Friday, October 10, 2008

Loeb Hate DC

Can't talk now, but I'll give you an insight that came up at Big Monkey today:

JEPH LOEB IS BIZARRO-GEOFF JOHNS.

Discuss.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Things That Made Me Happy....

in my comics this week:

  • "Why?" Sometimes, I understand the appeal of Hal Jordan.
  • The Queen of Fables a perfect foe for the mythological Wonder Woman, and is her "Mxyzptlk".
  • Freddie the archeologist.
  • Mia uses her lipstick.
  • The highly symbolic irony of why Clark doesn't hear his name.
  • The Joker's fingerprints.
  • Mark's little brother Oliver scares me. A lot.
  • The Guardians are every Board of Directors you've ever known.
  • Gorillas who appear familiar with Aristotle's Poetics.
  • Superman defeating a snotty foe by simply beating the snot of out them, showing that violence is sometimes the answer.
  • Wonder Woman defeating a snotty foe by simply beating the snot of out them, showing that violence is sometimes the answer.
  • "Dead is good".
  • Batman versus Catman.
  • Speedy and Dodger's charming romance.
  • "I didn't even know I was capable of having a migraine."
  • Watch the various Lanterns and their Corps mutually cause one another.
  • "Money will be paid for each drop of agony they suffer." Gail really does have a way with the villains, doesn't she?
  • Hey, look, kids; Wonder Woman in bondage!
  • Connor is both more and less than alright, it seems.
  • Remind me never to go to a restaurant with Mongul.
  • Wonder Woman's meta-commentary on the delay in her movie.
  • "He's just a puffed-up egotist with no impulse control."
  • Not to be rude, but if Holly Shancoe's that stupid, shouldn't she be dead already?
  • Ornament-things. It's your new favorite word.
  • "Rock on" is perhaps the most amusing battle-cry I've ever heard.
  • I think that scarred Guardian may actually be dead.
  • Honestly, every single page of Action Comics, an utter masterwork in characterization and using characters as symbols.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Arkham Asylum Villains

Very soon -- but not soon enough -- the next set of DC Heroclix, Arkham Asylum will be out.

The set is full of gems, but I want to highlight a few of my favorite villain in the set.

BLACK MANTA

Yes, he is riding a shark with a frickin' laser beam on its head. Because that is how evil he is. There was a Black Manta in the very first set of DC Heroclix. But they were still getting the bugs out of the system, and he quickly gained a reputation as, point for point, the most useless piece in the game. Well, no one on the beach will be kicking sand is this one's face. The figure represents his eyebeams with the penetrating Psychic Blast and Energy Explosion, and his underwater prowess with Superstrength, Toughness. And his "Pirate" power lets him Perplex up his stats or those of another aquatic figure.

Like Black Manta, the Riddler appeared in the first DC Heroclix set and was of questionable utility. That won't be said of the new one, who is a masterpiece of capturing what a Batman villain does without making him a powerhouse. He has Stealth and Leap/Climb, which are pretty key when fighting the Batfamily. Mastermind and Exploit Weakness made him a threat at close range, and at a distance he's got some "riddle-related" powers. One givex him Outwit and Perplex at the same time; it's a special version of Perplex that allows him to lower an opponent's battle stat by 2. Those ultra-high-defense figures, like Jay Garrick, might be in for an unpleasant surprise when the Riddle catches them off guard with some puzzle, and they let down their defenses. And "Riddle Me This" is a special version of Incapacitate as a free action (with the possibility of double-incapping an opponent). The Riddler can seriously mess up your opponent's team, as long as you have other character to do the actual punching for him; which is exactly as it should be.

The villainous Riddler is 90 points. But there's also an LE version, Edward Nigma, which for 60 points represents the reformed Riddler, the private detective. It has the usual Riddlerish powers (Outwit, Incapacitate, Perplex, Leap/Climb, Mastermind).
The Penguin is another villain whose remake was badly needed, as his original version was useless. This time, they figured out that his crime umbrellas are an excuse to give him nearly any power, including Energy Explosion, a special joint power for Smoke Cloud and Blades/Claws/Fangs, and Defend. That Defend is going to make him popular on Batman Enemy teams, where he can lurk behind others and keep their defense values high. His criminal acumen is represented by Mastermind (passing damage on to adjacent allies), Willpower (the ability to more twice in a row without penalty), and Outwit (the ability to cancel someone else's power from a distance).

Like the Riddler, Two-Face has two versions: the regular criminal genius version and a Limited Edition "reformed" version. The regular version has some expected powers, like Stealth, Mastermind, and Perplex. Flurry (the ability to attact an adjacent character twice) is a nice touch, but even nice is a special power that represents his coin toss, giving him either Incapacitate or Psychic Blast (either of which makes him useful against the big boys). The "reformed" version is similar, with both Flurry and Mastermind. But it is more of a personal combatant, with Combat Reflexes, Exploit Weakness, and a special power that grants Outwit and Willpower. The best touch is giving him the Batman ALLY ability. This "permanent stealth" will force most foes to come face to face with him, where his Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness will be to his advantage.

As welcome as all these figures are, they are capped by the creation of a new generic Thug with the Batman Enemy Ability (sharing Attack Values among adjacent Batman Enemies). These guys will be perfect to put in front of a supercriminal to share his Attack and absorbs his Damage (courtesy of the Mastermind Batvillains often have). That figure's dial hasn't been made public yet, but the generic has an LE version that has been revealed: The Henchmen. He's only got five clicks, but he's packed with a grab-bag of abilities that make him a great utility player. He's got a special ability that makes him a wildcard for team abilities and keywords for all the major villainous groups, which makes him the ideal sidekick for most any villain.

Why Magnus is Better than Wally Wood

Because Magnus defies conventional panel layout.


As does his hair.