drqshadow

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Everything posted by drqshadow

  1. drqshadow

    NBA Jam

    That looks genuinely hilarious.
  2. This. And I routinely drink from the cup of Jobs. I think they're going to have to do a hell of a lot of convincing today.
  3. drqshadow

    Randomness

    Saved the best for last! That's awesome.
  4. I'm starting to think it's a good rule of thumb that if Darryl from The Office is in it, the movie is more than likely shit.
  5. Planetary, Volume 1: All Over the World and Other Stories - I'd caught a lot of the hype about this book back when it debuted, picked up a single issue, didn't think much of it and moved along. Now it seems like I merely dodged a loaded freight train. I still don't think much of that particular issue (#3, about the Hong Kong ghost cop) but in the context of the surrounding issues, it's much more at home. This is the kind of Warren Ellis book I adore - when he's not so caught up in trying to look smart that the story loses its entertainment factor, but he's also not so shackled by editorial interference that his imagination can't rightfully soar. There's a certain disjointedness to this series, with each self-contained issue reaching its final pages before the timing really seems appropriate, that's both eyebrow-furrowing and captivating. It's like the characters' lives are going onward and upward, and we're just afforded a spot in the passenger seat for as long as they'll allow it. There's some really great material in here, from the team's discovery of an ageless super-genius in a long undisturbed WWII-era bunker, to the island full of gigantic monster corpses, and it's all treated with the same stoic lack of skepticism made popular by the glory days of The X-Files. Ellis can send his readers on a voyage like few others, and he's got a tremendous partner in John Cassaday to vibrantly bring the creatures occupying his imagination to life. Fascinating work, despite a few trivial rough edges. 8/10 The Walking Dead, Volume 2: Miles Behind Us - The tone of this collection is markedly different from the first, and from the one which coats the series today. Unlike the present - where the troupe has grown calloused and deadened - or the title's first issues, when they were all in a shared state of shock, there's a surprising sense of optimism and hope between these covers. The group is still feeling their way around, making mistakes and paying the price, but they haven't given up on the world at large. Those distinctions add up to a plot that's more in-your-face and less introspective, for better and for worse. Budding relationships sprout with almost as much frequency as the zombies that instigate them, which in turn reveals a lot about the cast and their motivations. And, of course, Kirkland continues his complete disregard for the rulebook, killing off major faces when we least expect it. Charlie Adlard's first workout with the series isn't his finest hour, but it's more than serviceable and leads me to appreciate his current output that much more. A fine addition to the collection that laid the groundwork for the greatness it's producing today. 7.5/10 Wanted - Screw all the haters, I enjoyed the hell out of this series. Mark Millar's been derided in the past, sometimes deservedly so, but I thought his work here was above reproach. It wasn't the next Watchmen, nor was it as fundamentally sound as The Ultimates, but in terms of pedal-to-the-metal action this is near the top of my list. I loved the relentless pace, the set of unpredictable twists and turns and the infectious, pants-crapping excitement Millar brought to the page. Is this going to win any literary awards, or earn a spot under lock and key in the library of congress? Of course not. It's deliberately lewd, which is half the point, and often comes off as dumber than the premise really is. It reminds me of something Garth Ennis might write, if he didn't have such an irrational hatred of superheroes. It's blunt, breakneck and ballsy, and I just couldn't put it down. A terrific concept, a twisted sense of humor, and a tight conclusion. Thumbs up. 8.5/10 Wolverine: Enemy of the State - Yeah, I loaded up on the Mark Millar this holiday. I liked this rendition of Logan and his greater supporting cast enough, but Enemy of the State's plot feels a bit thin. I get that the big idea is to put an unconscionable Wolverine against the heavy hitters of the Marvel Universe and see who comes out on top, but that doesn't mean nothing else can be going on in the meantime, does it? Millar gets so caught up in the moment that he seems to lose track of time and subsequently hurries the ending, which keeps the whole bundle from living up to its full potential. Likewise, John Romita, Jr's compositions are as good as ever, but the inks of Klaus Janson give his work a very dated, heavy-handed look that doesn't always suit it. There's plenty of fun to be had here, especially if you've ever wondered who'd win in a no-holds-barred brawl between Logan and the Fantastic Four, but it could've been so much more. 7/10 Comics: 7, TPB: 5, Graphic Novel: 1
