Friday, March 23, 2007

The Return of DC's Scariest Image!



Sneakier than Batman!
Faster than the Flash!
More terrifying than the Emerald Eye of Ekron!

It's...












You know, when I look


at pictures like these


(and the hundreds more


just like them),



I get this odd feeling.

Almost as if


I'm looking at a mass murderer



before he snaps


and kills all his friends


and anyone else he can get his hands on.



But, ha ha, that's silly!



Because it's just Hal Jordan... !

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Creative Writing Assignment!

Attention, class!

You have one week to write a plot contextualizing this panel:



Your synopsis must identify the hand, the foot, explicate the word balloon, and succinctly outline the plot up to and following the panel.

At the end of one week, I will reveal the actual story, which, I guarantee, is much much worse than anything you can possibly come up with.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

50 Reasons to Buy Aquaman #50



1. Calamari meetings.
2. The Mystery of Who "Issitoq the Narwahl" Is and How He Came To Be.
3. The Return of Topo.
4. Horny Mera.
5. The Return of Cal Durham
6. Tempest's new look.
7. The promise of "hatches" in the sea.
8. Lot of things happening. Fast. Lots and lots.
9. Super Ultra Mega.
10. Rodunn, wearing pants.
11. The trail of bubbles.
12. The splitting of Mera's head.
13. The broken sword.
14. King Shark's farewell.
15. The sleeping god of Dyss.
16. "Great waves!"
17. The new mayor of Sub Diego.
18. The globularity of Mera's breasts.
19. Coleoidiforms.
20. "Oh ... crap."
21. Righteous tribal shoulder tatoos.
22. "Suffering shad!"
23. Atsiul's squadron faring poorly.
24. Raise Sub Diego...!?
25. Vengeance sworn!
26. Old scientists with boys in sailor suits.
27. Organ grinders' monkeys.
28. "We eat."
29. The glowing pointy stick of doom.
30. The executioner's victim.
31. Poetry by Tempest!
32. Albart's early histories.
33. Narwhal's fabulous hair-do.
34. "I inked myself."
35. A sword in the stone reference I actually enjoyed!
36. Innovative monster-bashing technique.
37. The continued ambiguity of the gender of Garth's child.
38. The Spear of Dyss versus the Sword of Atlantis.
39. Sealife discussing the fashion challenges of spinelessness.
40. Goofus's sea-asthma.
41. The ruins of Poseidonis.
42. Topo's full name.
43. "After this issues troupe of new character appears, a pack of old ones returns!"
44. Neos, a.k.a., "Squidville".
45. The eyes -- and diet-- of the Sea Bishop.
46. "You need to work on your small talk, forky."
47. Bad guys getting eaten.
48. Nice coloring/inking!
49. "We have far to go ... and you have people to kill."
50. Enjoyable credits.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Aquaclix

Last night, during our Heroclix game, Devon reminded me that tomorrow is the day Aquaman 50 comes out, by new Aquaman writer Tad Williams (Hi, Tad!). Do buy it, won't you? Tad has some, heh, interesting plans, and I don't want them to be cut short by falling sales... .

So, to celebrate the start of Tad's run, I've made something special (again!) for Heroclix players who are Aquaman fans.

If people who love Heroclix deserve special love and people who love Aquaman deserve special love, then who deserves special love more than Heroclix players who love Aquaman? And by "special love" I don't mean you-know-what ... .

Here at the Absorbascon, we've helped them out before with Fishclix and Even More Fishclix. To that, we'll now add the Water Map Rules and the Aquatic Objects.

The Water Map Rules are kind of like the Battlefield Condition Card "Atlantis Rising", except that Atlantis Rising clearly describes water flooding a land area, whereas the Water Map Rules describes an area on the ocean floor.

The Water Map Rules
  • Using any regular Heroclix map, treat all terrain as water terrain (including the elevated terrain).
  • All Aquatic characters are allowed to soar, and must soar to traverse hindering terrain or access elevated terrain.
  • Aquaman has Flight.
  • Non-aquatic characters are permitted in the game at the discretion of the players, but their speed and range (including range for "mental powers" like Outwit, Perplex, and Probability Control) are halved.
  • When a non-aquatic character attacks or makes an attack-like action (such as Incapacitate), they must choose to reduce either their Attack Value or Damage Value by one.
  • Oh, and yes, Aquatic characters may used the "Submerged" Feat Card. Heh heh.


