Atomic Batteries to power, turbines to speed!

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders – a Batman 66′ animated movie.

My thoughts in a picture:doctor_who_the_power_of_three_strike_a_pose

(Yes, West sounds like he’s about 200 years old, but he’s explaining the plot of the movie while he and Robin are trapped on a giant TV dinner tray – what’s not to love?)

 

Pondering…

So, my players have been coming up with character ideas for the 5th Ed game, and there’s been some doozys (Paladin of Sune, God of Beauty – part vigilante, part dating consultant). Still haven’t got a plot yet, but I’m waiting till they’ve confirmed their characters before I confirm that.

As for the post apoc game, I’ve another skill tree idea.

BUSHMAN – Basically a D&D Ranger crossed with Les Hiddins. Has a higher chance to find supplies in the wild and knows about the local wildlife. (“Fresh dropbear tracks. When I say run, run…”) Possibly even making friends some of the local critters.

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As for inspiration, there’s numerous sources out there: Nuclear Snail have some fascinating tutorials, though the name strikes fear in my heart*. The games Sunfall:Metro, Wasteland UK and The World Went Dark have some stunning imagery. Given the lack of desert location near me, I’m aiming for a more forestpunk style (Which mixes in with the forests reclaming background I’m bashing out), but the standard levels of dirt, grime and blood will be present.

The world died. Cities fell, and the wilderness reclaimed them. People tried to survive, to carry on, but when their numbers grew too few, it collapsed. Some had hidden underground, in vast shelters built by the government, riding out the chaos in air conditioned splendour. Others unable to pay their way inside suffered and struggled, dying but for want of a few coins. When they emerged, the world had changed. The forests had grown over the cities of man, the once gleaming towers of glass and steel now overgrown with forest, a land filled with scavengers, monsters and other horrors. The animals had, changed, growing larger and more dangerous. The virus that had slaughtered the humans had mutated them and they had grown strong for lack of humanity. Now the wildlife is as much a threat as starvation, disease or raiders.

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Some have surrendered to their darker instincts, plundering the ashes of the old world. Some seek to learn from it, to reconstruct what was, or just to survive. I’m trying to give a number of options for possible PC’s, as large as I can, rather than ‘good guy or bad’ options.

The start: we start at a small settlement. Supplies can be found nearby, and there’s shelter. Possibly a small sporting arena for Blood Bowl or Jugger. What happens next, well, that is another story…

*I hate snails, and slugs for that matter – they scare the living hell out of me. Have since I was a kid.

Trailers.

So,a bunch of trailers got released at Comic Con over the weekend. My thoughts are as follows:

Doctor Strange – So, the second trailer finally show’s us some magic.It has helped cement my issue with the film (Outside of the piss poor attempt at defending the whitewashing), namely that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Strange and not Chiwitel Eigofor. It’s not that I think Cumberbatch will do a bad job, far from it, and he sure looks the part, but it’s by far the obvious choice. At the time of casting I tweeted that the MCU could use less white guys (and got called racist more than once), and I stand by that. That mght be why the announcement that Brie Larson is playing Captain Marvel and who’s playing who in Black Panther has me nervous. Well, not nervous, but hopeful. The further the MCU goes along, the higher the chance is they’ll screw something up (And I mean a Green Lantern-esque level of screw up, as opposed to the Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World) and I don’t want that to happen to those two films. It’s not that I’m a huge fan of either character, but I really don’t want the first female led and mainly black cast movies to be shit.

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Justice League – In short, Bruce Wayne interviews people. Seems to have added more jokes (Perhaps all the ones that were missing from BvS…) and a lot lighter tone. Cast look good, though more Cyborg would have been nice. Badass Aquaman is cool. Still not Brave and the Bold Aquaman, but that’s what YouTube is for.

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Wonder Woman – Please DC, don’t screw this up. The actons looks great, though I’m hoping the slow-mo is for the trailer, Chris Pine seems to be playing Steve Trevor like Kirk and Diana’s line “What I do is not up to you” is fantastic. Plus the evening gown and sword combo  works surprisingly well. 🙂

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King:Skull Island – They appear to have learnt from the Tripod song and got to the fucking monkey. Smart.

