Aquaman (new 52, volume 5) sea of storms

aquaman v5

My good friend Autobot was kind enough to loan me some Aquaman comics before Justice League came out, so thanks man.

We begin our stories with Arthur Curry dealing with his rule of the oceans and trying to protect those land. People are weary of him on the surface after Orm, the Ocean Master, nearly brought a massive flood on them. In Atlantis, people aren’t trusting him because he still tries to help the surface dwellers, who damn near kill themselves by accidentally uncovering a titanic Atlantean beast that causes further devastation on land, nearly kills Aquaman, and sours the favor of the Atlanteans even further because it was an ancient protector meant to serve the reigning king, not try to murder it. Arthur couldn’t stop it. A idiot named Daniels, who has been pursuing Arthur finds his trident and accidentally sets free a race of Giant-borns from a makeshift hell created by a past Atlantean king, which forces him to fight a crazed Hercules and team up with Wonder Woman to finish this, all while stressing over his high school reunion. While Mera is hunting some failed assassins who tried taking her life, Aquaman finds himself face to face with the fabled Swamp Thing in our last story.

Essentially the book is three stories in one and that was really cool. Of the three, the last was my favorite just because it was cool to see Swamp Thing kick his ass. Something I have to say for the series itself, the artwork always catches my eye and makes me take in the details and colors. There are a lot of great, epic fights and I was glad to get time with Wonder Woman and Swamp Thing, who neither I’ve experienced much. Overall, it’s a fun book to pick up in sections and definitely gorgeous to look at. Best wishes all, and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

5 great stories from DC new 52

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The new 52 comic run brought us some cool new ideas as well as introduced me to a lot of new characters I feel in love with and even helped reshaped the way we viewed some of them. Working my way to number 1, here’s my list of 5 favorite DC new 52 stories starting with…

new 52 shazam 5. Shazam (volume 1)- I’m not a magic fan but I do love Black Adam, who stole every panel he appeared in for me. Menacing, intelligent, and powerful, he was a great way to start Shazam’s origin. After reading this, Adam became a favorite of mine.

new 52 suicide squad 4. Suicide Squad: Kicked in the teeth (volume 1)- I borrowed the first 3 volumes of the new 52 a year before the movie came out and absolutely devoured them. I loved a story based primarily of villains kicking ass and spouting dark 1 liners. Also, King Shark rules!

new 52 flash 3. Flash: Gorilla Warfare (volume 3)- I love Grodd. I love the Rogues. This book boils down to Flash and the Rogues teaming up to stop Grodd and his ape army. It’s badass and ends with a awesome fight and a Easter egg I loved.

new 52 aquaman 2. Aquaman: The Trench (volume 1)- Like many people, I never thought into Aquaman much. To quote Batman, “Arthur Curry, I hear you can talk to fish.) But the gorgeous artwork and epic fight got me on board instantly. 1 superhero vs a army of mutated piranha people, what’s not to love?

new 52 batman 1 1. Batman: Court of Owls/ Night of the owls (volumes 1 and 2)- It’s not everyday a great Batman story comes out that has nothing to do with Joker. In fact, this story brings the history we thought we knew deeply into question and not only is Batman and the Bat-family at match by these creepy, damn near unstoppable assassins but they truly test what Batman stands for and that is the sign of a great story.

Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

arkham asylum book

So to start off, yes this is the book that inspired the epic Arkham video games. If you’ve played the game as a fun fact, the Amadeus Arkham recordings from the game came from the book. Both are extremely good but the differences are pretty heavy, outside the fact one is a video game and one is a graphic novel.

So the graphic novel follows a night where Batman is called by Commissioner Gordon for a special problem: Joker is holding the orderlies of Arkham Asylum hostage and says the only person he will deliver demands to is the Batman. Against Gordon’s wishes, Batman ventures in, getting caught in Joker’s game. Game is simple, Batman has to survive a one night long game of hide and seek inside the asylum with the inmates loose, wanting a piece of the Caped Crusader that locked them away. As this story is being told, we recount the eerie, Poe like story of how the asylum’s founder Amadeus Arkham lost his mind and became twisted.

