Sunday, March 27, 2011

Designing a Hero

With the time change of our Chicago Champions game from Wednesday to Sunday, I decided to make a change of my own, by retiring good ol' werewolf Primal for something new. I was, at first, a bit flip floppy about what I wanted to do, but I was eventually able to narrow down my choice to a definite, if somewhat vague, concept: a superhero without powers.

Now, I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to comic books. I've read some DC stuff and I've read some Marvel stuff from time to time, but I've never made a really serious effort to learn everything there is to know about the two universes. However, even without that knowledge, I've always loved heroes that don't have powers. Sure, Superman's pretty cool with his nigh-immortality, super speed and strength, heat vision, and everything else, but you've got to respect the guy who is willing to take the same risks and face the same dangers as 'Supes' but without any of the god-like power.

It's always been a topic that me and one of my brothers have argued about. I'm sure it is one that plenty of other people have had before, though I can't claim to understand where this odd conversation piece came about: Who would win? Batman or Superman? Obviously, I go with Batman. No, he doesn't have super speed or ice blasts or mastery of magnetism, but he still manages to fight the big bad guys without any of those fancy tricks. And sure, he's got unlimited resources, a brilliant mind, expert detective skills and mastery of every fighting style known to man, but in the end he's just a normal human being, with all those same human limitations but all of those human strengths.

Just this past Friday I saw the latest Batman: Brave & The Bold which, while hilarious, also reinforced my interest in this sort of character. While he's slugging it out with a red kryptonite-influenced Superman (a fight that heavily references the one in Dark Knight Returns), he says something along the lines of: "Stop this. You know I won't quit." And that's the important element that I love so much about Batman and characters like him. Their ability to stand up to those larger than life villains, without any powers or abilities beyond those of a human being, and winning through sheer courage and ingenuity.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Steampunk Nazi Zombies!

Well, it's the day after a big group field trip to the midnight showing of Sucker Punch. Or perhaps I should say several hours after the midnight showing of Sucker Punch, since technically it was today when we watched it. Meh, whatever.

Even after getting a good night's sleep I'm still processing that movie. It was certainly something different, but different in a good way. I think even with the strange layers of reality and sub-reality and fantasy, there's definitely something to cater to everyone. Few can claim to have giant samurai statues with chainguns and missile launchers, steampunk nazi zombies, dragons, orcs, and robots all in the same film, and by that achievement alone I say that Sucker Punch succeeded.

Honestly, it was a bit like watching a live action anime movie, and I think that despite negative reactions to the strange plot, the movie was entertaining. I was entertained, and therefore I think that the movie was worth my time. I don't watch movies to receive some kind of life changing message or to see incredibly boring 'indie' films, I go to see bullets, bombs, and babes. Sucker Punch delivers upon all of those categories.

So, if you like seeing sexy women cutting things apart with katanas, I can definitely recommend this movie for you.

Mood: Mellow

Music: 'Army Of Me (Sucker Punch Remix)' by Bjork ft. Skunk Anansie

Quote: "I have tried to be a man of letters in love with ideas in order to be a wiser and more loving person, hoping to leave the world just a little better than I found it." — Cornel West

Monday, March 21, 2011


Because I'm relatively bored, I figure'd I would make a quick post just mentioning music that I'm currently listening to and recommend that others listen to as well:

IAMX - Volatile Times (Fantastic!)
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
Jessie J - Who You Are
Skindred - Babylon (Vampire Killa!)
Alicia Keys - The Element Of Freedom
Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare
Ghostland Observatory - Robotique Majestique
Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose

Honestly, I can't recommend IAMX enough. I know most of my friends are more into the heavy metal stuff, but Chris Corner's music is just great. In addition to IAMX, I listen to stuff like Ghostland Observatory too, so I'm a pretty big Electronic fan. But it seems like every time I listen to these albums, they get 10 times better. When I leave the house to go to the library, or the store, or anywhere really, I'm usually listening to IAMX.

Personally, I recommend to anyone interested in listening to start with the first album 'Kiss + Swallow' and work your way up to 'Volatile Times'. Each album just seems to become more mature in terms of sound, lyrics and vocal delivery. Its edgy, raw, dark, catchy, & very well produced.


Anyway, tomorrow is the bi-weekly Earth 52 game. As I continue to work on my still very poor Photoshop skills, I decided to return to the original cover I did for the first session and redo it:

What do you think? Pretty snazzy? Or is it lame? I'm not sure myself, but I do like the more simplified layout which I borrowed from the recent comic covers during the 'Brightest Day' event.

Friday, March 18, 2011

'Review': Earth 52 #2

Again I'm late on posting this, but I am trying to get around to this stuff. Just been a busy week.

Our latest session of Earth 52 was, to be honest, pretty damn fun. I'm diving headfirst into a setting that I really know very little about and we've already run into some memorable characters.

The issue starts with five people, four men and one woman, waking up in what appears to be some kind of facility. After taking a moment to get their bearings, they meet the woman behind their current predicament: Amanda Waller. Despite being unable to remember the last year of their lives, Ms. Waller informs them that they all willingly joined Project: Fallback, with documentation to prove it. Of course, some of the 'team' remained unconvinced.