Suicide Squad – How many trailers, clips and sneak peeks can they release before it’s possible to assemble the entire movie? Still, the more they show that isn’t Harley, the more interested I get. Also, the more I see of Viola Davis as Amanda Waller the better – she’s not CCH Pounder, but I think she’ll do well.

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Star Trek: Discovery – It’s really not much, just the ship (Which we now know is clled Discovery) leaving spacedock. Reminds me of sketches I saw from the abandoned Phase 2 series. It’s Star Trek, so I’ll watch, but I’m still waiting for casting news to get really keen.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – A Guy Ritchie film, which is both good and bad. At first glance looks Excalibur crossed with Lock Stock. Points for trying something different, but adding some LOTR to the mix enthuses me even less. Sword looks nice though.

American Gods – Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday. Do I need to say more? Well, how about Gillian Anderson?

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The Lego Batman Movie – If you say something, anything, bad about this (At least that isn’t a variant on ‘We have to wait how long?’), we can no longer be friends.

I’m sure there’s more I’ve missed, but that’ll do for the moment. Also this:
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Many Bothans died, to bring us this trailer.

So, the Rogue One trailer. Leaving aside my burning hatred for teasers for trailers, or two minute trailers with 25 seconds of that taken up by rating info and stuff for other videos on the channel, it looks pretty damn good.

HELL YES MON MOTHMA – SUCK IT MRA’S AND SUCK IT HARD.
A female lead with a good amount of non-white people in the main cast, nice to see.
It’ll be slightly odd to have a definitive story of how the Death Star plans were stolen, given how many different stories and versions of it in the old EU.
Very little spoilery material, even better. One of the things I enjoyed the most about The Force Awakens was how little I knew going into it, a refreshing feeling in this day and age of leaks and endless teaser clips.
Seeing Yavin Base and T-65B X-Wings again – *swoon*
I’m sure the 501st are already going nuts over Ben Mendlheson’s outfit, whic is fair as that’s a rocking cape. That cape rocks so much I’m pretty sure Lando is jealous.
No Bothans though. Boooo. Also, would a nod to Kyle Katarn kill you? (Yes, I know the Bothans helped steal the plans to the second Death Star, but still. Seeing one on screen would be nice, at some point. Damn human-centric movies.)
Could have done without the nostalgia piano at the end, but I understand that’s the hip thing at the moment. Damn kids.
Part of me does think it’s going a bit dark, or at least Star Wars dark, but we’ve had that and it worked out OK, so yeah. Besides, I’m cool with them experimenting

Roll on December.

You Rebel scum…

So yeah, it’s been a while… *cough*

It’s been an amazing week for nostalgia, with the re-release of classic space combat games X-Wing and TIE Fighter. My response to this has ranged from an initial scream of HOLY ZARQUON SINGING FISH to having to restrain myself from squealing with joy (Hey, I was at work) to walking round with a grin on my face so wide that it threatened to snap my face in half. And this is in the same week that Captain Marvel and Black Panther movies got announced, so it’s not like I’m short of geekgasm.

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That’s basically how I looked when I first saw the press release.

Those games are a massive part of my adolesence, since it’s not like I was doing things like partying, drinking or spending time with the fairer sex. Ahem… X-Wing let me live out a childhood dream of taking part in the attack of the first Death Star, which I then never managed to complete owing to it being ludicrously difficult. TIE Fighter, on the other hand, was where I took my first steps on the dark path and found that playing the bad guys can be incredibly fun. (See the TV show Leverage for more of that) It also had several features that X-Wing lacked, such as backing up your scores if you got killed, being able to match speed with your target and the TIE Defender, the most broken Starfighter EVER. You also got a second campaign, where if you talked a with a mysterious Cloaked Figure, and completed a bunch of hidden objectives, you got an awesome tattoo slowly branded on your arm by FORCE LIGHTNING, a tattoo that I’m unashamed to admit I wanted badly when I was 14, and still do a little at 34.

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See – told you it was awesome.

Just flying a TIE Fighter itself was amazing – the sound of the things is practically engraved on my eardrums. Hell, the only reason I’m writing this and not playing the games is my lack of a joystick, something I intend to rectify over the weekend. Then I’ll be 14 again, it’ll be back to my youth, or at least the bits of it I actually like remembering. Now, if they can also re-release X-Wing vs TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance, then I may be so happy the universe will shatter.