The game has a different touch to the plot. Batman captures Joker one night, taking him to the asylum, weary of how easy it was. Turns out Joker used Batman to get access to the asylum, where he has been having a new permutation of Bane’s serum Venom to be created, making goons into raging beasts. Alone it’s up to Batman to face the horde of crazed inmates, armed thugs, and villains and stop Joker from unleashing Titan on Gotham.

Either way you look at it, Arkham Asylum is an amazing story. The book is written extremely well by one of my favorite writers, Grant Morrison and the illustrations are freaky as hell and abstract. The book does well to draw tension. The game is one of the best games I’ve ever played with great graphics, addictive combat, and great returning voice performances by Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, arguably the definitive Batman and Joker.There are very tense, eerie moments in the game and Scarecrow’s part scared the hell out of me first time I played it. Overall, I highly recommend giving either or a read or play through. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

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Cyborg: unplugged

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I’m going to admit, at first I was very pissed when it was announced Cyborg was going to be part of the JLA movie roster instead of Green Lantern. I liked Cyborg since my youth watching Teen Titans, but Green Lantern has been part of the team since the beginning. I searched for his solo comics on Amazon and was surprised at the lack of material he had; I wasn’t expecting a vast library for Cyborg but certainly more than I found. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised as a reader.

The story goes as such: The JLA are thrown into a fight with these creepy ass looking machine-creatures from the future. Vic Stone is with the rest of the league, fighting his heart off, but the things overpower him quite easily and seemingly kill Cyborg. Suddenly, he awakens after his tech goes through a mysterious but miraculous reboot that revives him but leaves him…different. Suddenly, some of his skin has returned while obtaining the mechanical features. We also begin to see people finding ways to implant cybernetics in themselves to either replace what is lost or enhance themselves. As Vic tries to discover what the hell is happening to him; the things that wrecked him have returned for his blood and the enhanced to stop a terrible fate..

I got really into this for one really good reason: Victor Stone as a character. He was was written with a lot of depth and relate able pain and issues but still had a wisecrack and a trademark BOOYAH while kicking ass- seriously if he doesn’t drop a BOOYAH in that damn JLA movie, I want my money back. The art was wonderful, both wondrous and creepy at times. I can’t say I was hugely invested in the story as a whole but the character of Cyborg kept me there for the run and now I’m wanting more. As always, thank you for reading and may the gaming gods be with you all.

My Top 10 DC Villains- part 2

black adam 6. Black Adam (Shazam)- Before Billy Batson acquired the powers of Shazam, there was another from another time. Much like Marvel’s Dr. Doom, Adam uses his power to “protect” his people, even if that makes him a tyrant amongst them. I read the first book of Shazam’s new 52 and Black Adam stole the show every time he appeared. He was one of my top 3 favorite characters in Injustice to play as. Possessing super strength, speed, durability, magical lightning, and a vast intelligence, Adam is a good example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

Grodd 5. Gorilla Grodd (Flash)- Another tyrant, Grodd believes he is the rightful ruler of his dimension of intelligent apes, and in New 52, believes himself the rightful bearer of the Speed Force; in the CW show he is test animal subjected to the particle accelerator. Either way, Grodd believes man is an inferior species meant to serve ape in a interesting play of reverse Darwinism. Besides being very intelligent, strong, and agile like most common apes, Grodd has telepathic and telekinetic abilities and is a cruel military strategist. Grodd’s brutal and badassness earn him this spot…and he blocked the Supersonic Punch Man! How much more pimp do you get?

