Thursday, August 30, 2012

Support Cassandra Cain

I'm still working on the next blog (which will be a Nerd Rage, so it's taking longer than a review) so in order to pass the time I decided to bring this to your attention. If you like or are interested in non-white female superheroes then you'll want to check this out.

Pictured: Toxic material. So I'm told
So you guys should know by now that I’m a big fan of DC Comics character and former Batgirl Cassandra Cain. For those of you not in the know Cassandra was a member of the Batman Family, Bruce Wayne's adopted daughter and, of course, served as Batgirl from 1999 to 2009; a full ten years. The character had several ups and downs (I wrote an article that detailed some of this). She eventually passed the mantle of Batgirl to Stephanie Brown and then disappeared from comics for a short while before resurfacing under a new costumed identity called Black Bat in mid-2011. Then, before anything really got to be done with her and her new role in the comics, The Great DC Reboot of 2011 happened and, much like Stephanie and my beloved Wally West, she was apparently wiped out of continuity (her mother, Lady Shiva, was dramatically de-aged in the reboot making unlikely that Cass exists). She has not been used in any capacity and even when writers had ideas how to bring her back they have been vetoed. There have been murmurs and rumors that key executives at DC consider her (and others) to be toxic to DC, whatever that means, and thus won’t use her. As of right now Cassandra is not being allowed to be written about and her fans, who were very vocal about her treatment over the years, are left with many questions and few very unsatisfactory answers.

However a new movement conceived to show DC that Cass still has fans that support her and show that she can still be relevant is underway. Tomorrow (August 31st) the Cassandra Cain Campaign will begin. The organizers are asking fans to go to Comixology and purchase a digital copy of the Batgirl #1 (2000) which was the first issue of Cain’s ongoing series (for the low price of $1.99). The goal is to get the title onto the site’s bestseller list to make a statement to DC about the financial viability of the character. The tublr starting this campaign has all the details you need about all of this so go check it out here.

Lately a lot of people in my personal life have been complaining to me about the lack of women of color as superheroes. Well this is something you can do to help with that.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kickstarter Weekends: KMS CD Compilation, Leaving Megalopolis, Through the Fire

It’s time again for more plugs and karma gathering as I list off my favorite current Kickstarter projects. [EDIT: Yes, I know it's literally the end of the weekend but I needed to hep my girlfriend move the last few days, thus this is late. YOU GOTTA DEAL WITH IT!!!] We’ll again be looking at three projects and if you like what you see feel free to pledge to the cause (they will reward you with cool things, of course) or even just do what I’m doing and help spread the word around as best you can. Now before we check out the new additions let’s look at what became of the projects from last month, all of which have wrapped.

MALICE the Web Series: Funding Successful!

Final Earnings: $10,170 ($8,000 Goal)

This one was obviously the one dear to my heart. I was worried for a while but it managed to surpass its goal. I even got a “thank you” from series creator Phillip Cook for helping put out the word and later a thank you tweet from series star Brittany Martz…that she sent out to pretty much everyone who donated meaning I’m not all that special after all. Sigh.

Star Command: Funding Successful!

Final Earnings: $151,807 ($100,000 Goal)

No surprises here; there was pretty much no way it wasn’t going to be successful. I almost wish it had done even better just because that would just make the game ultimately better. Still it’s nothing to sneeze at.

Clandestine - Follow the Path: Funding Successful!

Final Earnings: $95,685 ($75,000 Goal)

Thousand Pounds’ new web series, if anything like their shorts, will be a treat for anyone who is a fan of highly choreographed martial art epics. It’s currently in pre-production and the final product is still a ways off. Perhaps I’ll try my hand at reviewing web shows when it comes out.

Three new KS Projects after the jump.

Monday, August 20, 2012

200th Blog: Review of Spider-Man - One Moment in Time

Two hundred blogs. Woooo! The sheer amount of words I’ve written in 199 blogs is actually very staggering to me, as I can’t even seem to finish a writing novel. Still I’m very proud that I’ve managed to stick with the blog this long. To celebrate I wanted to do a follow-up to my 100th post which, if you recall, was a very detailed review of Spider-Man: One More Day, one of the worst comic books I ever had the displeasure of reading and the reason I haven’t bought any new Spider-Man comics since (well, at least until today’s comic).