  6. This looks like the perfect "jumping off point" I've been waiting for!
  7. Loved that movie. Exactly the kind of cheeseball '80s trash I like to gorge myself on. From the film's IMDB page:
  8. Yeah, I'm terrified to re-read Batman vs. Dracula and Dark Joker: The Wild for those same reasons.
  9. I would never wear shoes like this.
  10. I think I've leveled up from "completely inept" to "occasionally not worthless" in multiplayer. Most times I still wind up with like a 1:3 ratio but every once in a while I'll come out of the blue with a 20-5 round.
  11. I guess I'll take this off my Amazon wishlist, then... nice work as always, Dubs
  12. Some of these were leftovers from 2009 that I just hadn't had a chance to type up yet, but screw it. 2010 HO! Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life - Weighing in at over 800 pages, this autobiographical manga centered on the first decade of Tatsumi's illustrious career is easily the most intimidating volume of work I own. Yet despite its encyclopedic page count, I found it an exceptionally quick, easy read. More than that, it's a tremendously earnest, personal look at the author's work - warts, freckles and all. I found that I had a lot in common with the younger version of our narrator, both in his quiet personal life and his ongoing professional struggles with motivation, uncertainty and less-enthusiastic superiors and peers. Tatsumi's artwork, at a glance extremely simple and elementary, proves to be magnificently versatile and technical as the story bears on, a lesson in effective simplicity with every page. This is an outstanding work that's both overflowing with honesty and infectiously creative. I needed a book like this, not just to temporarily satisfy my fascination with Japanese history and pop culture, but to add a bit of fuel to my own fire. 10/10 Daredevil #503 - Not to sound like a skipping LP, but I'm still not sold on the new creative team. Andy Diggle's writing is taking a few appropriate cues from several of the most monumental tales in Daredevil's life, shaking up the status quo for both Murdock and his supporting cast, but there's a big gap between the two that's growing tough to bridge. This may as well be a pair of monthlies, with Matt struggling to come to terms with his new role at the helm of The Hand on one side and Foggy and the firm's legal difficulties on the other. In retrospect it may seem like a lot's gone down but on the printed page many of the big plot points have been lost in the shuffle or simply glossed over as the characters fail to react appropriately. There's still time for everything to come together and resume this book's long run of excellence, but at the moment it's not really working. 5.5/10 Dark Avengers #11 - Nice to see a little depth granted to Victoria Hand, Osborn's oft-seen but rarely-obeyed right hand (no pun intended) in HAMMER. Up until this point I've always regarded her as a bland Maria Hill clone, so it's cool that she's finally enjoying a bit of development, belated and lightning-quick though it may be. When the spotlight leaves her past, Hand is thrust right into the fire as the Avengers' last hope in a chaotic, confusing battle against the Molecule Man, affirming the trust Osborn has evidently placed in her and establishing her status as an active member of the team itself. The battle scenes with Mr. Molecule are a bit tripped out, climaxing in yet another faux death scene for the Sentry, andmostly come off as half-baked and melodramatic. The constantly shifting artwork just makes things worse. Sometimes when Bendis sits down in his sandbox he produces something fantastic, but lately he's been just as likely to lose control and wet himself. This is a little bit of both. Dark Avengers just isn't the dependable powerhouse it was last spring. 4/10 Dark Avengers #12 - If there were an annual quota for Norman Osborn ass shots, we'd have filled it up with this issue alone. After a few pages, Victoria gets in on the act, too, as the Molecule Man's dastardly plan for disarming her involves disintegrating everything she's wearing outside of her underwear. It's kind of bizarre, actually. I don't really get what either had to do with the story, but hey, it's sure to endear ol' BMB to the fanboys. As the big conclusion to the evil Molecule's master offensive, this issue comes off as fairly generic, with the villain's defeat coming suddenly and borderline inexplicably. I get the feeling this was supposed to be a watershed moment for the Sentry, as he comes to a personal epiphany that somewhat explains how he's managed to come back to life four times in the last three months. Thing is, he's been treated as such an oddball lately that I'm not entirely sure if I should take it at face value or just pass it off as the latest mental hurdle he's bound to bowl over in an awkward drunken swagger and forget about. I really enjoyed the breakthrough moment Victoria reaches with Osborn in the book's final pages, but loathed the cheap tie-in to Siege that immediately undermined it. It's like we're running in place. 