That'll put those stinking airbreathers in their place! Sure, you can put Superman underwater or get out the Bat-scuba gear, but the rules aren't in your favor if you do. And if you're one of those people who can't manage without Running Shot, then just forget about it! Leave Deadshot in the box and start practicing with your Rookie Animal Man.

There aren't a lot of gumball machines and hotdog stands on the ocean floor, so here are some object tokens for use with the Water Map Rules. The dark rings are heavy objects and the light rings are light objects.


THE ANCHOR!
Now Aquaman can anchor your team and your opponent's! Feel free to use your best Popeye cackle when you crack open Halo's skull with this baby.


THE CANNON!
Your Koryak mod will have a better shot at doing damage if he's holding the cannon!


THE CHEST!
Girls will admire your Chest when you use it to make your foe a Dead Man!


THE FIGUREHEAD!
It's not just for show!


THE WHEEL!
Set a course for your enemies and they'll learn to steer clear of the wheel!


THE WHALE BONE!
Use this club to wail on your foes! They'll be Blue and call you "Killer"!


THE SHELL!

What better way to "conch" an opposing figure?


THE DEAD PANDA!
My evil mastermind went to Sub Diego, and all I got was this stupid Dead Panda!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Haloes belong with the angels, kiddo..."

As some of you may know, the fabulous new DC Heroclix set, Origin, came out recently. In my part of town, we celebrated publicly with a marquee tournament at Big Monkey, whose highlights included a player pulling one of the four extremely rare "chase" figures (specifically, Hippolyta).

Privately, we debuted the set at my house last Monday with a heavyweight grudge match between Devon "Charge is My Middle Name" Sanders and Glen "My Plan Can Only Fail If I Roll a Two" Weldon.

It's always a clash of styles between those two. Devon lurks behind trees, then leaps out screaming to smack you in the face with some sacrificial berserker; once the damage is done he sends out his Untouched Secondary Attacker he's been holding in reserve to KO whoever remains. Meanwhile, Glen, who was graduated My Great Attack-a from the Wile E. Coyote School of Strategy, is preparing byzantine four-part maneuvers involving a minimum of three mental powers, two feat cards, one team ability, and a Dane Dorrance pog -- schemes so brilliant, in fact, that they can fail only if Glen rolls a 5 or less twice in a row, which he does almost every turn.

When Devon laid out his team on the board -- Wildcat, Hawkman, Catman, Blackhawk, and Mister Miracle -- he feigned to be innocently composing a team entirely of figures from the new set. But it was obvious what he was really up to: it was one of his Testosterone Teams. If you know Devon's style of play, his merely placing those figures on the board said: "I am the Dale Gunn of Earth Prime and your team is about to be drowned in Aqua Velva."

Glen, just as subtly, said simply, "Oh; well, then..." and placed his team on the board:

Supergirl, Wonder Girl, Triplicate Girl, and Halo, saying, in essence, "I can trounce you with a team of teenage blondes."


Oh, it was on. Very on.

I knew what I needed to do; I removed the breakables, sent the dog to the bedroom, and got a pad and pen to take notes with.

The Girls dealt the Boys a swift initial smackdown. In their opening salvos, Halo and Supergirl kayoed Devon's avatar, Hawkman; meanwhile, Glen, master of psychological warfare, sipped his cosmo and chatted about manga influences in Miss Martian's costume design. The whole thing couldn't have been better calculated to demoralize Devon, although I thought Glen went too far when he blew his nose on an issue of DC Presents Lady Cop.

Who needs to go see 300?, I thought; this is a battle. Glen's Girls had additional successes; Halo blasted Wildcat for 3 clicks and Blackhawk for 5, proving that war is Halo.

But, much to his credit, Devon kept his cool, ingeniously using Mr. Miracle to make the Girls vulnerable even to attacks by his weaker characters, like Catman and Blackhawk. A lesser man would have given up; I surely would have, and at one point I urged Devon to concede that he had lost. But he persevered and, through clever use of his figures, wound up with his last one, Wildcat, kayoing Glen's last figure, the upstart Halo.

The moral?

Heroclix is more fun when you play theme teams, rather than just teams designed perfectly for winning.


What? You were expecting, "Never give up; never surrender"?


Anyway, this post introduces a new feature here at the Absorbascon: Theme Teams on Parade, in which I will offer Heroclix Theme Teams of my own devising. Look for it.