ozymandias 4. Ozymandias (Watchmen)- I know, I know, I know Watchmen ain’t part of DC canon but it’s still a DC publication. What gets me about Ozymandias is how good he really is compared to the flawed “heroes” of Watchmen. Aspiring to be a modern day Alexander the Great, Adrian Veidt dedicated himself physically and mentally to become the best hero he could be, but at the horrific cost he will go to save the world from itself. Smartest man in the world, only the infinite intellect of Dr Manhattan can challenge him, in physical combat he’s unwatched, even catching a bullet with his bare hand at point blank range,  Ozymandias is the rare villain that not only succeeds but actually proves more heroic than our actual heroes, the very definition of a grey character.

sinestro 3. Sinestro (Green Lantern)- once the greatest of Green Lanterns, mentored by the legendary Abin Sur, mentor to Hal Jordan, and greatest threat to the Green Lantern Corps is Thal Sinestro. Using his green power to retake his homeworld when plunged into bloody civil war by cruel force, Sinestro was cast out by his fellow lanterns. In exile he came across the means to harness there greatest weakness against them, the gold light of fear. Soon he built his own deadly corp of fear mongering maniacs and murderers gifted at instilling fear in others to battle the Green Lanterns. Sinestro is a master of wielding the gold ring as well as having detailed knowledge on his former corps, he is a skilled warrior and strategist, both cunning and cruel. Essentially, he’s DC Vegeta. When examined, he is a fascinatingly deep character I highly recommend reading more into.

joker 2. Joker (Batman)- He had to be here for 1 undeniable reason; I don’t think any villain has ever pushed a hero so far towards a breaking point than Joker has Batman. He crippled Batgirl, beat Jason Todd to death before blowing him up, killed Batman’s parents in the Tim Burton film, murdered thousands of innocents, helped turn Batman’s family against him, and even mentally tortured the shit out of Batman after his death in Arkham City. Crafty, reckless, brilliant,  and heartless, Joker is the devil that came from nowhere really. I’ve read several origins for Mr. J, all different which is great, making him scarier and menacing. He’s been portrayed fantastically by Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, but mine favorite will always be Mark Hamill. Same with Conroy as Batman before you ask. Yes, 9 of 10 of Batman’s classics are Joker stories,   but it’s well deserved.

doomsday   1. Doomsday (Superman) – plain and simple my friends, for a very simple reason: he killed Superman. With all of Superman’s power, he couldn’t withstand this enigmatic beast, nor could the JSA either for that matter. Doomsday doesn’t have a grudge, he doesn’t want to take over the world or get rich. He just wants to kill and destroy. He’s extremely strong and can take a huge amount of punishment. There’s reason to believe he’s immune to mind attacks, it’s cited in Death of Superman that the inside of his mind is blackness and hate. This creature brutally beats Superman to death fair and square, taking everything Sups had to put him down. I love how simple and brutally torturous Doomsday is, earning him my number one spot. I hope you enjoyed my list, thank you for reading, and may the gaming gods be with you.

My Top 10 favorite DC villains- part 1

What measures a great hero? Is it the trials they face or the selfless choice for the greater good…or the enemy that tests them? A few days ago I talked about my favorite DC badasses, so now I want to go all out and cover my favorite villains. It’s a pretty big list so I decided to cut this review in half.  Starting from 10 to 7, listing each with there hero for the Dc newcomers out there, let’s begin.

hammond 10. Hector Hammond (Green Lantern)- This creepy bastard hates Green Lantern Hal Jordan with a passion. The handsome, charismatic, superhero has it so well; Hammond made contact with the power source of Abin Sur’s crashed ship, mutating him drastically. He now has telepathic and telekinetic abilities at the price of cripling physical malformation and delusions. What makes him a favorite of mine is how he feels a creepy desire to be Jordan and wants Carol Ferris sexually, pretty much the super perv of DC.

terra 9. Terra (Teen Titans)- this story is kinda sad. Once a Titan herself and romantically involved with BeastBoy, Terra betrays her friends for Slade. As her name suggests, she can control the ground and rock formations. Terra is a good villain for the simple fact for how much physical and emotional damage she causes the Titans and how she regrets the treason but continues.

