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Awesome Cosplay of the Day: 9/1/14

Welcome to September! This is my favorite month of the year. What? You thought that was July…because July is the seventh month? Um, well, yes it is, but it wasn’t the original seventh month, and I’m all about originality (ha!). September is SEPTember. See the prefix? Seven. That’s really not why it’s my favorite month of the year, but it is a nice bonus. I’ve romanticized summer’s end in a similar vein to how I’ve romanticized winter. This month also is the herald for my favorite times of the year: Halloween and Christmas (I LOVE me some Christmas. I’m kind of a Christmas goth. Look it up. They exist). So for this month I’m going to showcase some cosplays from my second favorite Final Fantasy FFIX.

Today’s is Beatrix, the kick ass general of the Alexandrian army. I liked that FFIX flipped the script with the women being the military power in the realm, and Beatrix is not someone you would ever want to fuck with. Portrayed by this lovely lady at Anime Expo 2006

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Justice League and Avengers--United

Spandex and Capes Issue #8

Pull List 08-27-14

 “I think I’ve already done the ice water challenge.” – S. Rogers

 Greetings and welcome to the Pull List.  If you’re curious about my ranking system (and my bad sense of humor), you can check out my inaugural post here.   This is pretty much everything I read this week as well as some news I found interesting you may have missed this week.

NEWS FROM THE LAST WEEK

Danny Glover – In an awesome move, Disney makes  a fan’s dream come true.
Lois Lane – This is a young adult series for girls I can get behind.  Hell, I might read this.
Sing it With Me Now – Sounds like it could be fun.  But also sounds like every other Avengers story.
Groot-ing – Really?
New Justice League Artist – I like him.
Greatest American Hero – Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to this.  I just hope they keep the song.

REVIEWED BEFORE, BUT NOT ANYMORE

So this section is new and will be used to denote series that I have reviewed before, but either I’ve felt lacked quality or just haven’t held my interest.  This is what I’ve cut from my reading list this week:
Original Sins – Thor & Loki: Just really not worth it.  And kind of stupid.

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Captain Midnight #14: ANTI-HERO.  Well, this was a misstep.  So many plot-holes in this story – or well, maybe not plot holes but coincidences?  The bad guy’s henchman just happens upon Jones without alerting him; the gunfire from the gatling gun doesn’t ignite the fire fumes, but the match does; the hero is dumb enough to think that a brain scan doesn’t involve his death; etc, etc.  It’s a weird and bad misstep from a book that’s been consistently good.   Really disappointed by this.

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All-Star Western #34: HERO.  FINAL ISSUE.  So the tales of Jonah Hex come to end here as he, somewhat ironically, sails off into the sunset.  Mr. Gray and Mr. Palmiotti bring his adventures to close and set in motion the “fate” Jonah had seen for himself in the future.  It is a very good wrap up to their 100+ issues over the last decade.  I’m sure though we haven’t seen the last of Jonah Hex.  Sometime in the near future I’m sure a new writer will come along and tell a new story with the character, but for now, let’s be satisfied with something we rarely get with comics these days:  A happy ending.

Aquaman #34: SIDEKICK.  It’s Aquaman versus… who the hell is this again?  While I think the character could be interesting, I honestly can’t remember his name or what his power set is.  Also did they ever explain why his telepathy superseded Aquaman’s?  I was never quite clear.  I’m kind of disappointed too – after becoming King of Atlantis again, I was hoping that we would get some Game of Thrones intrigue.  This rapidly becoming a generic superhero book.

Batman/Superman #13: HERO.  Jae Lee returns to art duties here to render one of the most fun Batman/Superman stories in recent history.  The idea of Superman and Batman being without their memories brings up the whole nature/nurture debates as Bruce almost immediately dives into the playboy/night time adventurer role and Clark immediately leaps to help the first person he comes across.  It’s interesting to watch as they both try to fit into new and unfamiliar roles.  It also shows what Greg Pak thinks each would be without their memories.  Bruce is happier, glib, vain, and excited without his memories.  Clark still wants to help, feels invulnerable even before he gets a whiff of his own powers, and seems to be the quintessential farmer, even a little gullible.  I am wondering where he costume went though and why Batman’s didn’t go as well.

Batman ‘66 Meets the Green Hornet #8: ANTI-HERO.  Like I said before, this book is going on way too long.  And the fight that was promised last issue?  Never happens as everyone pulls out gadgets (I had forgotten about the Bat-Shield) and tries to out science each other.  The fight is then broken up by the actual robbery as Joker and General Gumm somehow slipped in without anyone seeing them.  The Dynamic Duo then fall for the oldest trick in the book.  Seriously.  And I think we have four more issues left.  Sigh.

