Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Senebti Moon Knight

Well that sure didn't take long. Looks like once again Moon Knight is getting the ax. That's right after issue #12 hits the shelves Marvel is going to cancel Moon Knight once again. For those of you keeping count this will be the third Moon Knight comic that has been canceled since 2006 with each series Moon Knight vol. 4, Vengeance of Moon Knight and Moon Knight Vol. 5 ending with a total of 30, 10 and 12 issues respectively.

I guess when you add it all together a 52 issue run isn't all bad but still it isn't a single 52 issue run, its three different runs. Each one of which in my humble opinion has been better then the last. Who knows maybe we will be lucky and Marvel will announce yet another Moon Knight series before 2012 comes to an end. It certainly wouldn't surprise me since Marvel loves their reboots. More #1's do mean more money I suppose. Still weather they bring Moon Knight back for another series remains to be seen though since the current one still has a few issues to go.

Am I the only one who thinks Moon Knight fits in fine with these other characters?

Moon Knight to me is one of those characters that not a whole lot of people care about but those that do care about him love him very much, as you can guess I would go into that category. I guess I'm still waiting for that one writer to come along and really tap into the greatness that is Moon Knight and drags him out of the B or C lists and throw him straight into the A list, I mean seriously is Deadpool is on the A list the Moon Knight most definitely should be. Unfortunately the latest run of Moon Knight was written by Marvels top dog Brian Michael Bendis and if he can get more people to give Moon Knight a chance then I don't know who can.

So it looks like from here on in the only Moon Knight action I will get will be in Secret Avengers a book I was about to drop but now seems as though it will stay on my old pull list so I can continue to get my Moon Knight fix.

So Moon Knight until your next series hits the shelves, hopefully sooner then later, I must bid you Senebti.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Achievements vs. Trophies

The other day while at EB games where I was pre-ordering Mass Effect 3 for my younger brother I couldn't help but overhear two gamers, one the store clerk the other a customer, have a very polite argument/debate on which was better The X-Box 360's achievements or Playstation's trophies.

This talk was quite humorous for no other reason then both guys really sucked at the art of argument. One would say one point on why trophies were better and the the other would turn that around and use that exact same point as to why achievements were better then trophies and so forth. I listened to this for only a few minutes but got much joy out of it before getting bored of it. Basically it came down to one saying Gamerscore was more prestigious then trophies because it was an actual number and the other saying that trophies were more prestigious because it was done in levels like say an RPG.

Anyways I found this entertaining because for all intents and purposes they are the exact same thing. The only difference is a few words. Achievements, trophies, gamerscore, levels is a five or ten point achievements better then a bronze and silver trophies. Its all the same.

One of the arguments was that trophies were nothing but Sony's attempt to make a cheap rip off of Microsoft's achievements. Yeah I'd say that is a pretty accurate guess. Sony saw that gamers were going mad for the achievements because it was a way to prove their skill in any one particular game and thus gamers were buying X-Box 360's games and playing them more. Why wouldn't Sony want to cash in on that? Trophies are rip-offs? Sure but whats not a rip off these days? If something is popular naturally someone else, the main competition epically, are going to go out of their way of do something similar to compete. As far as I'm concerned its only a matter of time before Nintendo introduces their own version of achievements/trophies, the only question is what are they going to call them? Badges maybe?

So which one is better? Which do I prefer? Well the second question is easy, I prefer trophies but I also own a PS3 and not a 360, of course I'm going to side with trophies. But which is better? Well I guess that will always be up for debate for gamers everywhere personally I don't think one is better then the other, they are the same, if you buy the same game on the 360 and the PS3 the achevement and trophies lists are identical, the only difference is what is next to the title of the reward? A point total or a trophy color.

At the end of the day its all the same thing and comes down to just one thing for every gamer out there. Bragging rights.

So where do you fall on this subject? Achievements, trophies, both or neither? Let your opinion be known below on the Yak Backs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Top 10 Avengers

I have always been a comics fan and at a young age I clung to Marvel over DC, sure I enjoyed a lot of what both companies offered but for me Marvel was tops. That said I was never a big fan of The Avengers. Sure I liked a lot of the characters on the team but for some reason it wasn't until the 2005 launch of New Avengers that I was a real Avengers fan with that in mind, which long time Avengers purists should keep in mind, here are my top 10 Avengers.