5/10 Ex Machina #47 - Sort of a ho-hum issue without much purpose until the three-quarter mark, when we're slapped in the face with one of the biggest "oh shit" moments of the series. Vaughan's put together a nice, solid lead-in to the series finale, building up Suzanne as a real threat while undermining our faith in Mitchell. No signs of his customary late-issue failings as this series nears the home stretch - in fact, the book's rarely been better, which makes Tony Harris's unusually weak showing even more disappointing. Each time I was ready to be awed by a sweet visual, I was hit with a sudden letdown instead. Let's hope he's just saving his best for last. 7.5/10 John Constantine, Hellblazer: Original Sins - It's been a while since I lifted this one off the shelf, and while a lot of the themes have begun to show their age, the basic premise remains rock solid. Jamie Delano never enjoyed the notoriety of many of his Vertigo counterparts, and while I can't argue that he was on the same level as Gaiman, Moore or Morrison, he was just as much at home within the imprint as its more well-known contributors. His writing in this series is a feast for the imagination, modernizing a demonic mythos that had previously been stuck in the middle ages. His Constantine is an enigma, not so wrapped up with magick that he couldn't enjoy a good drink and smoke with some regularity, or so caught up in himself that he couldn't afford to step off a bus at a remote stop in the middle of nowhere on nothing more than a whim and a wild hair. While this trade wraps up with a multi-part story arc that loses some traction, the real meat is in the first few self-contained issues, where Delano takes us on a set of brief, neck-snapping joyrides through hell and its various incarnations on the mortal plain. One chapter he's face-to-face with the selfish spirit of greed itself, the next he's toying with satanist yuppies. The artwork's not always pretty and the colors genuinely stink, but this writing is almost good enough to redeem the both of them. A fascinating glimpse back at frustrations on both sides of the Atlantic in the mid '80s, tinged with the kind of demon-wrangling that's defined Hellblazer ever since. 8.5/10 Siege: The Cabal #1 - With so many sets of brass balls in the same room, it was really only a matter of time before they started to collide. Norman Osborn's secret pact with Namor, Doctor Doom, Loki and the Hood seemed like a bad idea from the start, and here's where we start to find out why. Make no question, there's a lot (no, a LOT) of posturing this month, but that's really what makes it so much fun. Osborn and Doom in particular are such bold, abrasive personalities that Bendis could really just set the two of them loose in a room, let nature take its course and have enough material for a twelve issue maxi-series. And honestly, that's just about all he does here. I'm ashamed to admit I liked it so much, but truth be told this really was a fun little ride. 8/10 And two IIWY books from my last contribution in 2009: Gen13 #33 and X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #1 Comics: 7, TPB: 1, Graphic Novel: 1
  13. This is great, thanks for spending the time to put it together Dubs. I'm staggered that my scores were so evenly spread.
  14. Suave - I didn't know that, actually. Good news, then! Dubs - you are too kind.
  15. Batman and Robin #6 - What a mess. Basically one extended fight scene, this issue would have surely benefitted from Frank Quitely's artwork, but in Philip Tan's hands it's just a yawner. Grant Morrison has driven this series into a rut that just gets deeper and deeper with every passing issue. B&R swiftly take out the insurmountable threat from last month. They share a panel's worth of witty banter with Alfred. They find a domino. A new threat emerges, promising to be twice as serious as the one the heroes took out this month. The curtain falls. Rinse and repeat. This month's challenger, the Flamingo, is surprisingly shallow for someone who takes his fashion cues from the cover to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The only redeeming quality about this issue is the closure it grants Scarlet, the Red Hood's former sidekick, and even that's unbelievably anticlimactic. She just walks away, and magically she's cured? Wow. Terrible work. 2/10 Daredevil #502 - OK, I may have been a bit quick to judge the new creative team. Andy Diggle is still feeling his way around the cast, particularly Master Izo and Foggy, but he's taking the book (and Matt) to interesting new places. I welcome the return to the scenery of a courtroom, however brief it may have been, and it's nice to see the Kingpin back to his old ways, even if I still don't have a lot of time for his new enforcer, Lady Bullseye. The artwork is going to take some getting used to, though I found more to like this month than I did the last. I'm not entirely thrilled with the "ninjas