Batman Eternal #21: HERO.  So that ending came out of left field.  Batman chases down Falcone just as he’s forced to leave the country (again).  Falcone reveals that everything has been planned even before he got here.  Hush makes a somewhat surprise appearance, attacking and apparently crippling Alfred.  With the last of his strength, Alfred tells his daughter about the clock to the cave.  The end of the book has Jason Bard releasing Scott Snyder’s old baddy the Architect from prison and destroying the evidence that would clear Gordon.  I’m really enjoying this story and can’t wait to see where it goes before the end.

Batman Beyond 2.0 #31: SIDEKICK.  I kind of wanted more out of the ending.  This wraps up the one year ago storyline by having Terry call his partnership with Bruce a “bad situation”.  But he does so in such a calm and collected way that I’m not sure why he harbors the angry he had at the beginning of this series.  It’s a strange disconnect.  And I honestly would have liked Bruce to stand up for himself.  I would have rather there have been a fight to end the relationship rather than a one sided discussion.

The Flash #34:  HERO.  Barry finally admits that something is wrong with the speed force as he defeats the Mash-Up Killer.  And what’s great about the Mash-Up Killer is that it all made sense.  The motives were solid and even Seaborn’s reasoning behind starting everything made sense.  Daniel West makes an appearance to set Wally on the straight and narrow.  The last few pages even explain what the Blue Flash and our Flash, clash for the last time in five years.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #16: HERO.  He-Man and Adora find themselves on the island of the Gar.  And for some reason, despite being the race of Skeletor, He-Man instantly trusts them and drinks their wine.  If you didn’t see the end coming, you need to read more comics.  The last page though was very surprising as the future She-Ra delivers a cutting argument to her brother.

Injustice – Gods Among Us Year Two: HERO.  Superman is getting his ass kicked.  Though the Lanterns on both sides seem to go down like Stormtroopers and Red Shirts.  Canary goes right for the kill, hitting Superman with her Sonic Scream.  The best scene is when Ganthet tells Sinestro that he is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  It was very well done.

New 52 – Futures End #17: HERO.  God damn it.  I was so close to getting out and in one word, they pulled me in.  The idea that Billy Batson is Superman at the moment makes so much sense for the character.  And now I have a ton of questions – where did the suit come from?  Has Billy gotten better with his powers?  Where has Superman actually been?  And what does Constantine have to do with both of them?  In other storylines, the new Green Arrow and Big Barda are heading for Cadmus to free the now mind controlled Earth 2 refugees and the mind controlled Cole.  I’m not sure why Cole is controlled, but as the series heads into the Five Year Jump, it does so with a good book.

Red Lanterns #34: SIDEKICK.  The war with Atrocitus wraps up quickly in this book and I feel a little cheated.  I would have liked another issue to have a really good fight between Guy and Atrocitus.  Instead, we get a quick wrap up and Guy masters blood magic for a split second.  The ending is interesting as I think wonder who the comic will be following after the five year jump: Guy or the Red Lanterns?

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #3: HERO.  Most of this story is really rather generic.  Wonder Woman fights Circe in a pretty badly laid out battle.  I mean really there’s no perspective as to where anyone is during all this, so it’s like two kids playing with action figures at points.  The really good part comes at the end of the book, where Wonder Woman confronts a group of boys, one of whom thinks Wonder Woman is the best superhero.  The others tease him about it until Wonder Woman shows up, announcing that anyone can be anyone’s favorite person..  I can’t be sure, but I think that the who likes Wonder Woman is named “Fans” while the four teasing him are named Warner Brothers, Marvel, Disney, and Sony.  I could be reading too much into it though.

Sinestro #5: HERO.  I believe the morale of this story kids is that Sinestro is a badass and you shouldn’t mess with him.  At least that’s what I got out of it.  I will say at some point, they should define what the Sinestro Corps mission is beyond “do whatever Sinestro says”.  Also they answer what happened to Parallax, though now my questions is why he doesn’t use this power more?

Smallville – Continuity #1: SIDEKICK.  Season 11 continues with what I think is a meta-commentary on the DC’s rebooting tendencies as the heroes of the Smallville Universe try to stop the Monitors from rebooting their world.  I have to wonder what Protocol Seven is, though I spent it’s Brainiac Five bringing the legion to the past.  The art leaves a little be desired as I thought Brainiac Five was Cosmic Boy until the named him.  This was a good book, but it didn’t feel as good as the last arc.

Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #2: HERO.  This book is a lot better than I thought it was going to be.  I really hope people start picking it up.  We get all types of action here – spy, zombie, military.  I want to know about Agent Kabe and I suspect that bombs makes more zombies.  We also get some shades of Captain America as Kabe rides the bomb like a mad cowboy.  It also had some great humor in as Kabe takes on the compound of bad guys.