#10 Spider Woman

Sure The Spider Woman that was in The New Avengers for a damn long time turned out to be the imposter Skrull Queen but after she was defeated and The Secret Invasion was ended we got the real Jessica Drew back and now she was in a very interesting situation. She was an Avenger but since she was the person that The Skrull Queen impersonated no one trusted her which made for some very interesting character development.

#9 Black Panther

Not only is The Black Panther the King of Wakanda but he is also one of the greatest Avengers of all time. T'Challa broke down a lot of racial barriers when he joined The Avengers. Not only was he one of the first black super heroes but unlike many of the other black heroes who debuted at the time he was never the victim of blackplotation and always was portrayed as the equal to any of the white characters in the Avengers.

#8 Black Widow

She's a smoking hot red headed Russian super spy who can kill you dead five times before you even hit the ground, what more could you ask for? About about the fact that she can kick the ass of nearly any male hero in the Marvel Universe before they even knew they were under attack? Still not good enough? How about the fact that she has made Iron Man, Daredevil, Hawkeye and Captain America (The Bucky version) among others all her bitch? Yeah Black Widow has skills and shes not afraid to use them.

#7 Thor

Sure Thor might be one of "the big three" Avengers but he has never appealed to me the way that some other Avengers have. That said when The Avengers need a powerhouse there is no one that's better then The Asgaurdian God of Thunder, Thor.

# 6 Spider-Man

Sure he has only been an Avenger for a little over five years but if there is any Marvel hero that has lived up to the ideals of what it takes to be an Avenger for the entirety of their existence its good old Peter Parker. Since he has become an Avenger he has spread his ideals of with great power comes great responsibility to his other team mates. He also shows that he lives by this motto more then ever as an Avenger by going up against villains way out of his power range.

#5 Ms. Marvel

You ask who DCs leading lady is and without doubt the answer is Wonder Woman. You ask who Marvels top female character is and there is no real clear cut answer. Sure Marvel has a lot of strong female characters, The Invisible Woman, Jean Grey, and Storm are all names that might get thrown in the conversation but over the last decade Ms. Marvel name has to be thrown in the hat too. She has really made a name for herself to become one of Marvels top super heroines and if her awesomeness continues then maybe one day she might be to Marvel what Wonder Woman is to DC I mean if nothing else shes got a good name for it.

#4 Luke Cage

Of all of the New Avengers there isn't a single one of them that has made as big an impact on the team or increased his own worth then Luke Cage. Before joining The Avengers Cage was a gold shirt steel tiara wearing, jive-talking, hero for hire. Since joining the team he has stepped up his game to the point that after Civil War he became the unofficial leader of The New Avengers.

#3 Iron Man

Of all of the original Avengers, Thor, Hulk, Wasp and Ant Man, its Billionaire playboy Tony Stark, A.K.A Iron Man who is my favorite. I have always had a thing for this guy, first off hes a drunk and everyone loves a good drunk every now and again. Also on top of that he doesn't care what you think of him for standing up for what he believes in which is pretty much what cause that whole super hero Civil War thing a few years back. Think hes an ass? He doesn't care and that right there is enough to give this old souse a thumbs up.

#2 Captain America

You knew Captain America was going to be on this list somewhere it was just a matter of where, turns out hes not at number 1 which itself is a bit surprising even for me. Cap may not of been one of the original members of The Avengers but that doesn't matter at all the only ones who were that made the list were Thor and Iron Man. (which means number one isn't Hulk, Wasp or Ant Man, big surprise right?) Thing is Cap has been a part of pretty much every line up of The Avengers since he was reintroduced in the Marvel Universe in the early days of The Avengers and when hes not a part of the team it just plain feels wrong.

#1 Hawkeye

Hawkeye was nothing more then just an ex-con until he was given a chance by The Avengers and he has made more of that second chance then anyone real or fictional has ever made of a second chance. He has come to represent everything that The Avengers represent. Bravery, loyalty, a never surrender attitude and one of the best team players The Avengers has ever seen. Sure he has no super powers but he can shot a arrow better then anyone else and despite being over powered by every villain that ever comes The Avengers way he is always on the front line ready to give everything so we don't have to. Hawkeye is the man and in short, Hawkeye IS The Avengers.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ranking Catwoman

When it comes to Batman there is no doubt that his perhaps greatest female foil, hell why are we playing the sex card here, there is no doubt that his greatest foil may just be Catwoman and as such just like all of his other great foils such as The Joker, we have seen a bunch of of different people take up the cat ears to cause trouble for Caped Crusader. Here is my personal ranking of the greatness of these Catwomen.

