December 31, 2011

REVIEW: Daredevil #7

Daredevil on a bus

Veteran comic book fans already know that in the past Daredevil has been one of Marvel Comics's darker books. That all changed when the book was relaunched earlier in 2011 with Mark Waid as writer and both Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin trading off on pencils. The book has been a hit since issue #1. Simply put, it's just fun to read - exceptional artwork, great plot, and a hero you can't help but root for. Issue #7 is no different. Seriously, if you're not already reading Daredevil, you need to be.

December 29, 2011

REVIEW: Batman #4

Batman #4 is another great issue by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. I've said it before but this title is by far the best book of the New 52. It simply keeps getting better and better.

December 28, 2011

The New 52: Batman The Dark Knight Issue No. 4 Review

Writer Paul Jenkins and artist David Finch have crafted another mystery with Batman The Dark Knight issue no. 4. The story continues the pulse pounding tale of the Dark Knight trying to discover who's been injecting assorted inmates from Arkham Asylum, giving them superhuman strength and creating destruction as a result. Jenkins and Finch don't let action drop one bit in issue no. 4 either!

Review: Elektra Assassin

At the height of her popularity in the 1980s, Elektra, Daredevil's sometime lover and enemy, was actually already dead. Frank Miller's ground breaking 8-part miniseries Elektra: Assassin showcased early adventures of the assassin. Although Frank Miller didn't draw the series, Bill Sienkewicz's stunning artwork certainly dazzled the audience with his unique style, which was last seen during his run in the New Mutants series.

The Elektra: Assassin hardcover collects the miniseries originally published by Marvel's other imprint Epic Comics during the 1980s (references to Communism and Cold War phrases like "Mutually Assured Destruction" certainly pop up). Like other Daredevil characters during Frank Miller's run on the series, such as The Punisher, Elektra was actually a likeable antihero/villain. The miniseries captured a classic adventure of Elektra at an undisclosed period before meeting her final fate at the hands of rival assassin Bullseye. Daredevil is not featured in the entire paperback except in a minor cameo, but other characters such as Nick Fury and agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., play pivotal roles. In fact, the storyline involves S.H.I.E.L.D. experiments gone horribly wrong, an ancient evil and an assassination attempt at the President of the United States.  At one point, Elektra is locked up in an asylum and has to escape. What else would you expect from a character like Elektra and a writer like Frank Miller? Readers will see flashbacks from her training with her mentor Stick as well as his death which was alluded in the Daredevil series.

Overall, while the story may not be impressive, Miller does reveal some background hints on Elektra's past. The hardcover certainly adds more depth to the character and leaves the reader to decide and judge her actions and motives during her appearances in the Daredevil series.

Bill Sienkiwicz miniseries artwork
The amazing visual style done by Sienkewicz both for the cover artwork and the entire miniseries, truly captures the essence of the madness in Elektra's life and quite possibly, her mind.

December 26, 2011

REVIEW: Justice League #4

Welcome aboard, Aquaman! Cyborg arrives! Enter Darkseid!

It's A Small World App

Children of all ages and even adults will enjoy Disney's It's a Small World app for it's amazing interactivity and overall appeal.  While this digital version is no substitute for the actual Disneyland attraction, think of it as a great alternative than not being able to experience it in person. The app immerses the viewer with the same foreign locales and cheerful presentation as you head off on the same journey like on the actual ride.

Kids will the enjoy the sing-a-long feature and the interaction as the screen becomes a virtual global playground while learning new cultures and discovering new places.  Touch anywhere on the screen within the different cities and environments and something fun will happen.  The overall message that it's a small world, shines through.