Superman #34: HERO.  I really miss the Kents and this issue really drives it home as Ulysses talks with his parents.  I can only hope that part of Johns’ endgame is to return one of the two to life, if not both.  The book highlights the differences between Superman and Ulysses.  And the first is that Ulysses doesn’t seem to mind killing someone to get the job done as proven twice in this book.  I was surprised that Superman handled Ulysses so easily while he was mind controlled.  I didn’t expect that.  I’m also wondering who the man in the beginning is and who he has locked behind those doors.

 

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Flash Gordon #5: SIDEKICK.  After an impressive first arc, Flash Gordon enters its second arc and it starts out ok.  The team gets caught in a travelogue before making it quickly to Skyworld, home of the Skyrens and the Hawkmen (I think DC might have an issue with this).  A lot happens in this issue, but the first ten pages of the book don’t seem important.  The events may have relevance later, but at the moment it just seems like it was filler.

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Ghostbusters #19: HERO.  This series continues to impress as Mass Hysteria reaches its penultimate chapter.  Ray is possessed by two class seven entities (FANTASTIC) as Tiamat and Gozer fight in his mind.  In the end, it looks like Winston will be the one saving the day – though many at the cost of his own life?  The only thing I’m worried about is that the end of says to be concluded and I’m not sure if that’s the story or the series.  I really hope it’s not the series.

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All-New X-Men #31: SIDEKICK.  The All-New, time lost X-Men become the All-New, time lost, dimension lost X-Men as Mr. Bendis takes them on a trip to the Ultimate Universe.  It’s a good story, but it takes almost the whole issue to get where it’s going.  Which is not unusually given Mr. Bendis’s uncompressed style, however, it’s disappointing, since its been advertised for almost two months and the last page comes as no surprise.  I think they needed to get the original X-Men off the table with Axis coming and they figured this is the way to do it.  I just hope that this comes to a satisfying end sooner rather than a drawn out ending later.

Amazing Spider-Man #1.4: ANTI-HERO.  This is slowly descending into stupidity.  Mr. Slott is trying to “update” Spider-Man’s origin without changing anything, just adding new stuff.  You can’t expect me to believe that Clash is looking for stuff on youtube and twitter, when everyone is still dressing and acting like it’s the 1960s.  Then to top it all off, the reader is expected to believe that not ONE person who Peter has been close with (his aunt, his friends, his teachers) will listen to an explanation.  Instead everyone condemns and rather quickly.  It’s just now a good book.

Avengers #34:  VILLAIN.  No, no, no, no.  I so sick to death of this fucking storyline.  I am tired of Marvel’s heroes flirting with being villains.  It made for an interesting story the first time.  On the 100th time, this is what we call beating a dead horse.  Especially since, it’s the same players over and over again.  Look Tony is the villain.  Just like in Civil War, Secret Invasion, the Illuminati, and even Avengers: The Crossing.  They even go as far as to call Tony a Monster… Twice.  And look, Captain America is the unthinking thug that knows he’s right because as a soldier he has this thing against taking a life except in war.  Which it could be argued he’s been in since he fucking woke up.  Now we’ll jump forward eight months where the Illuminati is on the run, except when they’re setting up shop at the Jean Gray School for the Gifted or San Francisco.  This bullshit has actually got me looking forward to AXIS, which I think is going to be worse than Secret Invasion.

Avengers Undercover #9: HERO.  Some really good moments here, though a bit rushed.  And Zemo’s plan was actually really good.  Skip fighting the heroes and just take on S.H.I.E.L.D. since we all know that those agents all have glass jaws and can be taken out easier than taking candy from a baby.  Deathlocket goes full dark side which is unexpected and makes sense all at the same time.  While I know the heroes are going to win, I kind of wish that Zemo would get away with this since it’s such a cool plan.

Cyclops #4: ANTI-HERO.  Oh, no – one of the heroes of this story is running out of the drug that keeps them alive.  The suspense of whether or not, Corsair will live is… boring me to tears.  I mean seriously, if we assume that Scott grabs the tracker on the same day that Corsair takes his fourth shot, that means they’ve been on this planet for 12 days before they try to escape.  And that it takes them another nine to check the spaceship for parts.  They couldn’t have done all this on day two?  There’s no suspense here – we already know that neither of them will die and the commentary on older Scott is just stupid.  If Corsair felt that way, why is he telling young Scott instead of “old” Scott?  Also, Scott didn’t get the way he is because he let anger replace hope, he got the way he is because Scarlet Witch made his species endangered with three words (but was forgiven), the Avengers tried to take away his only hope for his people (which they turned out to be wrong about), and he was POSSESSED BY THE PHOENIX FORCE (for which he is pretty much the only character not forgiven for that).  I really hope Scott gets to show these people that he’s better than they are.