vs. po-pos" storyline that's looming over the final pages like a dark, rumbling storm cloud, but this time I'll hold off and see where exactly it's going before writing it off. A mildly above-average issue, no more, no less. 6/10 Dark Avengers Annual #1 - This was a nice, unexpected little treat. To be frank, I hadn't even noticed Marvel Boy had gone missing in recent issues (no surprise considering how disjointed and difficult to follow they've been) but Bendis catches us up in no time and takes the opportunity to explore and expand his personality. Noh-Varr's perspective on the human race and its self-defeating tendencies is worthwhile, and his impromptu conversation with a random resident of NYC makes for some of the best moments of development the character has enjoyed since joining the team. Of course, those advancements are then immediately handcuffed by one of the worst costume redesigns in recent memory, but I guess you win some and you lose some. Chris Bachalo's artwork really took this issue over the top. His experiments with traditional paneling in this issue don't always work but they're universally gorgeous and he flat-out owns the action scenes. Get this guy on the main Dark Avengers series right away, please. 8/10 Powers Volume 3 #1 - Didn't even realize the second "season" had ended. I guess that goes to show how captivating recent issues have been (that tone you're hearing should be your sarcasm detector going off). It's a shame because this used to be the single most refreshing breath of fresh air on the market, but constant shipping delays, a few weak sequential story arcs and the replacement of Deena with a pale imposter have really served to kill its momentum. I wish Bendis would quit picking at the whole "Walker has been alive forever" bit, because it was tough to believe in the first place and each additional forgotten chapter of his life just pushes the envelope further and further over the line. Even the letters section, formerly my favorite part of every month, has been down in the dumps lately. Time to shape up or ship out, because there's no room on my regular pull list for books that are treading water or moving backwards. 5/10 Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #5 - There's a notable lack of electricity in this series since the relaunch, and I don't mean it needs more Electro. The entire cast is merely going through the motions, like they're reading their lines in a shared, disinterested voice. Almost every single female face has been acting completely out of character, and since the book's most personable, intriguing personalities are the women in Pete's life, that doesn't leave us with much. David LaFuente's artwork is showing signs of slow, sure improvement - he even managed to hand in a decent spread of Parker in full uniform this month - but I don't know if I have the patience to wait for him to figure everything out. It's like he's training on the job. The series seems to be going nowhere, but for the moment at least it remains worth keeping up with. It's surprised me from this kind of position before. 6/10 The Walking Dead #67 - The group's road-weary, grumpy, hungry, lost and hopeless, which is no kind of recipe for creating meaningful relationships together. That all boils over this month when one character reveals he isn't what he's claimed to be all this time, calling the crew's driving purpose into question in an instant. It's a fascinating look at humanity in general, how something as minor as a small radio can drive even the closest of comrades to each other's throats. Toss in a great little heart-to-heart between Rick and his son, and you've got yet another installment in a series that never seems to take a month off. Walking Dead is in the midst of an unbelievable run. 9/10 The Walking Dead #68 - It's amazing to read this issue and then look back at where the group started. In those early days they were so naive, so careless, so... green. Today's unit is like a well-oiled machine: cautious, smart, efficient and effective. Years on the road, burying friends around every corner, have hardened them to the point they're barely recognizable. Which isn't to say they've lost touch with their humanity - they just don't show it to everyone who stumbles along. The offer from just such a wanderer that they consider this month is something the old group would have jumped at in an instant, but the modern tribe is immediately leery, even if the temptation of a stockade of food and a safe place to rest proves to be too much for the majority of them. Rick's caution translates directly to the readers, who have no choice but to believe that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is. Next month should be interesting. 9/10 Also, several comics for IIWY since my last post: Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #1, Astonishing X-Men #32, Outsiders #24, Amazing Spider-Man #612, Die Hard: Year One #3, Superman: Secret Origin #3, Blackest Night: The Flash #1 and Thor #604 Comics: 164, TPB: 11, Graphic Novel: 5
  16. drqshadow