I talked about One More Day to great degree in both the 100th blog and the prologue in the 99th blog so I don’t want to repeat myself too bad. However if you’re too lazy to check them out basically the comic involved Spider-Man and his wife Mary Jane Watson making a deal with Mephisto, the closest entity Marvel Comics has to Satan, in order to save the life of his dying Aunt May whom was shot because Spidey was stupid enough to reveal his secret identity to the world and then decide to betray Iron Man thus losing any protection his family had received and causing them to become fugitives. The book was really, really poorly written, extremely contrived and rushed, and ultimately an unsatisfying end to Spidey and MJ’s twenty-year marriage for those of us who were fans of it. Not to mention the idea of Spider-Man making a deal with the devil so he doesn’t have to take responsibility for his own follies kind of pretty much kills the character’s integrity for me.

The comic concluded with Peter Parker and MJ ‘s marriage never happening (in fact they were broken up, actually), his identity again now a secret, his web shooters restored (the years prior to this he had developed “organic webbing”), and Harry Osborn, long dead son of the Green Goblin and Peter’s best friend, suddenly alive and well. So obviously there were questions that we had with this new status that we all really wanted answers to, including:

-What changes to Spider-Man canon have happened now that the marriage has ben retconed out of existence?

-What happened Spider-Man’s organic webbing? And did the extra powers he gained in The Other storyline hold up?

-How is Harry Osborn still alive? Did he ever become the Green Goblin? And since the Clone Saga turned out to be a(n extremely convoluted) revenge plot by Harry’s father because of his son’s death does this mean that that storyline never actually happened?

Pictured: Peter Parker at the end of One More Day. Probably
In 2010, three years after the taste of One More day had started to wash away, then Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada (the architect of One More Day and outspoken opponent of the Spider-Marriage) decided to release a new Spider-Man story to address questions following the controversial comic. No, not the questions above (though to be fair some of them were answered during the post-OMD Amazing Spider-Man comic) but rather the question of “why did Peter and Mary Jane never get married?” Which is actually really annoying because I’m not sure who the hell wanted that question answered. I mean, people who were pro-marriage were not going to want to relive the crap from OMD and people who were enjoying the Brand New Day storyline (post-OMD Amazing Spider-Man) probably didn’t want to have their regular comic interrupted by rehashing old shit. So, because absolutely no one asked for it, Spider-Man: One Moment in Time hit the stands.

Written by Quesada with art from Paolo Rivera it covers The Amazing Spider-Man #638-641. As a warning this review will likely be pretty a pretty nerdy and passionate rant. It likely won’t be as bad as my One More Day review but if you aren’t really into the whole “Angry Dork” thing you might want to wait until blog #201 comes out.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: Spoilers abound in this review, as I pretty much stopped giving a crap about five pages into this mess]

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Moonrise Kingdom

I literally changed what the subject of blog #199 half a dozen times. I basically have five other blogs I wanted to do but due to the 200th blog looming I’ve been going crazy with what I should put on before it. I was supposed to do another Kickstarter Weekend a few days ago but I ended scrapping it at the last minute (and I’m not sure I will be able to do it this weekend). Next blog with finally be the big one so hopefully things will get back on a normal schedule afterwards.

If you aren’t familiar with the works of director Wes Anderson then you are missing out. One of the best and unique directors out there Anderson’s movies usually are at the very least entertaining. Among them is The Royal Tenenbaums which is one of my top three favorite films of all time (it changes pretty regularly but it’s often number one). So whenever he makes a new film I usually take notice. Moonrise Kingdom is his latest film and, though it took a little bit of time for it to hit Kalamazoo, I did in fact get to watch it. Is it another hit or has Anderson finally made his first terrible film?

Adventure and romance after the jump.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Sorry it took so long for a new blog.  It was partly because I didn't particularly feel like writing a review of this movie immediately after the tragic shooting that occurred and also partly because I've been getting ready for my 200th blog post and I've been struggling with the schedule of stuff I needed to get out.

There’s not much to say about The Dark Knight Rises. It’s the sequel to The Dark Knight, which it is itself a sequel to Batman Begins. All three movies were directed by Christopher Nolan who also directed Inception, which was #2 pick for best film of 2010 (second only Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). I’ve been led to believe the original sequel to The Dark Knight was meant to heavily feature The Joker (Hence the way he was defeated in the second movie while Two-Face was foolishly disposed of) but due to the death of Heath Ledger they were forced to go a different route. As a result the movie has closer ties to the first film than I suspect was originally planned.

The hype for this movie has been understandably high. After all The Dark Knight was considered by many, but not everyone, to be the best superhero film ever made and a sequel to something like that has a lot to love up to. So did The Dark Knight Rises fall above or below the perhaps unrealistically high bar its predecessor created?

Find out after the jump.

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