PS: I still want one of the Imperial Officer uniform caps, despite the fact I’m sure I’d look ludicrous in it. But I did once buy a pair of WW2 flying goggles solely to wear to a Crimson Skies Clix tourney, so I have some history in that department.

WHO’S USELESS NOW?

We’re a bit short this week, as I’ve been busy being gainfully employed. Naturally, this has curtailed the amount of time I can spend writing for you, but A: they pay me and B: I have an ID photo that’s not too bad, which is a nice change for me, given that my driver’s license makes me look like I’m about to commit an act of jihad. (ASIO, I’m joking. Please don’t break down my door)

Anyhow, we’re here to talk about one particular item of news. You might say there’s been a deluge on this subject, possibly a flood or maybe a drenching. Certainly a shower, or maybe an oversaturation. Calling it a tsumani is more than a bit tacky, but it’s certainly more than a drizzle.

What could have produced such an ocean of watery attempts at humour? Well, it’s finally been confirmed that Jason Momoa is playing Aquaman in Batman vs Superman. As you remember, it was rumoured a few months back, but no-one had the decency to actually confirm anything until now. As far as I’m concerned, this is a really good thing – Momoa’s a fine actor who has the physicality to pull it off. That and given his early stint on Baywatch Hawaii, he’s used to wandering around wearing little, which  I’m confident will be part of the marketing. (Look at what Marvel did with Thor for starters…)

My biggest worry is that Snyder will GRIMDARK it up, also my biggest complaint about Man of Steel – Superman walking the Earth to find himself was an interesting interpretation, but the orgy of destruction that was the end of the film just didn’t seem right to me. That’s not what I go to see a Superman film for – he’s the guy you look at and think ‘If only more people were like him’, rather than the guy who broke Metropolis. I guess I like seeing heroes who are enjoying themselves, like Chris Evan’s Johnny Storm in the otherwise forgettable Fantastic Four films.  That might be my love of Batman: The Brave and the Bold talking, but that show’s Aquaman was amazing. If it’s wrong to want a hero who thinks everything is OUTRAGEOUS, who calls people ‘old chum’ and bursts into song from time to time then I DON’T WANT TO BE RIGHT.

How can you not love that?

That wasn’t the first piece of news though – earlier in the week Zack Snyder was on his way to work and heard two radio DJ’s making fun of Aquaman, so he proceeded to call in to defend him. (It’s worth noting this is pre-announcement, give the ‘Not to say he’s in my movie’ denial) So, Zack Snyder, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention. By way of apology, I take back two of the horrible things I said about Man of Steel!

To top it all off, there’s word that Warners is working on not one but two scripts for an Aquaman solo feature. Apparently, this is to ensure the best quality script while ensuring it meets deadlines, but to me it’s a shitty thing to do to a writer. I get you want to get a movie into production, but making writers compete in some sort of script writing Thunderdome doesn’t guarantee you a better film, just more stress and one guy pissed off his script wasn’t chosen.

Look, I’ve made my fair sure of jokes in the past, when I probably shouldn’t have. As my wife pointed out, Namor doesn’t get jokes made about him, but who outside of comic’s fans has heard of Namor? I guess all I can hope for is the movie takes a character best known for being a joke and make him awesome again, the way he should be. And failing that, I’d be happy with footage of Jason Momoa singing the ‘Rousing Song of Heroism,’ if that’s not too much to ask?

I’ll be singing that for the next week. Pity my housemates.

Conventions, consent, chaos and cosplay

Welcome again dear readers!

My Sydcon blurb has been submitted, now all that remains is to write the game, prepare the soundtrack, gather any props and costume, then work myself into a MAXIMUM ROCK AND ROLL FRENZY before running it. Oh, and to settle any fistfights over who get’s to playtest – people seem really keen to play this thing. Who knew there’d be so much demand to play an Orc in a rock and roll band?

Last weekend saw San Diego Comic Con, the time of year when studios save their new releases for and more news that you can poke a giant stick at is released. It’s also the time of year when my determination to be as completist as I can about the week’s news comes back to bite me in the ass, given the previously mentioned giant amount of news. So, if I’ve missed anything, or repeat myself, I apologise in advance.