In the mean time, they are given the Cliff Notes version of what has happened in the past year. The Justice League is gone. Not dead (as far as we know), just gone, and the Justice Society and the Teen Titans have disappeared along with them. Currently the world is in dire need of heroes, with super powered criminals running amok all over the United States, except strangely for Metropolis which remains a bastion of law and order, thanks to Ex-President Luthor. Still, its good to see him staying active after his presidency.

The team also meets Steve Trevor who works for the Bureau for Metahuman Affairs who also does not seem entirely trusting of Amanda Waller. The team is given a few proposed sites to begin their work and they eventually decide that Central City, being the closest to their current location of Belle Reve Penitentiary, or rather a base built onto what once was Belle Reve before Bizarro destroyed it and freed all of its imprisoned supervillains.

After 'suiting up', the nameless team heads for Central City by way of inconspicuous limo, only to have it blow up around them. As the heroes crawl from the wrecked vehicle, they find themselves face to face with a team of deadly assassins: Double Dare, Lady Vic, and some assassin guy whose name eludes me (as I said, not very knowledgeable when it comes to DC). Being attacked, the team jumps into action. Wearing only a hospital gown, Marathon, whose only visible power up until this point had been Super Paranoia, flew out of the Limo and began creating force bubbles around people's heads, to strangle them.

Still in the limo, Necromancer made short work of the divider by turning it to ash long enough to pull the driver out to safety, only to be confronted and shot by Lady Vic. Luckily, the 'Casket Jacket' that he made and etched with magical symbols provided some much needed protection from bullets. Fahrenheit joined Marathon in the air, firing heat blasts to slowly wear down the provocatively dressed French acrobats (That Nightwing and his sexy rogues gallery). He got some much needed support from Beorn who had, up to that point, barely spoken more than two words since they'd awoken. Transforming into a BEAR, Beorn grabbed one of the Double Dare twins and gave her a very painful bear hug.

Before long, Marathon dropped the assassin guy, Fahrenheit dealt with Double Dare, and Necromancer defeated Lady Vic, thanks in large part to the scary bear with the claws and the crushing with its arms. However, though the fight appeared to be over, Fahrenheit spotted a figure hiding nearby, perhaps waiting for the team to drop their guard. Before he could attack, the unknown figure revealed himself to be Deathstroke the Terminator. However, despite his legendary status, the team managed to take him down rather quickly. Project: Fallback was proving to be a huge success.

With the villains defeated and taken into custody, our team of intrepid heroes head for Central City to continue the rather dangerous task ahead of them.

By the way, here's an alternate cover for this session:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ghost Hunting

Well, the Earth 52 game is tomorrow and I've been doing a bit of ghost research and the like for my character: The Necromancer. After all that research, I've come to a single conclusion: I hate ghost hunting shows.

Have you ever watched these shows? They're terrible, and yet they stay on the air. I've watched tons of them and they're always the same. Always. You have a bunch of people go into some house or building at night with their stupid night vision cameras, walking around in the dark and then stopping periodically to look surprised or scared and say, "Did you hear that?"

No, I didn't hear it. The reason being that there was nothing to hear. And then at the end they all compile their 'evidence' or lack thereof and assume that the place must really be haunted. I have never seen an episode of one of these shows that had anything even remotely compelling about it.

The reason shows like this annoy me because they are so incredibly boring. I'm not sure who they're supposed to be pandering to. Now, I'm not saying that I'm a skeptic or anything like that. When it comes to the religious and the supernatural, I don't really have a place where I fit. I'm not a believer, but I'm not a doubter, either. Mostly, I'm just a 'don't carer'.

Mood: Annoyed

Music: 'Song Of Imaginary Beings' by IAMX

Quote Of The Day: "A young man leads the fight for spice." - DIRECTV Summary of Dune

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Catching Up

To anyone who reads this blog, sorry I haven't been keeping up. It's been a busy week and I've just been lacking any time to make any posts.

Meanwhile, not too much happening immediately. I've been working on a Magic deck after discovering that Allies, which I used in my last deck, are reviled. This new deck uses some neat cards I had laying around that I thought I had lost: Faeries, Goblins, and Rogues. The first game I used it in, I didn't do half bad, so I'll probably be using it more often now. Hopefully the new cards I spent so much money on will be worth the investment.

Tomorrow is the bi-weekly Dresden Files game, which I will give a run down of either the day after or in several days, depending. And Thursday is the Deathwatch game, where we will be investigating a dead ship drifting in space. I wonder what we'll find. Genestealers? Orks? Chaos Heretics? Tau? Who knows. But whatever it is, I'm sure we will purify it with holy fire in the name of the Immortal God-Emperor of Man!

Currently, I'm also attempting to start up an Eclipse Phase campaign with.. less than favorable results. Still, I'm sure I'll eventually find something that people are interested in playing. Maybe I'll get back to work on the Spellbreaker Campaign Setting I've been designing.

Mood: Hungry

Music: 'Psycho' by System Of A Down

Quote Of The Day: “Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.” - George Carlin