the wacky, slightly unhinged Merlin serving in the role of the Doctor, collecting a group of Companions to adventure along with him. The first of which is an adult aged Vicki Grant, whom he gives the Hero Dial. Unfortunately, it’s stuck on what he calls “Legionnaire Mode”; the Hero Dial grants you superpowers whenever you dial in H.E.R.O., but the dial is only pulling up the powers of a few people from the Legion of Superheroes (who exist 1000 years into the future). Hilariously, it only pulls the powers of a very small percentage of powers from the Legion, as most of the powers of the Legionnaires are natural (technically, Superman doesn’t have superpowers any more than the human ability to ingest multiple foods at once; Kryptonians naturally gain their various abilities under yellow sunlight). Joining them eventually would be a slightly reformed Nemesis Kid (who’s been banished to the 21st Century), a refuge Batman Jones from the now apocalyptic Earth-51, and Thomas Kalmaku, friend of Hal Jordon.

Speaking of the Lanterns, in this world, they exist, but they’re power is considered magical. However, all of the various Lantern Corps (Red through Purple, plus the very few Black Lanterns and a single White Lantern) have always operated, clashing at various points, but keeping a seemingly impossible balance. Also, in this Universe, the reason why Earth has so many Green Lanterns is that the original ring went to Alan Scott (the Golden-Age Green Lantern) in the 30s. However, he became so use to being the interplanetary guardian of Earth, that when the Guardians asked for him to pass the torch, he refused. The Guardians asked Sinestro to wrestle it away from him, leading to Sinestro trying to simple destroy the ring. The ring then just breaks into three separate rings and each go to Hal Jordon, John Steward, and Guy Gardener. After stopping a power-hungry Sinestro from illegally extending his control over Sector 2417, the three are allowed to all operate as official Lanterns. Kyle Rayner is added later in an incident where it’s thought that one of the Earth Lanterns is dead. After whining from the other Green Lanterns, the Earth Lanterns are made to rotate on which areas of their Sector that they protect.

A few other aspects are that Dr. Fate is essentially the Superman of this Earth, the Hero Dial is usually not used by other magic users, as it could make them use  a magic that counteracts their own, and Captain Marvel doesn’t exist yet.

Shazam is still off-put from the antics of Black Adam. However, Black Adam placed his powers into an amulet that has ended up with a descendant of his that also happens to be his reincarnation. Shazam knows of Billy Batson, but won’t give his power to a child. Black Adam also holds a grudge against Dr. Fate and Mark Merlin, as Nabu (whose magic and spirit fuel Dr. Fate) and the original Prince Ra-Man (as Merlin may or may not be the original’s reincarnation) helped Shazam beat his powers out of him.

I wish DC would actually do something with their extra worlds. Hell, if they want to use the ones I’ve posted, I’d LOVE to work for DC.

A man can dream, though. A man can dream…

10
Aug
09

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Movie Reveiw

Let’s get this straight up front: Marlon Wayans is NOT a pain in the ass in this movie. And the movie is actually good.

What?!

Did I just say that this movie, the one that obviously screwed up every iconic image Hasbro’s Joe line has, was good? Why yes, yes I did. Cobra Commander’s mask sucks just as hard on the big screen as it does on the figures and their box art, Destro never actually wears that damned mask he seems to cherish so much in those trailers, Cover Girl is limited to a cameo appearance (one she sadly could have done without if you ask me), the Baroness is not as badass as she really could be (for plot reasons), and those Vipers are too hard to kill ( and the only reason they exist is for the Joe’s to kill while looking awesome in the process); yet, somehow, Stephen Sommers managed to do what Micheal Bay did in 2007 with Transformers: he made the Joes viable silver-screen stars.

Those of you familiar with my review style know I use a basic 5-point system. For the sake of doing this movie justice, I’ll get right to the point: Score -1.5 for overuse of generally good FXs that stood out because they were used so much, for action shots involving Ray Park’s Snake Eyes being too tight, too short, or too dark for Ray’s talent to really shine on screen, for Marlon Wayans still coming across as awkward despite playing a decent Ripcord, and for a fairly weak ending that, after about 1 hr. 45 min. of no Cobra Commander at all, finally sees some hope for a promising sequel that will probably have an equally stupid subtitle.