December 23, 2011

REVIEW: Swamp Thing: Reunion

The last issues of Alan Moore's incredible run on Swamp Thing are collected in the Reunion paperback, taking the Earth elemental to the outer reaches of space. The Swamp Thing's interplanetary trek has him stopping over in exotic planet locales such as Rann, J586 and beyond. Along the way, Moore's final work on this Swamp Thing also showcases the intergalactic range of the DC Universe and it's many different characters. Within this story arc, you'll see encounters with a Green Lantern, some Thanagarians and Jack Kirby's "Fourth World" characters Metron and the Great Darkseid.

Throughout his entire run on the Swamp Thing series, Alan Moore's storylines have often had Alec Holland encountering either Earth-based or supernatural and spiritual adventures and nemeses. We've seen him do battle against many supernatural adversaries such as Anton Arcane, The Monkey King and even ghosts of American slaves. We've seen him tussle against Jason Woodrue aka The Floronic Man and his machinations for a "Green World". However, with this collection of stories, Moore provides us with different locales and even deeper holes for our hero to climb out from, with the backdrop of an interplanetary adventure. It's as if Moore had finally drained the well of spiritual and supernatural storylines for the character and took the green giant on this wild ride into the coldness of space before embarking on more "natural" adventures once again.

Not that Moore's final run was any less brilliant than his earlier work on the series. Reunionprovides a different take on the characters with inconceivable adventures that the likes of which no one, especially had even dared to take him on. The storylines take him beyond the limiting nature of being an Earth elemental and Moore shoves straight into the cold hard fact that Earth is just one planet among many. In "Mysteries In Space" and "Exiles", after awkward introduction to Adam Strange, we see him caught in the middle of the Rann-Thanagarian conflict that still resonated decades later. In "All Flesh is Grass", Swamp Thing encounters a Green Lantern in an likely way. Furthermore, this encounter teaches him that there are worlds teeming life and some of them are literally one with the planet. In "Wavelength", which was written by artist Rick Veitch (who succeeded Moore), Swamp Thing's mental fortitude is tested once again as he has an adventure with the New God, Metron. Of course with Swamp Thing, Moore doesn't let up the horror and suffering that Abigail Arcane has to encounter while her man is gone. She has to deal with her family in the "Reunion" story. No worries though, as their own reunion is as tender as always when Swamp Thing comes back to his home in "Return of The Good Gumbo", which is Moore's final story.

 Cover artwork for the various stories collected in Reunion

What readers should take away from this collection, is the same awe and wonder Alec Holland goes through in his interstellar journey, facing foreign foes and stranger worlds than all his time in the swamps of the south. The character travels through the farthest reaches of the cosmos in these amazing adventures. All the while, finding himself and being reminded of the most important human emotion, despite his own lack of um, humanity, that keeps him surviving each wondrous journey, love.

The stories collected in the Reunion paperback include:

Swamp Thing issue no. 57: "Mysteries in Space"
Swamp Thing issue no. 58: "Exiles"
Swamp Thing issue no. 59: "Reunion"
Swamp Thing issue no. 60: "Loving The Alien"
Swamp Thing issue no. 61: "All Flesh is Grass"
Swamp Thing issue no. 62: "Wavelength"
Swamp Thing issue no. 63: "Loose Ends (Reprise)"
Swamp Thing issue no. 64: "Return of The Good Gumbo"

December 22, 2011

The New 52: Wonder Woman Issue No. 4 Review

Hell definitely has no fury like a woman scorned and in this instance, the Goddess Hera seeks revenge on Queen Hippolyta after her affair with her husband Zeus! Can Wonder Woman protect her mother Hippolyta from Hera's wrath? Also what is the God Apollo up to as he consults with another deity?

Writer Brian Azzarello's run on the new Wonder Woman series has been nothing but shocking and intriguing, as he has certainly bestowed enough new changes to her origin. As we have learned from the previous issues, Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus from his affair with Queen Hippolyta. This has new ramifications for not only Diana Prince, but for Zeus' spouse Hera who undoubtedly feels humiliated among other things. So Hera now seeks retribution for this painful and embarrassing episode that has involved her husband, the Queen of The Amazons and our hero Wonder Woman.