TBD Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)

I can't say where Ms. Hathaway will land on this list yet since we are all still eagerly awaiting The Dark Knight Rises but I think that in the hands of the very capable Christopher Nolan that she will at the very least not end up at the bottom of the list. If I was to predict where she'll end up on the list, which is exactly what I'm going to do right now, then I would say she'll land right in the middle at #4. So question is who do I think she will be better then, who will she not be better then and yes most importantly where will she actually land on the list after The Dark Knight Rises comes out? Who knows, I guess I'll have to re-visit this blog entry during the summer to say where her official ranking will be. (Find out here in the follow up article)

#9 Halle Berry (Catwoman)

I may not know where Anne Hathaway is going to be on the list but I know that Halle Berry comes in dead last. Why? Any number of reasons, the terrible performance she gives is naturally the main part but the shitty costume (Which some people seem to think is sexy for some reason) and horrendous script don't help her cause either. So congratulations Ms. Berry not only to you continue to unimpress me with everything you do but you are also by FAR the worst Catwoman of all time.

#8 Eliza Dushku (Batman: Year One)

Dushku is low on this list but lets be honest here, she has only been Catwoman briefly in a animated movie that was only a little over a hour long and a short that came with it. What I saw was good but there wasn't a whole lot there to judge maybe if there was more she would be higher but as it stands shes at #8.

#7 Grey DeLise (Batman: Arkham City)

Batman: Arkham City was a damn fun game and one of the best parts about it was that you could play as Catwoman. Grey DeLise took on the role of Catwoman in this game and she did a damn fine job of it but much like Dushku there wasn't a whole lot performance wise to put her to high up on the list. That said that main reason she is above Dushku may just be because I had so much fun playing the game instead of DeLise's performance itself.

#6 Ertha Kitt (Batman 1966)

Do I give away much about the rest of this list by saying that Ertha Kitt is my least favorite of the Catwomen from the 1966 Batman series? Na I figure we knew all three of those Catwomen would be on here anyways. As for Ms. Kitt I think she made a pretty good Catwoman and might even of been higher on the list if not for the fact that the other two Catwomen from the 1966 series were so damn good that they kinda left Kitt in their dust. Maybe if Kitt was the sole Catwoman in another Batman show she would be higher on the list but as it stand she just misses out on making the top 5.

#5 Gina Gershon (The Batman)

Although not the best animated series Batman would have one can't argue that The Batman was a pretty damn solid show and worthy to be in any Bat-fans DVD collection. (note to self, buy The Batman on DVD) Naturally Catwoman has to be a part of any Batman show and it was Gina Gershon who lent her voice to Catwoman this time around and although she was only in five episodes she did a stellar job that left me and many other fans wanting much more Catwoman then what we got in this series.

#4 Lee Merriwether (Batman 1966)

The second of the Catwomen from the Batman 1966 series or more specifically the movie that came from the series. Merriweater was fantastic in the role of Catwoman. It was though this movie and due to that Lee Merriwether that I was introduced to Catwomen in the first place and what a fine introduction it was for that reason and that reason alone Lee Merriwether's Catwoman will always have a happy place in my heart.


#3 Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)

Pfeiffer is often times at the top of most Catwoman lists so it might come as shocking that on my list she only reached the lowly number of third place. Don't get me wrong I Pfeiffer oozed pure sex appeal and captured that part of Catwoman better then anyone else ever did. For years I wanted to see Pfeiffer return to the role and finally gave up on that dream when the Catwoman movie was announced and Halle Berry took the role, bla what a huge letdown.


#2 Julie Newmar (Batman 1966)

As sexy as Pfeiffer was was as Catwoman I find that Newmar was even sexier. The sexual nature of Catwomen had to be much more subtle in the series for no other reason then the time it was on TV but that was something that worked even better for the character and lets face it we all picked up on it. Newmar's look as Catwoman was also my favorite of any other Catwoman.

#1 Adrienne Barbeau (Batman: The Animated Series)

Yeah Adrienne Barbeau is the Number one Catwoman on my list even though she never once wore the catsuit on TV. Still Barbeau did more with her voice as Catwoman then anyone else did. The stories involving Catwoman in Batman: The Animated Series were closer to any other depiction of Catwoman in the comics. Barbeau's voice was perfect for Catwoman is was classy, sexy and everything that anyone would ever want Catwoman to be.

So with my opinions on which Catwoman is the best I would like to do something I have never done before and do a dedication. Yup I would like to dedicate this article to the biggest Catwoman fan I know my internet pal Mrs. Nancy Seigh, stay classy lady.

