Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rant Ramblings: Week of 2-22-13

Pretty sweet pic, right? Here's an entire album, all combining art from Calvin & Hobbes with photos to create something sublime. (Although the lack of reflections in the one with the wagon about to crash into the lake kinda screws that one up.) Here's another of my favorites:
You gotta love the hard-boiled adventures of Tracer Bullet, am I right?

Batwoman's epic teamup with Wonder Woman concluded with this week's issue of the always-amazing Batwoman. It was predictably awesome, but the bigger news coming out of it occurs at the end, and really should be experienced by reading the issue yourself, so go get it! I won't spoil it the way CBR did for me by pasting onto their front page Wednesday without bothering to add a spoiler warning. (Yeah, I'm just a little irritated about that. They typically post spoiler warnings for everything, mostly stuff I don't care about, but when it's something pertaining to one of my very favorite books, they just post it without a shred of concern for people who haven't read the issue yet. Probably just an oversight, but that does little to de-annoyify me. Yes, "de-annoyify" is a word now.)

I had completely forgotten about the Oscar-nominated Simpsons short that was shown before the latest Ice Age animated crap-o-rama last year. The Longest Daycare features Maggie facing off with her nemesis, unibrowed tot Gerald, in a daycare that seems like an even worse environment for a child than the Simpson home. (Longtime Simpsons fans will recognize the Ayn Rand School for Tots from the classic A Streetcar Named Marge.) The short was aired after Sunday's episode, and is well worth tracking down and viewing. It's only about four minutes long, but the wordless short is both amusing and moving. Check out the trailer:

Following last week's announcement that Geoff Johns and the rest of the creative teams were leaving the Green Lantern books, we didn't have to wait long to find out who will be replacing them. We'll have Robert Venditti and Billy Tan on the main GL book, Joshua Hale Fialkov writing both Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns, Bernard Chang taking over as artist for GLC & Alessandro Vitti as the new RL artist, and Justin Jordan and Brad Walker taking over Green Lantern: New Guardians. Additionally, there will be a new series starring fan-favorite Orange Lantern Larfleeze by Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins.
I'm split about these changes. I usually like Robert Venditti's work, but I'm not crazy about Tan's art; it's quite a step down after having Doug Mahnke on the book for the past few years. Fialkov is another writer whose work I normally like, so no problems there. I like Chang's artwork, but this announcement means that he will be (presumably) leaving Demon Knights, so that kinda sucks. I'm unfamiliar with Vitti's work. New Guardians stars Kyle Rayner, my favorite GL, so I have some reservations about the new team on that one. Brad Walker's art is solid, if unspectacular, but the real concern I have is with the new writer, Justin Jordan. Granted, the only work of his I've read is the recently-cancelled Team 7, but it was bad enough that I dropped it after a couple of issues. Hopefully he'll do better work on this book; only time will tell.

With all the Halo posts lately, I've had a few people ask me what I think about season one of Spartan Ops, the bonus missions that are available to anyone with a copy of Halo 4 and an Xbox Live Gold account. The answer is: I dunno, because I haven't played any of it yet. I just finished the campaign a couple of days ago, and that was an undertaking that was far more trouble than it should have been. I was at the last part of the final level, about to face the Didact, when the goddamn power went out. It only went out for a few seconds, as it does at some point once every couple of weeks, but that was long enough to shut everything down and make me lose my progress. (Keep in mind, this is after I played the last level off and on for several days because it was kinda kicking my ass, so getting to the end was not easy.) At that point, I just said "Fuck it!" and watched the ending on Youtube. Turns out all I had left to do was mash a couple of buttons, so I still feel I completed the campaign since I got right up to that point before the electric company screwed me. I'll resume the level from my last saved checkpoint and finish that last bit at some point, once that irritation is not so fresh. In the meantime, I'm having fun playing Flood and Griffball, and I'll be starting Spartan Ops soon.

Speaking of Halo, Bungie, the franchise's former developer, finally made with some details about their upcoming "shared world" shooter, Destiny. We didn't get to see much aside from some concept art and less than a minute of gameplay, but Bungie did share a lot of information regarding what Destiny is all about, and what to expect when it releases. Frankly, it sounds amazing; hopefully they can pull off everything they say. You can check out everything they've shared so far here.

Sony revealed the Playstation 4 Wednesday, and I watched most of the live stream of the event. The console has a lot of promise, but Sony withheld many of the details, as expected, and often seemed hell-bent on drowning us in buzzwords. Most of the trailers and such were pre-rendered scenes, rather than actual gameplay. Bungie was brought out to close the event, to give the uninitiated an idea of how huge a deal that game is. The social aspects of the console were the most interesting to me. Hopefully we won't have to wait long for Microsoft to reveal the new Xbox.

That's it for this week!

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