December 21, 2011

Grand Theft Auto 3 for iPhone Review

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be playing Grand Theft Auto III on my cell phone, I would've had you locked up for insanity. However as technology has changed some of our expectations, Grand Theft Auto III on the iPhone seems inevitable. While it's a universal app, it is definitely more suited for the iPad screen than the iPhone 4, for a true and near-gaming experience similar to our enjoyment on the consoles and computer. 10 years later the game still retains the same open-ended playability and lasting value despite the difference in platform.

December 20, 2011

Arkham City Lockdown Update for iPhone

The first update has been released for Batman: Arkham City Lockdown for iPhone and contains a few goodies. The 1.1 update features two free Batman skins (a 70s skin), the ability to continue your game on any other iOS device (iPad2 of course), bug fixes and other extras. Head on to the App Store and apply it.

Don't have the game yet? You can check out our review here or download the game directly below:

December 19, 2011

Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes!

DC Comics has released a few preview pages for the upcoming Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! one-shot.

Amazing Spiderman Website

Sony Columbia Pictures has updated the official website for the Amazing Spiderman movie. Interestingly, at the bottom of the website entrance it says The Untold Story. The website does provide a tremendous amount of details for the upcoming movie and PLANNED sequels. This information is all revealed once you click the Story section. Additionally, there are other sections such as Characters and Gallery that also detail much of the upcoming movie. It's already a known fact based on the comic-books, that the character Curt Connors (played by Rhys Ifans) will eventually become the Lizard, another villain from Spiderman's rogues gallery, and face-off against Spiderman.

The movie's premise and focus, which opens on July 3, 2012, appears to be Peter Parker's early teenage years. None of the images reflect any of his days at the Daily Bugle. Actress Sally Field plays (a much younger) aunt May Parker and Martin Sheen plays uncle Ben Parker. Making their first appearance outside of the Marvel comic-books on the big screen, will be Gwen Stacy portrayed by Emma Stone and and her father captain Stacy played by Dennis Leary. It's assumed that as the sequels progress so will Peter Parker's life, career and adventures as Spiderman.

H/T ComicVine

December 16, 2011

Algorridim DJ app for iPhone

If you've ever wanted to learn to DJ but lacked the ability to pick up some turntables for practice, then relax because there's an app for that. DJ equipment whether it's turntables, mixers and other accessories can cost a pretty penny to assemble. Fortunately for aspiring professional DJs everywhere, Algoriddim's DJ ap for both iPad and yes the iPhone, allows you to practice your mixing skills, add scratching effects and even tweak your tracks in their own unique way. All this can be accomplished at an affordable cost while leading the way towards professional gigs at events.

December 15, 2011

NBA 2K12 Roster Update

UPDATE: The 1.3.5 roster update is available now!

UPDATE: Since this entry was written over a week before the start of the NBA season on Christmas, we expected a roster update after the holidays. Sadly, like the rest of you we're still waiting for the anticipated roster updates. Stay tuned, we may get one soon enough!

If you've ever had to deal with roster updates for some of your favorite sports video games then fret no more. The recent 1.2.8 update available for NBA2K12 for iPhone includes a new feature that checks automatically for roster updates. It launches at the onset of the main menu. This is a great asset for anyone who's ever had to keep track of not only their favorite team, but other NBA squads, in order to try to keep up with the latest player trades, team signings and current lineups. After all, guard Chris Paul may no longer be with the New Orleans Hornets at the start of this upcoming season! You are given the option to turn off the update if you'd rather do it manually. With the NBA season launching on Christmas Day this new feature from 2K Sports will provide gamers with the latest lineup updates for your team rosters.

GameStop, Inc.