    Nemesis

    Well, then. I'm in.
  17. drqshadow

    Randomness

    He filmed his show on a sound stage just around the corner from the computer lab I worked throughout college. He'd passed on by the time I was there but people who were around at the time said he was every bit as cool/glazed off the air as he seemed on it.
  18. Dark Avengers #10 - I'm confused. Didn't the Sentry wind up with the proverbial bullet in his brain last month? It's not like I expected this issue to open with a weeping squad of Dark Avengers mourning his loss over an open casket, but maybe something as subtle as an acknowledgment of those events is in order? No? Fair enough. Continuity hiccups aside, I'm really not sure where this book is going any more. Bendis can't decide if he wants the team to be a sincere threat or a band of bored miscreants that would fit right in on The Real World, and it really can't be both. He's spreading around bits and pieces of character development, but it's so trivial and the cast is still so distant and empty that it's not having much of an effect. Moonstone's a slut. Venom's going mental. Osborn's overworking himself. Got it. When are we planning to get the audience emotionally involved? A few personality flaws and a mysterious new superhuman threat do not a compelling narrative make. And hey, would you look at that... How have things skidded so far so fast? 4/10 Batman and Robin #5 - This issue would kill to be considered middle of the road. Grant Morrison better have something incredible under his sleeve, because this car's sitting in neutral and the fumes are starting to go to my head. Was that really the big "Red Hood" reveal? Is that where you're planning to leave the storyline? Is the new baddie who rolled into town on the last page any different from the last two? Do I have a reason to care? I miss Frank Quitely. It's become quite clear how much of this book's charm was his doing. 3/10 Daredevil #501 - So it's back to the original numbering for good now, I guess. It's far too early to be writing off the new creative team, but I worry that the top of the mountain is behind us in this series. Brubaker and friends left a lot of potential on the plate when they stepped away, but I didn't see anything here to convince me that Diggle and De la Torre are capable of picking up on it. I liked what I saw of their grasp of the supporting cast, but it was too soon to see Matt again and I can't imagine anyone is buying him as the dark, despicable slayer they're trying to paint him up as. And that better not have been Was it shocking? I suppose, and I can't fault the team for doing something drastic to make their mark right away, but I don't see those potential benefits outweighing the sacrifice. There's still plenty of time to salvage this, but it's stumbled out of the gates. 5/10 Ex Machina #46 - I realize it's been going on for the entire length of this series, but Brian Vaughan's constant non-sequential storytelling is really becoming unwieldy. With each issue we're leaping forwards and backwards over days, months and years, and while that worked nicely when the story's "current" events were taking place in the present day, the real world now has a four year lead on Ex Machina. I feel like I should have been managing a spreadsheet all along to help keep the story's major events in order. As usual, I found myself twice as interested in Mitchell's political career as I was in his extraterrestrial origins, but this series is drawing to a close and I don't imagine the spotlight will be moving too far from those particular threads before we're finished. 6.5/10 Ultimate Comics Spider Man #3 - I'm liking the liberties Bendis has taken with Mysterio in this storyline. Sure, he often tries too hard to portray him as a badass cyber-terrorist, but the creative use of his powers, his curious physical manifestation and his solid new threads have worked to transform him from something of a joke into a legitimate menace for the fresh title's first story arc. Spider-Man's character-driven scenes have been getting a little shaky, but the superhero action is still working for it. That said, I'm just about ready to wave goodbye to David Lafuente's artwork. 6/10 Ultimate Comics Spider Man #4 - There's been a real shift in the tone of this series since the relaunch, and I can't say I'm all that crazy about it. Since the beginning, Bendis has masterfully balanced a primarily teenaged cast with a somewhat older general direction, resulting in a book that wouldn't lose sight of each character's maturity level but also didn't read like an issue of Betty and Veronica. Maybe it's the change in artist, but that hasn't been the case over the last four issues. Peter and MJ in particular seem to have de-aged by about five years, both in appearance and in personality, and while I'm happy to see the title's focus moving toward the relationship hell that personified the original series decades ago, this is the wrong way to do it. I was embarrassed to be reading a few pages this month. When did USM turn into a girl's manga? 4.5/10 The Walking Dead #66 - I'm usually a bit skeptical of issues crammed full of two-page spreads, but the treatment was understandable - and effective - in this one. A staggering conclusion to the long-running "Fear the Hunters" arc that I was not prepared for, this issue begs a variety of deep moral questions and I don't think there's a right or wrong answer for any of them. Although it reads very quickly, there's a surprising amount of substance crammed into this issue, not to mention a mountain of foreshadowing. Incredible, haunting, genuine horror. 10/10 Also, several comics for IIWY since my last post: Detective Comics Annual #11, House of Mystery: Halloween Annual #1, The Unwritten #6, Spider-Woman #2, Brave and the Bold #28, Secret Warriors #9 and Ambush Bug: Year None #7 Comics: 149, TPB: 11, Graphic Novel: 5
  19. Bravo, Des. It's amazing how two experiences can come together so tightly like that from time to time, and you did a marvelous job of tying them together and allowing us to tag along as you figured things out. Awesome feedback from the writer, too.
  20. I think Activision was doing a pretty fine job of that without the lawsuits... The only explanation I can imagine for No Doubt and the Cobain estate suing Guitar Hero over this is the way Jimi Hendrix was treated in GH:WT. You could only play as Hendrix when you were playing Hendrix songs. Maybe these artists figured they'd be handled the same way? Of course, GHWT also let you play whichever songs you felt like as Sting, Ozzy, Billy Corgan, Travis Barker, Ted Nugent and Zakk Wylde, so the argument doesn't really work. In the final setlist, your created character plays on a skyscraper with an "all star" band comprised of all of the above. It's really hilarious to see Ozzy singing "La Bamba" or "Hot for Teacher."
  21. Say whaaaa Still loving being a part of IIWY?. Great work as always, mates!
  22. Sorry, I still love the first one. And I really didn't think the second was as awful as most big time sequels generally are. No interest in a third at this point though.
  23. drqshadow

    PS3 news

    Hot damn, Netflix streaming on the iPhone would be fan-freaking-tastic.
  24. drqshadow

    PS3 news

    The more, the merrier. Netflix Instant Queue is something that should be shared and enjoyed by everyone.