In the world of video games, it's been a pretty big year for sequels. Of course, it's kind of always a pretty big year for sequels, but in the past few months alone, we've gotten Grand Theft Auto V, Saints Row IV, Assassin's Creed: Stabbin' In The Pirate Times, a new Pokémon game, and more. For those of us who have a keen interest in seeing Batman punching people right smack in their big ol' stupid faces, however, there is one game that has been more anticipated than any other: Batman: Arkham Origins, the third installment of the series that began with 2009's Arkham Asylum.
Now, it's finally out, and the short version is that by and large, Arkham Origins is very good at what it does. It just doesn't do anything new.
It’s a rare thrill and kind of a pain when you come across a comic that so stubbornly defies explanation it easily wriggles out from the grasp of any words that you hope to entangle it with. Such is the case with Pretty Deadly, the new Image series by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos, and Jordie Bellaire. I’ve already written and undone four descriptions, wincing every time I found my fingers typing words like “mashup” or “genre-bending,” then leaning on the DEL key to undo my lame attempts to classify such a mercurial book. So let’s try this: Pretty Deadly is an Eastern myth incubated in a Western womb; a story within a story within a story; a dark fairytale about bad men, worse women, and Deadface Ginny, the reaper of vengeance, the daughter of Death. Commence head-banging now.
Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner-winning Image Comics series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and drawn by Charlie Adlard is underway. While the survivors grapple with the apocalypse and each other, ComicsAlliance’s John Parker will be following along all season to see who lives, who dies, and who bleeds from all their orifices.
In last week’s episode, a deadly flu virus spread through the prison, walkers got in, illusions of youth were shattered, and two mysteries were introduced: who is feeding the walkers, and who set fire to two infected survivors?
The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson will be following along to see how he fares.
This week, it's a spooooooky Halloween episode with a serial killer, people running out into live shellings and at least one hilarious text message.
Two of the things I have loved longest in life -- besides family, fireworks and cake -- are Lego and the Marvel universe. They were two things that sparked and fed my imagination and helped me play.
Now they've come together in the video game Lego Marvel Super Heroes. There was very little chance that I wasn't going to buy a game that combines two such nostalgic favorites. Still it comes as a great relief to discover that Lego Marvel Super Heroes doesn't just tap into my nerd reflexes; it's also tremendous fun.
When Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting relaunched Captain America in 2004, they came to the book eager to return the elements of espionage that had been largely absent from the title for years. While most of what we remember are the big events – Bucky’s return, Steve Rogers’ assassination – it was really the spy aspect that drove the story, the behind-the-scenes machinations that made the book so incredibly tense. Now, with Velvet #1 from Image Comics, the team reunite (with Bettie Breitweiser on colors) for another trip into the shadows, a taut thriller about spies, double-crosses, and a middle-aged secretary who’s much more dangerous than she seems to be.
There's a great old gag from The Simpsons in which Homer, who's trying out to be a member of the secret society the Stonecutters, is going through an initiation ceremony that involves him getting hit in the butt with paddles over and over. The members of the group keep doing the same thing to him, but they call it different names, like "Crossing the Desert" and "The Unblinking Eye."
There's a lot to be said for the splash page which concludes Dean Trippe's deeply personal Something Terrible, a new 18-page digital comic available for $0.99. You could spend a serious amount of time figuring out and naming each character pictured in the previously released and wildly reblogged image "You'll Be Safe Here": The Rocketeer, Indiana Jones, He-Man, and essentially every member of the Bat-family. Gremlins, Transformers, Spider-Men and... is that the Crow? Beloved characters populate a scene witnessed in the foreground by a young boy, standing protected by Batman himself.
What you couldn't see until Trippe released the story behind it was just how much the scene meant to him not as a fan but as a man, and how much the world of fiction and fantasy can offer a child who truly needs an escape from an unthinkable reality of abuse and trauma.
Hiatuses kill me. When a great comic book reaches out and touches all those nodes of pleasure in my brain on a regular basis, I come to expect the hit. When that hit suddenly doesn’t come when it’s supposed to, when the next issue is listed in the solicitations only to get pushed back again and again, that expectation grows from an anxious wiggle of electricity in my brain into a full-blown itch, and the longer the wait goes on, the more I want to push my fingers into my head and scratch it. Try as I might, I can’t recall a recent book that’s given me that itch, that’s instigated that want more than Image Comics’ Nowhere Men. Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire, and Fonografiks are creating one of the most intelligent, experimental, and beautiful comics today, and after an absence of several months, this week it finally returns.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get a preview of this week's episode of Agents of SHIELD at New York Comic Con, alongside several hundred passionate fans of the show. My impression at the time was that episode 4, 'Eye-Spy', was easily the best episode yet.
However, I had to wonder if seeing the show on the big screen, surrounded by a cheering, hollering crowd, made me more forgiving than I would usually be. I was curious to see how the episode would hold up on a second viewing.
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