December 14, 2011

Fables Issue 1 Review

Fables issue 1 starts off with a murder mystery involving Snow White's sister Rose Red. A panicked Jack Horner rushes off to the Fabletown apartments to inform Bigby Wolf, who is the head of security amongst the Fables, that Rose Red has been murdered in her own apartment. Bigby instructs Jack to wait at the crime scene while he informs Snow White of the tragic event. Fabletown despite being a luxurious and grand building is the secret dwelling of the Fables.  Their new place amongst the "mundys" (mundanes aka normal humans) after being usurped from their lands by The Adversary.

Snow White is busy trying to resolve a conflict between married couple Beauty and The Beast. Furthermore, Snow White stresses to both that unless The Beast can maintain his human appearance, they will be forced to live on The Farm, the place where other non-human appearing Fables now reside, to hide from humanity. After Beauty mentions the "dwarves" incident, Boy Blue suddenly interrupts the meeting and escorts them out, cautioning them to never bring that sensitive topic again in front of her.  Snow White isn't too shocked to hear the news about Rose Red when Bigby Wolf finally tells her, since both siblings were emotionally distant in their relationship anyway.

Snow White however, goes with Bigby Wolf to investigate the crime scene to meet Jack. Once they open the door, we see the blood-soaked apartment of Rose Red. Furthermore, Snow White's ex, Prince Charming and what is he up to?

Fables 1
Written By Bill Willingham
Drawn By Lan Medina and Mark Buckingham
[Suggested for Mature Readers]

December 12, 2011

Joe The Barbarian

While the Joe The Barbarian miniseries has been collected as a hardcover this past year, new readers and fans are also able to view the Grant Morrison series in digital format. Last week, the acclaimed miniseries made it's debut on DC Comics' and Comixology apps. Joe The Barbarian tells the story of Joe, a young boy suffering from diabetes and the pains of social life. His vivid imagination takes him on a great adventure...or is it just a fantasy, as a result of his ailment?

December 11, 2011

Batman Arkham City Lockdown for iPhone Review

UPDATE: The Harley Quinn level is now available!

Epic Games finally brings the Dark Knight's adventures to the iPhone and iPad. Is the game up to par with other iOS games like Infinity Blade, before it? Furthermore, can it match the hype and intensity of its console brethren?

If Epic Games' Infinity Blade set the bar for 3-D gaming on the iPhone then Batman Arkham city lockdown raises that bar once again. On the heels of the Arkham City release for gaming consoles, Epic Games and Warner Bros. interactive have unleashed Batman Arkham City Lockdown for iOS mobile gamers. If you've enjoyed Infinity Blade, then the gameplay shouldn't be any different. Powered by the same Unreal Engine, instead of lush environments as featured in Infinity Blade, we get the same dark and dreary tones established way back in Arkham Asylum and in Arkham City.  Your task once again, is that the Dark Knight has round up the escaped criminals from Arkham once again.  You'd think they'd built a better lock!

December 9, 2011

REVIEW: New Mutants Annual No. 6

Acclaimed writer Peter David (Incredible Hulk, Aquaman) wrote an emotional tale involving the very first team incarnation of the New Mutants. In fact, the story involved the character Cypher, who had previously died during one of the team's adventures.

December 8, 2011

Sweet Tooth Variant Cover

If you've been enjoying artist Travel Foreman's fine work on Animal Man, then you may want to check out the Vertigo series Sweet Tooth and his variant cover for issue number 29. While it's not as dazzling or visceral like his interior artwork for Animal Man, it's a simple yet subdued cover for all to enjoy.  Issue number 29 will be released in January. Click to enlarge the images

Sweet Tooth Standard Cover
Sweet Tooth Variant Cover

Courtesy Vertigo

December 7, 2011

The New 52: Animal Man Issue No. 4 Review

If you haven't picked up the previous issues of Animal Man, this review will be a bit confusing in terms of continuity. However, it's another stepping stone in understanding the new origin of Animal Man though as more details about The Rot is revealed!