UPDATE: In case you missed it at the top of the article I have now posted my follow up article now that The Dark Knight Rises. You can check out my re-ranking of Catwoman which now Anne Hathaway right here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Comic Book Review: Spider-Man: The Real Clone Saga

Despite the terribleness that was Spider-Man 3 there was nothing that did as much damage to the Spider-Man franchise over the years as The Clone Saga. For those of you who are not aware of what it is then I give you a spoiler alert but also beg you not to look into reading it.

"Basically" The Clone Saga was a storyline that some how ran in Spider-Man comics for over two years. The gist of it is this. Spider-Man is one of the most beloved comic characters of all time but not just for his super hero alter ego but also his real identity of Peter Parker. During a 1973 storyline in The Amazing Spider-Man the webslinger was cloned by a villain named The Jackal and at the end of the issue both The Jackal and the clone were killed off. Over all it was a great story and the issue became a classic, unfortunately 21 years later that classic issue would become infamous, but not for a good reason.

After all this time it was revealed that both The Jackal and the clone had survived. The Clone felt angry over his existence since he had all of Peter's memories he believed he was the genuine article until the end of that classic issue when he discovered he was a clone. Despite being the clone since he did still have all of the memories of Peter Parker he was also instilled with the same values of with great power comes great responsibility. With that in mind he left New York for good leaving the real Peter to live out his life in peace and to seek his own life under a new name that would combine the name of his late uncle and his beloved Aunt May's maiden name, Ben Riley.

After returning to New York however it is revealed by The Jackal to Peter and Ben that Peter the man we have known for the last 21 years (5 years in the comics time line) was in fact the clone and that Ben was the real Spider-Man.

I won't get into the rest of the crap because it is enough to give anyone a headache lets just sum up by saying after The Jackal was seemingly killed off again and Peter decided that since he was not the real Spider-Man that he would pass the mantel on to The Scarlet Spider, the alter ego that Ben had created for himself. With Peter retired comic fans suffered seemingly forever having to endure the worst retcon in comic history that our beloved Peter Parker had been a fake for all these years while Ben Riley swung around New York saving the day as our new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, this all continued until, just to throw another twist in there for twists sake, Norman Osborn, the first, best and most evil of the Green Goblins, returning from the dead to kill Ben Riley and reveal that he was the true mastermind behind the clone saga and that Peter was indeed the real Spider-Man. What makes this so crazy is that Norman Osborn had been dead himself for over 20 years! They explained this away by saying that the goblin serum kept him alive and that he had just been in Europe (where else?) the entire time.

Sure it was a shitty ending but the important part was that it had FINALLY ended, Peter was revealed as the one true Spider-Man all along who returns to the role, Ben was dead and Spider-Man's greatest enemy of all time The Green Goblin was back from the dead.

One would think that would be enough clone saga for anyone forever but not for Marvel since last year they decided that it would be a good idea to get the original team behind the clone saga to return to write the mini-series "Spider-Man: The Clone Saga" in which they would tell the story the way it was supposedly originally intended. The funny thing, it was only six issues. It seemed impossible to fit over two years worth of story into a mere six issues. However since I am apparently a sucker for punishment and because I still have a sour taste in my mouth from the clone saga that never quite went away I decided to buy the trade and give it a shot. So the question is, how was it and what is the difference between what it was SUPPOSED to be and what we got.

Well it starts off once again with Ben Riley returning to New York and pretty much the first thing that happens is that Ben runs into Spider-Man, naturally. The two have a fight but when they are interrupted by a car thrown at them by a hiding Kaine, yet another clone, they work together to save the day and Peter comes to the realization that Ben is on the up and up and wants to cause no trouble. By the end of the issue Peter already considers Ben his brother.

I have a bit of a problem with this. In the original clone saga a big thing between Peter and Ben's relationship was that they were "brothers." I can buy this since Ben was around for a very (to long) time back then and you could see the relationship form and build. Here through they team up save the day and we are to assume that they now have that same relationship. If that's the case then Peter should consider everyone he has teamed up with over the years his "brother." That's right folks, Daredevil, Captain America, Wolverine, hell even Deadpool and the members of The Power Pack are all his "brothers" (and two sisters in case of The Power Pack) on that logic.

By the next issue Ben had adopted The Scarlet Spider persona to much ridicule from Peter, mostly because of the name and the fact that he wore a hoodie. Back in the original clone saga Peter was a stand up guy and never mocked Ben for the name or poor costume choice that included a hoodie. However now that it has been mocked for years the writer seemed to decide to make fun of the name and hoodie whenever they got a chance to. Yeah we get it guys we don't need you to beat us over the head with it.