black manta 8. Black Manta (Aquaman)- Aquaman’s arch enemy, I just find this character fascinating. Through out the years he’s had different origins, each strange and even controversial. A popular origin is Manta began as young autistic boy subjected to a test serum to cure him, succeeding but driving him mad and dangerous. His suit is adapted to deep sea for cold and pressure while increasing his strength and durability; his suit is weaponized with lasers and missiles and Manta is a powerful hand to hand fighter. Seriously, Manta with blades is a epic, bloody sight to see.

mr freeze  7. Mr. Freeze (Batman)- Freeze maybe one of the most tragic villains in all of DC. Victor and Nora Fries loved each other very much until Nora came down with a terminal illness. Victor, a cryo expert, put Nora under and in a sad turn Victor seemed to be killed in a accident. It mutated his body to where he can’t survive in any temperature under sub-zero so he built a armored suit to maintain himself, and designed the infamous freeze gun. Freeze is nearly emotionless, feeling only the desire to cure Nora. Everything he does is to restore Nora. He’s one of the few Batman villains that isn’t nuts or out for wealth or to destroy Batman, he’s there for his wife, almost not even a bad guy at all.

Rflash 7. Reverse Flash (Flash)- Eobard Thawne is the probably the biggest pain the Flash’s ass ever. In many versions, he’s the Nora Allen’s killer, leading to Barry’s father getting wrongfully imprisoned, setting off the rest of Barry’s life. Then we come to Flashpoint where he allows Barry to stop him, only to make the scarlet speedster responsible for the horrors that come, without the power to fix his mistake. What makes him a favorite is how damn determined he is to ruin Flash’s life, no matter how bad it rapes time and space and that’s badass.

To be continued…

Arrow (summary review)

arrow

So, kind of in conjunction with my continuing DC thread, I decided to talk about Arrow, the hit CW show. The show chronicles the life of once billionaire playboy  Oliver Queen as he comes back to Starling City after five years trapped on a beautiful but hellish island with a goal to free the city from the criminal decay and the corrupt influences that eat away at it. Queen, alongside John Diggle, Felicity Smoke, Thea Queen, Laurel and Quentin Lance, must rise to face the dangerous threats that begin to accompany Queen as he takes on the identity of a archer in all green- eventually Green Arrow.

Ok, I want to get two things out in the open now. First, I’m not a huge Green Arrow fan to begin with nor am I up to date with the series. I left off five episodes into the fourth season and I do plan on going back to it at some point but I can make a solid opinion with what I’ve seen. Second thing, Batman and Green Arrow do show many similarities as it is: both buff rich dudes who disappeared for a while, came back with some new toys and a cooky outfit and went taking down crime in a infested shithole of a city. Difference you ask? Beside the obvious (one dresses like a bat, the other like Robin Hood and has a bow) Batman grew darker, more somber while Green Arrow wasn’t afraid to smile, crack a joke, and let himself have moments of being a flawed person. From what I’ve read in the comics, I can tell you Bruce Wayne is crazy but I’d never call Green Arrow a damaged madman. A majority of Arrow feels like a way to do a Batman show without Batman. He’s got Batman’s dark, brooding attitude, he’s got a hidden “Arrow cave”, Felicity is basically his Oracle, and he fights many of batman’s villains like Ras Al Ghul, Deadshot, Solomon Grundy, Prometheus, and Firefly. The tone is very reminiscent of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, trying to stay grounded in reality for the first two seasons at least. By three the jig is up. The acting is good all around and I really liked the design of Arrow for season one with green warpaint around the the eyes instead of a mask. The first two seasons are really good and epic for TV. Three is where my complaints begin. It becomes apparent they wished Arrow was Batman, it becomes crystal clear they are stalling for episodes, and storylines start repeating. Overall, watch the first 2 seasons definitely but move foreward at your own discretion.

I will recommend a Green Arrow story for fans of the show. Green Arrow: Year One. I highly recommend it, it’s pretty much a far Cry version of Castaway. It’s got beautiful art and a good survival story and a good start for anyone wanting to check out the comics.

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