Before we start, test footage for a Deadpool movie emerged during the week and if you were lucky enough to see it before it vanished, you were very lucky. It was animated in 2012 and while it looked like it was captured on a cheap mobile phone camera, the footage itself was fantastic. I can only hope the alternate universe where the movie got made is enjoying it, the lucky gits.

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Mmmmm pancakes .Now I’m hungry…

As for the con itself, there’s a roundup of good and bad advertising (As usual, PETA meant well but missed the point, while the team promoting Outlander had a bunch of men in kilts walking round) and we can’t not mention the guy who took magic mushrooms before entering and texted his girlfriend his thoughts on the experience. We don’t endorse that sort of behaviour, but it makes for amazing reading. Peter Jackson wandered around dressed as an evil jester, while Adam Savage went out dressed as Kane from Alien. The cosplay, as usual, was fantastic to see with the highlights being a Baby Rufio and a lone person protesting Edgar Wright’s removal from Ant Man.  (BTW, Wright’s next film is an adaption of the novel Grasshopper Judge) Oh, and the cryptic announcement about Young Justice from a couple of weeks back? Turns out it’s just a repackaging of the DVD’s, along with the first season being released on Blu-Ray. Talk about an anti-climax…

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Too soon dude, too soon…

Sadly, as always there was a bunch of douchenozzles who think it’s OK to be jerks to women but the push against that sort of behaviour is getting louder, which is a good thing, with the most high profile effort being from the group Geeks for CONsent, who made signs and flyers detailing what was appropriate behaviour. It’d be lovely if this sort of behaviour was eliminated, so I hereby support the shaming and exclusion of these fuckknuckles until they learn better.

gp38cikkmoqeyv1jknfr Pal, you’ll be apologizing for that till you’re blue in the face…

We got the first look at Wonder Woman from Batman vs Superman and the costume looks surprisingly good. Yes, I’m sure Snyder will screw it up somehow, but at least it’s not Michael Bay. And just in case you’re tempted, DON’T READ THE COMMENTS. Well, unless you need to refresh a burning hatred for humanity and haven’t see a Daily Telegraph front page recently.

Despite many people hoping for more, the only big announcement Marvel had was a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy, while an animated series is also on the way. We still don’t have a confirmation on who’s playing Doctor Strange, but Joaquin Phoenix is, according to rumours, the frontrunner. Better him than Johnny Depp… (I don’t hate Depp, but I’m heartily sick of him being linked to EVERYFUCKINGTHING. Besides, I’m pretty sure Marvel will only give dump trucks of money to one person at a time and that’s currently Robert Downey Jr)

Marvel also had a collection of props on show from Avengers: Age of Ultron and the footage that was screened from the film sounded amazing. The concept art poster we previewed last week is now complete, it’s been revealed that Agent Carter will feature Edwin Jarvis (The flesh and blood version, not Tony Stark’s AI) and Evangeline Lilly is playing Hope Van Dyne (Daughter of Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym) in Ant Man, which has lost 3 other members of it’s cast. They’ve also trademarked Squirrel Girl, which could mean we could be seeing her on screen soon, Agents of SHIELD is getting it’s own comic series and we know how who the new cast members are playing, along with the rumoured appearance of Bobbi Morse, AKA Mockingbird.

pa3msgjghjatjxjdepkx Yeah, that’s Squirrel Girl.

We got the first trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road, which can be summed up as sweaty people driving through explosions and The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, which is Billy Boyd singing and people brooding. Christopher Nolan showed off a new trailer for Interstellar, the first trailer for Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 arrived and the first look at The Death of Superman Lives shows just how strange a Tim Burton directed, Nicholas Cage starring Superman film could have been.

We have the complete Women who Kick Ass panel, which featured, among others, Katey Sagal, Maisie Williams and Tatiana Maslany, as well as a liveblog of the Women of Marvel panel. You can watch the Marvel and DC panels here, with a collection of the other big panels (Including Interstallar, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Community) here. The Goosebumps panel had Jack Black having puppet trouble, Stephen Colbert was in costume for his job moderating The Hobbit panel while Craig Ferguson moderated the Game of Thrones panel. And the press conference for the Blu-Ray release of Batman ’66 (Featuring Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar) was amazing with it being wonderful that something that was mocked and derided for so long was finally getting the recognition it deserves.