Fantastic Four #9: ANTI-HERO.  And the slide of the Fantastic Four continues as Reed meets the villain of this piece (really, how many “friendly” super genius are there in the Marvel Universe that are willing to fund Reed Richards?).  Thing meets She-Thing in prison (with no idea as to why she’s there).  Sue is barely in the book, I think she gets a phone with Johnny who’s depressed because he figured out that he was only popular when he had powers.  (Duh?)  I mean really this is getting kind of stupid – even S.H.I.E.L.D. has figured out this is a take down scheme.  How obvious must it be to everyone else?

Silver Surfer #5:  HERO.  This is Dawn’s “Rose”.  It was a good story and explained all of the weird flashes from the last issue.  It also helped define the relationship forming between Surfer and Dawn.  I just hope it’s not love, I would rather see “Donna and the Doctor” than “Rose and Doctor”.  But that’s just me.  I also liked that while Dawn could lead them to their destination, Surfer solved the problem.  It was a good way to give them both the spotlight.

Uncanny Avengers #23: ANTI-HERO.  God, this series is pretentious and self-indulgent as Mr. Remender undoes years of development for Rogue.  Plus the Wasp and Havok, in what is the weirdest pairing ever and probably the shortest as someone will most likely undo once Mr. Remender leaves the title.  We also get a lead into Axis, as the Red Skull does his best Professor X impression.  I’m guessing the “S” doesn’t stand for hope in this series, but I can’t seem to remember what it does stand for.

Wolverine #12: SIDEKICK.  If you were expecting Wolverine to die here, you don’t know Marvel.  Why kill him in his own series when you can milk this for all the money it’s worth?  Also Wolverine apparently defeats Sabertooth by getting the shit kicked out of him.  It was a strange end with an even weirder epilogue/What If…  I didn’t quite get what that had to do with anything.  But next month: Wolverine dies!  (Again!)

Wolverine and the X-Men #8: SIDEKICK.  Wolverine and Storm do their best Superman and Wonder Woman as they live a lifetime in a pocket world.  The only difference is they give into temptation whereas Superman had Lios Lane.  This was a good-bye issue for Storm and Wolverine despite the fact that neither know Logan is about to die.  Sigh.  Not a bad book, just boring.

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Letter 44: HERO.  Well, destroying a moon is one way to lose weight.  I would like to see more about the aliens, but otherwise I had no bones about this series.  The players are getting into place and it looks like with the destruction of the moon, the world is about to find out what’s been going on.  I like how the former President is miffed that the new guy is taking credit for everything he invented.  And I think he’s talking to Germany’s Prime Minister, but I’m not sure.  That could make things interesting.

 

AMVRoundupses

AMV Roundup! Various Anime- Walking on Sunshine

Walking on Sunshine is always a bouncy upbeat song, so it’s not surprising that they chose similar anime to go along with it. (Although, imagining Attack of Titans set to Walking on Sunshine is morbidly hilarious) They use an array of different anime including something from Ghibli and several I’m not familiar with, but my favorite choice was the Cardcaptor Sakura additions. They fit in perfectly. Enjoy the great timing and the fast edits of this awesome AMV!

Walkin on sunshine, yeaaah!

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Dark Repulser: A Sword Art Online Build

So to continue on with the Sword Art Online builds that I’ve been doing in my spare time I finished Dark Repulser, the companion sword to Elucidator.

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I used the same construction method as with Elucidator.  Laminated Aspen plywood but for the diamond center piece I used hobby clay.  For the grip a spray rubberized coating was used.  As for tools I have gotten an angle grinder with a flap disk, mainly because they didn’t have a band file in stock while I was shopping.

For the full album click on the picture!

AMVRoundupses

AMV Roundup! Black Cat- If I Could Rewind

I sifted through a couple AMVs before stumbling on a decent Black Cat one. Even though this show went under the radar for the most part, I still really enjoyed it. The dark vibe to it appealed to me a lot and plus, I’m a sucker for slick, gritty shows. I loved the concept of Black Cat and I thought Train was an interesting character. I dug the fade to black flashes throughout the AMV, since I think it helped emphasize the seriousness of the vid. Altogether, well done.

Love me some Black Cat!

booktalk

August’s Book of the Month Review: Maze Runner

So, this is the first book on the lineup for the Caffeine Crew Book Club!

August’s Book: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Rating: 3/5 stars

Would I reread? Nah. While the book wasn’t terrible, the pacing had a lot of issues, particularly around the beginning and end. I also tend to read books for the characters and this was more plot/world focused than character driven.

Would I continue the series? Nope. Even though there are two more books in the series and the end of the Maze Runner left it on an intrigue note, I just didn’t care enough about the characters to keep going.

Spoilers ahead….

Continue reading

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