Just a 1.5 points? Just 1.5 for no Cobra Commander? Well, I can’t punish the movie because the toys suck (and they do, let no one tell you otherwise). Seriously, this movie does way more right than wrong, and CC’s absence is only in name and mask as, in true Cobra fashion, he is more than just pulling strings behind the scenes the whole time. So, here I give cudoes for relagating CC to a support role and letting Destro and the Baroness do their thing – just as poorly as they always did in the 80’s XD. And that isn’t the only nod to the spirit of G.I. Joe in the film:

* “Knowing is half the battle” and “Yo, Joe” are gloriously used by our heroes

* Duke wears a scar under his right eye, just as the original 12″ doll had a copyright marker scar under his right eye

* Generally speaking, the characters are themselves: example – Breaker still loves gum

*Snake Eyes is the baddest mofo in the whole movie. Period.

Obviously, there have been changes; not the least of those changes being the international nature of the team. The reasoning for that is about the only thing in the film actually explained. Really, stuff just happens. No reason why a dead guy can’t have electrodes shoved in his skull so his last memories can be photographed. Why shouldn’t there be a massive, missile-launching subartic base for a terrorist cell that (according to the title now) has yet to fully come together. Why exactly can’t Duke and Ripcord jump over cars and run really fast without those bulky Accelerator Suits, but Snake Eyes can – you know, without the damn suit (yes, Snake IS that awesome)? The answers to those questions are never, ever explained here, and who cares. The ride is just that fun.

That is, if you let it.

Don’t go into this expecting Dark Knight. Hell, don’t expect Transformers. This movie does not take itself seriously at all, but it does respect itself and its audience. It’s a mindless action movie based on a line of 3 3/4″ TOYS. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad and the good guys ultimately beat the bad guys and ride off into the sunset in skin tight leather bodysuits and fatigues with the Black-Eyed Peas playing in the background.

If you can’t have fun with that, shame on you.

Final Score: 3.5

30
Apr
09

Why I don’t like DiC

So, here I am, writing my first article for GONG. What’s a girl to write about? Something that she’s excited, yet annoyed about, of course.
When I was young and still in the I-want-to-be-a-Disney-princess phase, I watched the DiC version of Sailor Moon. I car pooled with my friend Diana at the time. I would get home in time to watch most of SM and tell her all about it the next day. She wanted to be Sailor Venus, I opted for Sailor Mecury.

The first thing that clued me in to the possibility that the SM version I was watching was a load of BS was a boy. This boy, in 6th grade, had the SM manga. The little magazaines that only had one chapter at a time, but usually had color for the first couple of pages. (I later dated this boy, perhaps hoping he had learned something about what girls want from a guy from SM. He hadn’t.) The manga was so different. Tuxedo Mask didn’t throw roses (not once in 18 volumes) and make lame speeches. He admitted to being a thief, made a badass villain, and had his own powers as the prince of Earth. Sailor Moon was the comedic relief, but in a crisis she was hardcore! In order to stop Tux from using the silver crystal’s power to take over the Earth, she got him with a poisoned sword, then used the same sword on herself in despair! Plus, there are points in the manga where it is clear they had a sexual relationship. (It’s a good thing my mother thought Sailor Moon was a kiddie show and didn’t understand my need to read all 18 ‘comic’ versions.)

Sailor Moon prompted my dive into the online anime world, spending a great deal of time on the Sailor Moon Romance Archives (especially the Hentai). It also lead me to other awesome anime and manga series. When Hastings first had their graphic novel section open, it was just two or three shelves, filled with Urusei Yatsura, Oh! My Goddess, Battle Angel Alita and, of  course, Sailor Moon. While I can trace my anime history back to Yume no naka no Rondo (Gigi and the Fountain of Youth) and Pokemon, Sailor Moon is where I really got my start.

Now why in the world do I bring this all up? Because the lovely Tina lent me the original Japanese episodes of Sailor Moon. It was corny in places (Why the speeches Tux? Admit it – a 12 year old girl is your writer.), but in taking out all things not ‘fit’ for sensitive American viewers, DiC made a fun and occasionally intensely dramatic series into a trite mess. To compare the versions in a way I hope people who have never watched or read an episode will understand, I turn to a Pokemon reference.

Sailor Moon manga = Pokemon manga/original game

Original Sailor Moon anime = First season of original Pokemon anime

DiC Sailor Moon = The worst season of dubbed Pokemon you know ( I personally spared myself the brain trauma and have only caught enough to know it’s gone bad).

Thanks for reading, peoples! I’m off to play my daily Animal Crossing.

23
Nov
08

Pocket Rockman World pg 4

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23
Nov
08

Pocket Rockman World pg 3

pocketrockmanworldpg3