Soon they confront the Jackal and the worse part of this mini happens. The Jackal does the big reveal that Peter is the clone and that Ben is the real Spider-Man. So the problem? That reveal was shitty as could be since it was the main part of the entire storyline. Here The Jackal casually mentions it and both Peter and Ben seem more indifferent to it then anything else. Peter should of been devastated to learn that he was a clone and Ben devastated to know that he had given up his life for nothing and had been living a lie for five years. Here after defeating The Jackal (killing him again) Peter, who had recently learned that Mary Jane was pregnant (yes that's here too!) decides, seemingly on a whim or without a care, that since he is the clone, or I should say IF he is a clone, it was never definitively stated that he was in this mini, they just seemed to go with it with no argument which is nuts, why would they take The Jackals word on this? Anyways he decides that he was going to pass the mantel of Spider-Man on to Ben its rightful owner while he lives the good life to take care of his soon to be family and Ben simply accepts. No anger from either party.

Soon enough its revealed that everything that was happening was because a mystery man had hired Kaine to get The Jackals cloning notes and formulas to clone Spider-Man's greatest enemy of all time Norman Osborn, though it is not yet revealed who this mystery man is.

I'll just skip to the end now then. Ben Riley is Spider-Man, Peter and Mary Jane's baby is born and promptly kidnapped and it is revealed that the man who had cloned Norman Osborn to bring him back from the dead was none other then... wait for it.... wait for it.... HARRY OSBORN!!!

That's right this time around Harry, who himself was ALSO killed, recently before the original clone saga happened was revealed to of not been dead at all but simply laying low and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike! He reveals that Peter is the real Spider-Man to no ones caring and at the end Peter and Ben, who are both in there respective Spider-Man costumes with the aid of the Norman clone, who is soon killed off.... yes another killing, all team up to defeat Harry who flies away on the Goblin Glider and in typical evil villain form, vows to have his revenge another day. Meanwhile Kaine who has had a change of heart returns the baby to Mary Jane.

SOOOOOO at the end of this clone saga, which we must remember was how it was originally intended. Norman is dead again after being revived for roughly a whole issue, Harry is still alive and well as the Green Goblin, Peter is revealed to be the real Spider-Man in a very nonchalant way and is the happy father to a new baby girl, but since he IS indeed the real Spider-Man decided to take up the costume again, since you know, with great power comes great responsibility....even though he had never lost his powers when he gave up the mantle when he thought he was the clone, while a still living Ben Riley hops on his motorcycle and rides out of New York into the sunset to be seen again another day.

So where do I stand on this, is it better or worse then the original? Well that's easy, its MUCH better if for no other reason the the fact that it was 6 months as opposed to two years. My main gripe with it though? Believe it or not is the fact that it was actually to short and to do what they wanted to do with it they should of made it closer to 12 issues worth of comics. Now I know what your thinking. 12 issues? That's a full years worth a comics and the worse thing about the original clone saga was that it was over two years worth of issues! Well your right but if it the original storyline was 12 issues I would of also been fine with it. Thing is back then Spider-Man had FOUR titles a month so with some simple math you can see that this bullshit went on for around 100 issues give or take. 100 issues of that shit!?! C'mon! 12 issues? Sure that's perfect. Six issues? Surprisingly enough, to short.

As for the ending, I am for the most part happier with the original ending. We got Norman Osborn back as The Green Goblin, the baby was never to be seen again, Harry was still dead and Ben was dead. In fact the only thing I liked about the new ending more was that Ben had lived. Yup you read that right. Truth is I always liked the Ben Riley character quite a bit, just not as Spider-Man. Problem is the writers had botched this thing so bad they saw no possible redemption in the Ben Riley character so just wanted to take the easy way out and kill him. I think Ben could of been a unique character and could of carved out a nice little spot for himself in the Marvel Universe as a Spider-Man like but NOT actual Spider-Man character, I guess the best comparison would be that he could of been to Spider-Man what War Machine is to Iron Man.

This mini was a decent read but not great, its source materiel was shit after all, but overall WAS better then what we got the first time around. I give the original clone saga a 1 star out of 10, this gets a 5 out of 10 and with that said here's hoping that I can finally close the book on the shit that was the clone saga once and for all..... I have talked about this more then it ever deserved to be talked about.