DC Comics television department have been busy, with new trailers for The Flash (Which announced 2 new cast this week),  Constantine, Gotham and Arrow, with an upcoming episode of Arrow investigating Felicity’s past titled Oracle. In other TV news, the people behind The Legend of Korra have spoken about how the show’s not exactly cancelled, just moving on-line and Sam Raimi announced he’s working on an Evil Dead TV series, with Bruce Campbell set to star. That’s no guarantee it’ll actually get made mind you, but there’s hope.

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That’s basically how I look first thing in the morning.

The new cast of Game of Thrones have been announced and there’s still no Damphair. Harrumph. We also have the season 4 gag reel  – seeing Tywin Lannister smiling is a lot scarier than I was expecting…. There’s a fresh preview of Assassin’s Creed: Unity and shock rocker Rob Zombie made an animated prelude video for the game that’s as gory as you’d expect. We’ve the first trailers for Kevin Smith’s new film Tusk and Daniel Radliffe’s Horns,  another teaser for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and the next season of The Walking Dead.

Alex Kurtzman is set to direct the reboot of The Mummy,  Guillermo Del Toro has been talking about his plans for Justice League Dark and there’s the first look at The Thing from the Fantastic Four reboot. The comic series Locke and Key is being adapted into a movie series. The series was set to be a TV series at Fox, but never made it past the pilot stage. Continuing that thread, a movie of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series is in pre-production, which means no signings for Neil for the time being.

Quentin Tarantino is working on a sci fi movie, as well as his previously cancelled western The Hateful Eight, a Japanese Dragon Ball Z film is due in 2015 and Maisie Willaims is said to be in talks to star in the movie version of video game The Last of Us. We have a glimpse of the title sequence to Warcraft and Legendary Pictures have announced a pair of monster films, those being a sequel to the Godzilla reboot and a King Kong origin film, which rumour has it Joe Cornish is set to direct.

Submission-to-Godzilla Disagree and he crushes your city.

Now, there was news that wasn’t released at the con, and here it is!

There’s trailers for post apocalypse drama The Maze Runner and the documentaries Atari: Game Over, which looks at the legends behind the Atari 2600 ET game and Mudbloods, which looks at the Quidditch clubs popping up over the world. From the ‘We need a new ‘Lord of the Rings series’ department comes word the movie rights to the Dragonriders of Pern series have been bought by Warners. It’s one of the series I keep hearing good things about, but every time I hear the name Anne McCaffrey the words tent peg pop into my brain. I can’t throw stones, given my favourite author was pretty damn far from a paragon of tolerance and modern thinking, but as first impressions go, it’s a pretty hard one to ignore.

The 21 minute teaser to the Star Trek fan feature Prelude to Axanar has been released, we’ve a longer trailer for Michael Keaton’s new film Birdman, production on the new season of The Big Bang Theory has been delayed with several of the main cast negotiating new contracts and there’s some new pictures and a  brief teaser for the new season of Doctor Who. Not long to go now…

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No context, I just really wanted to use this picture.

We leave this week with a selection of some of the stranger news from recent time, starting with the comics crossover you’ve been waiting for! That’s right, it’s time for a Star Trek/Planet of the Apes series, with William Shatner’s Kirk trying to stop the Klingons from aiding a renegade Gorilla general! No, I’m not joking. You can’t saw you don’t at least want to read this, even if only for the car crash appeal of the idea. In saner news, a study was done recently showing that kids you read the Harry Potter books are more tolerant of others and there’s a documentary about a Danish school that teaches through LARPing. Why didn’t this stuff exist when I was in school? You can read Tom Hiddleston’s adorable thank you letter to Joss Whedon after he first read the script for The Avengers and we end with a glorious piece of Pinky and the Brain.

Quote of the Week:

Deadpool: The day my father Odin banished me from Asgard, I was bitten by a vampire and had radioactive waste dumped into my eyes. To make matters worse, my mutant ability to control weather activated just as I was hit by a blast of gamma radiation. Nah, actually, I got this way by volunteering for the Weapon X program. They promised to cure my cancer. And they cured it all right, by giving me an outrageous healing factor. Then they labeled me psychotic and tossed me into a prison lab. So I escaped and became what some people might call a ‘mercenary’. I prefer the title ‘cleaner of the gene pool’. And I’ve made a lot of good friends along the way: like Arcade. He’s always sending me to his amusement park.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Cheers,

Gavin