Friday, May 24, 2013
What's a great occasion for a party? How about our seventh year of blogging! And what better way to celebrate than by a week of low content! Stick around while I try to move 90% of my crap over the weekend, then try to get all situated in my new home. Have fun and be back soon!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
A little sad today: I'll be clearing off my table, where I've shot homemade posts for the last four and a half years. And apparently, where I've never put anything away. Ever.
Both my girlfriend and my Youngest son had some crazy notion about keeping the table clear and eating off it or some nonsense. Yeah, we'll see about that. Rest assured, we'll continue the usual tomfoolery around here. Like tomorrow, for instance.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The moving continues! Right now we're still at the pack-and-organize phase, taking our time, doing things right. Later will be the "shove everything in a box and throw it on a moving truck" phase.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
In movies and popular fiction, pirates are often portrayed as swashbuckling, charming, personable rogues. Well, pirate captains, anyway: the rank-and-file pirate crewman as often as not is an unwashed lout. Either way, don't believe the hype: pirates are jerks. Occasionally they're up against jerks of equal or greater jerkitude, but still jerks.
Being a big fan of Errol Flynn movies like Captain Blood and the Sea Hawk, this would be a hard lesson for Nightcrawler to learn. After getting thrown into another dimension with Lockheed the dragon, Kurt fell in with a crew of skyfaring pirates. It's all fun and games--until the pirates run across another ship, and attack it. Nightcrawler is forced to turn on them, almost scuttling their ship, then bailing out for the attacked one. (Scans from Nightcrawler #1, "How Much is that Boggie in the Window?" Story and art by Dave Cockrum; and I'm legitimately shocked I hadn't scanned anything from this issue already.)
Still, Nightcrawler hasn't seen the last of those pirates...
Another occasional pirate: Conan the barbarian. Whether you go by the strict Robert E. Howard timeline, or the more freewheeling Marvel adventures, Conan was up for a little piracy more than a few times over his lifetime. Especially in the Marvel comics, actually: there were long stretches of Conan the Barbarian or Savage Sword of Conan that were one-issue stories with little continuity: sometimes Conan would be in the desert, then the city, then a pirate, back to the city, and so forth. Honestly, that's how I prefer to read Conan...
In today's other book, 1984's Conan Annual #9, "Wrath of the Shambling God!" (Written by Michael Fleisher, art by Ernie Chan.) Conan is once again a pirate captain. That may be a misnomer, today Conan may be less a pirate captain, than "the guy on the ship who could murder the lot of you if you look at him funny." And while Conan's has often sailed with female pirates like Belit and Valeria, it's a sausage-fest today. Worst of all, the crew is a bunch of cutthroats, backstabbers, and incompetents. The latter especially, since after attacking a ship full of "warrior-priests" with no money, the ship sails into an iceberg.
Rescued by a band of Inuit-like sailors, Conan is grateful, but his crew plots to kill their captain and ransack their hosts. Drugged, Conan is attacked and falls out a window, and the pirates go nuts. Swept away by the current, Conan is forced to fight his way back through a woolly mammoth, and the idol-god Thogarh. Meanwhile, the pirates are torturing the natives and turning on each other, before they find a stash of black lotus. They think it's to, uh, "enhance their virility," but it drives them insane before long.
OK, that is kind of funny, but still, pirates are jerks.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Probably be all over the map this week, since I'm mid-move! How many boxes of comics have I moved so far? I couldn't say; but my new closet is pretty packed...and I'm not done yet. So, let's just take a quick look at ROM: Spaceknight #26, "Galactus!" Written by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Sal Buscema, inks by Joe Sinnott.
On top of the usual drama on the planet Galador--ongoing war against the shape-changing Dire Wraiths, Rom's leftover human bits stolen and put in the Spaceknight Terminator, the planet's Prime Director now a disembodied consciousness after his evil self took over a cyborg body--now Terrax the Tamer has shown up, heralding the arrival of the planet-devouring Galactus. Terrax is a sadist, who doesn't really care what the inhabitants do before Galactus eats them, he's just going to torture them a bit until then. The Spaceknights take him on, and somewhat surprisingly manage to defeat him.