New 52 The Flash: Captain Cold Return and Redesign

Next year sees the return of The Flash's rogues gallery led by Captain Cold. As you may have seen in issue number 2, we saw a glimpse of him in Iron Heights prison before the blackout hit the city. The above picture is the new look for the frozen one and he'll make his New 52 debut in issue number 7.

Via DC Comics

December 6, 2011

Marvel Comics Announces 'Avengers Vs. X-Men'

I haven't even finished reading Fear Itself or even started Schism and already Marvel has announced its next major event for 2012 - Avengers vs. X-Men.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Siamese Dream

With the release of their CD "Siamese Dream" back in 1993, the band Smashing Pumpkins established themselves as another iconic band of the decade. Despite several lineup changes, the band has pumped quality music over the years. "Siamese Dream" and it's chart topping singles such as "Cherub Rock", "Disarm" and "Today" showcased singer Billy Corgan's gifted lyrics and the band's sonic sounds.

I still recall their mainstream coming out performance on Saturday Night Live during the Siamese Dream tour. The band seemed relax despite the impending success. My favorite track is "Mayonnaise". Enjoy!

Transformers Dark of the Moon Double-Paks

Keep your eyes open Transformers fans, because the bargains aren't over just yet. U.S. retailer Target has already put on sale it's current lineup of available Dark of The Moon movie figures, through most of December. In addition, Target has also launched a "Deluxe Double-Pack" bundle to clear out inventory as well. You'll get two toys for the price pictured above. Definitely a deal if you want to complete your Dark of The Moon collection and it only applies to this particular group from what we've seen. No word yet if the Generations lineup will see this sort of bargain applied. Hurry while supplies last!

December 5, 2011

Watchmen Prequel?

Did you ever wonder about the early adventures of the Watchmen before they joined the super team? According to Bleeding Cool, four different prequels are scheduled for some of the characters from that miniseries. You'll recall that each character's solo adventures were briefly hinted at, during the miniseries. We would've loved to see Rorschach and Nite Owl's adventures together.  How about portraying Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre, during their night patrols, before they fell in love?

While the planned projects have been criticized for further trying to milk this franchise, we say, why not? The adventures of the Dark Knight, don't begin and end with Frank Miller.  If the stories are done well then let's go forward.  Original artist Dave Gibbons along with Andy and Joe Kubert are rumored to be onboard as well.

via io9

iPhone 4S: Is Siri Causing Our Battery Drainage

While we've enjoyed our new iPhone 4S, we're not pleased with the state of the battery life.  We haven't done a scientific study but we've certainly noticed the faster battery drain with the new iPhone as compared to other iPhone models and maybe, it's because of the Siri feature?  Siri is the voice assisted feature available only for iPhone 4S users.

Turning off Bluetooth doesn't work. So we're left to ponder if this new feature is the culprit. We don't believe it's a hardware issue. We updated to the latest iOS on our old iPhone 4 and haven't experienced this sort of issue show up. Perhaps there's an imminent update soon to resolve this. Until then, we suggest you use an extra charger or bring along a USB cable with you.

December 2, 2011

DC Comics: The New 52 - November Run Down

AQUAMAN #3 - Geoff Johns continues to prove that Aquaman is actually pretty cool. I love how Johns incorporates all of our preconceptions and prejudices of Aquaman and Mera and clearly defines what they're really capable of. Solid story, and great art by Ivan Reis. Waiting for #4!

BATMAN #3 - Though this issue honestly felt like filler, it is by no means a bad comic book. Another good issue by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, even though not much really happens. One can assume it's going to be crazy good next month. I especially liked seeing Batman using a glider through Gotham City.

GREEN LANTERN #3 - Sinestro and Hal Jordan are obvious archenemies, but have surprisingly great chemistry together. Another fun issue, and Sinestro steals the spotlight here. It ends with a pretty crazy cliffhanger. Another series that I'm looking forward reading next month.

Wonder Woman: Hermes Concept Art

Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang showcased some of his designs for the character Hermes for the new Wonder Woman series.