Meanwhile, both the Prime Director and the Terminator fall against Galactus. (The larger plot point for the book: Rom may no longer be able to be restored to human if the Wraith war ever ends.) Rom manages to get to Galactus's worldship, where he finds a massive museum of lifeforms and civilizations destroyed by Galactus. It's a memorial, not a trophy room; but Rom still attacks it to get Galactus's attention.
Galactus is vivid already, before Rom smashes up his stuff; but Rom tries to invoke a rule: Galactus would pass up a live world, if a dead one could be found to assuage his hunger. And Rom knows of a dead world, a dead galaxy: the Dark Nebula of the Dire Wraiths...
I remember reading ROM #25 as a kid, but thought the Galactus issues were before it. Seems like a lot more going on this issue than most, huh?
Friday, May 17, 2013
The cover is extra-misleading this time: "Spock the Barbarian!" is sadly nowhere to be found this issue. From 1981, Marvel's Star Trek #10, "Domain of the Dragon God!" Written by Michael Fleisher, art by Leo Duranona and Klaus Janson.
With Admiral Kirk out with a flu, he doesn't get to go on a survey mission of Barak-7, a planet with an exceptionally strong magnetic field. Which doesn't seem like a job for an admiral, even one as hands-on as Kirk. McCoy says he'll keep Spock company, and Spock successfully stifles any emotional complaints on the topic. As usual for any incarnation of Star Trek, the shuttlecraft crashes, engines clogged by magnetic dust.
Instead of the uninhabited sector they were supposed to survey, they land near the barbaric inhabitants, as they're about to engage in a little ritual sacrifice. Prime Directive or no, McCoy can't let them murder a girl; but the matter is taken out of their hands when the sacrifice makes a break for it and runs into them. Spock and McCoy stun several of the angry tribesmen, before the magnetic dust clogs both their phasers and communicators. Spock holds them off so McCoy and the girl can escape; but is captured.
Taking the girl to her tribe, McCoy proceeds to further mangle the Prime Directive, teaching them the bow so they can fight the bad tribe. Spock has been forced into slavery, and the chieftain is using said slave labor to carve his face into a mountain. When McCoy and the "good" tribe attack, the chieftain is murdered, a new one is named, and he promptly declares the old chieftain's wife should be the next ritual sacrifice to the "dragon god." Spock is not especially surprised by this egregious display of dickery.
Before the tribesmen decide to put Spock and McCoy on the chopping block, from the Enterprise a modified shuttle arrives to save them. Kirk asks them what went on down there, and what was up with the half-carved face in a mountain: McCoy just says it's a monument, to "the more things change, the more they really remain the same." Spock appears to invoke some logical bro code to not narc McCoy out for all the Prime Directive violations, but maybe he's just used to Kirk doing it all the time, and thought McCoy could get at least one.
Star Trek: Into Darkness opens today! I probably won't get in until the weekend, but I really, really, want to go. Now.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
No proper review today, I'm afraid: just a quick batch of pictures of a new find. From the second wave of Iron Man Marvel Legends, Ultron!
A classic Marvel villain, I've needed an updated version of Ultron for some time now. He's had an earlier Marvel Legend, and a recent Marvel Select; but I only had the old Toy Biz Marvel's Most Wanted version!
Ultron uses a good chunk of Titanium Man's mold--the legs and arms. I like the mold better here, since Ultron is usually a bit sleeker, while Titanium Man should be more bulky. He's got interesting shoulder-pads, and great neck articulation: he can do a great flying pose, or throw his head back in evil robot laughter. Even the wrist articulation is good!
I didn't think there was a lot of paint on Ultron: maybe just a bit of red on the head and the shoulder pads. Other than that, I think he's mostly done in a silver-grey plastic. Or is it silver-grey paint applied oddly? I'm not sure. It looks a little swirly in parts, like the boot cuffs, but that's not a problem for me. The swirliness may be a bit more noticeable on the Iron Monger Build-a-Figure head that comes with Ultron, so if that bothers you, you may have to check multiple figures for the one that looks best to you. If you can find more than one.
Sadly, as is usually the case anymore, Ultron doesn't get any accessories, except the BaF. I haven't decided if I'm going all in on that, but that Mark 42 armor is rather tempting...
Ultron may be the current big bad in Marvel's Age of Ultron event; but his figure is a lot of fun. Keep an eye out!