Here's what I'm reading:
The Dreamland Chronicles This is a great story done in 3D rendering. It follows two college-age brothers, one of which can enter Dreamland, a place normally only children can go when asleep. Very Arthurian, with elves, dwarves and rock giants. My must read. Updates Mon-Fri (usually).
Wayward Sons This one is newer, a sci-fi take on the Egyptian and Greek gods and goddesses. I like this one, too. Updates Mon-Friday with bonus matierials on the weekends.
Issue three is out... and I think this continues to be a great D&D comic. The story arc is moving in a direction similar to a campaign arc... one thing leading to antoher thing, leading somewhere that wasn't initially thought of, with fights, traps, and character banter galore.
I've enjoyed several of the previous D&D comics over the years (particularly by Kenzer & Co.) but this one feels like reading about a good game.
I only glanced at the Dark Sun mini-series... it seemed good, and I kinda like that they printed it on the non-glossy paper for a change. It makes the desert seem more... arid, maybe?
I actually love this New Avengers, and I've liked it for a while.
I think the best way to really enjoy this current run is to start with either Secret Invasion tie-ins, which leads everyone to Cap's Apartment, then the next important story (for the current arcs) would be the Search for the New Sorcerer Supreme (which was really good), read the short-lived Doctor Voodoo, then read the Heroic Age New Avengers.
Yes, Stephen Strange is hitting bottom, and his friends are there for him. I love the new art work associated with magic, and I hope to see New Avengers become the leader for these kinds of stories.
I've also enjoyed the "saga of Parker Robbins" which spreads out from the Search for the New Sorcerer Supreme (New Avengers) to Seige, and now to the Avengers. I wasn't a big fan of the art direction of Avengers, but the first two stories seem to be solid. Plus... The Infinity Gems are being gathered!
And now the 1st issue is on the stands!
I really enjoyed the story. It's a bit of kitsch, a bit of humor, and a bunch of hack-n-slash, with a twist to boot!
All in all, pretty much what I wanted from a D&D comic book.
My favorite lines came from the Elf, Varis to the Dwarf, Khal:
Amazing how everything good is Dwarven work. "This sword be flawless with magnificent detail. Dwarven work."
"These pastries be fluffy and filled with delicious custard. Dwarven work."
Go pick this one up!
Like Freehold DM said in his post... the IDW D&D preview is out, and for only $1. There are a few incentive covers, to boot.
As promised, the first half of the preview introduces the adventuring party, which includes them finding a wizard to join the group. Not quite "You look trustworthy... would you like to joing our party?" but still pretty close. ;)
The artwork was pretty good, and it included some iconic D&D imagery from the AD&D player's handbook. It looks like it could be really good. I'll give it a few issues to add to my other D&D comics I've collected over the years from Kenzer & Company.
The Dark Sun story looks like it will be a mini-series, and the little tease we got kicks the story off pretty well. Looks to have some political intrigue thrown in with the action.
But go and pick it up! You can't go wrong for a dollar!
There is also this article at wizards.com, and a page and a half article in the back of IDW's G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #156. (Which, by the way, is a "new" G.I. Joe book that starts where the last issue of Marvel's run ended in 1994 with issue #155.)
Here's an excerpt:
"IDWords: Dungeons & Dragons has been around in one form or another for more than 35 years. Where to you start?
Denton J. Tipton: That was the big question. The options are virtually limitless with the numberous settings and combinations that D&D offers. But we wanted our comics to be two things above all else: accessible and fresh. To that end, the Dungeons & Dragons series makes its home in the "core" world described in the current game manuals. The Fallcrest describe in the Dungeon Master's Guide is the same as in the pages of our comics, and the same as in upcoming novels by Bill Slavicsek and Alex Irvine. But everything starts in Dungeons & Dragons #0.
IDWords: Right, the one-dollar introductary issue. Tell us what that entails.
Tipton: We've jammed as mucs as we could go into these 24 pages. First we'll have a 10-page story that introduces our cast for the Dungeons & Dragons series, which debuts in November. Then a six-page story sets in motion the events of our Dark Sun miniseries, launching January 2011. The rest of the #0 issue is filled with backup material that give you a behind-the-scenes view of how these series came together, as well as content that can be plugged right into your D&D campaign at home. This will be a regular feature of our comics, as we want them to be the best value for your hard-earned dollar. But our biggest investment was made in the creative teams."
I haven't looked too much at Gotham City Sirens, but the first three issues of Birds of Prey looked outstanding.
Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately for the sake of my relationship with my wife and my bank account) I keep a comic book budget, which I maxed out recently, and I can't pick up Birds of Prey without dropping off something else.
I just finished reading Zatanna #3, and it is the conclusion of the first story arc. So, the first arc is a bit short... but it set the stage well for (hopefully) a long run.
Issue #1 started with a police detective approaching Zatanna after a show and enlisting her help at a crime scene; issue #2 Zatanna does some magic work, and phones in updates to the detective; issue #3 concluded the short story line, with a panel showing the detective filing a case file.
Like I've said above, I was hoping for a Dresden Files-like feel to the series, and I think we might get it. Though the story was short (compared to the more common 5- or 6-part story arc), the art was great, the writing was sharp, and an initial "feel" to the comic is coming through.
I would have liked a longer story, more direct involvement from the detective, and more magic being thrown around (have you read the first two issues of New Avengers?!?), and I think we would have had more of everything with a longer story.
I really want this series to be great... and I'm looking forward to the next story arc, and the possiblity to get an issue signed by the artist at Baltimore Comic Con next month!
My problem with these books/movies is that it seems that the author put all sorts of work into the backstories of all of the characters...except the two main ones.
I know what you're saying, and it sticks out even more in the movies than in the books. I think that the supporting cast (and their characters) saved the first movie, as the two main character were just so incredible bland and boring: a girl that seems to not like being around people, and a vanpire that doesn't like himself.
All of the other high school students were perfect in their parts, the men that play Charlie and Billy Black were outstanding (I think that Charlie is the perfect movie dad EVER, me being a dad with daughters), and all of the other vampires were just so interesting that Edward and Bella just paled in comparison.
Eclipse was the best by far, finally making sense of Jasper (who just looked awkward in the first two movies) and showing what a war veteran vampire can do. Too cool.
I really like the Dresden Files, and I like how they've been treated in comics, too. The imagery created in the books translate well to the comic book medium, and Paul Dini takes full advantage of both worlds.
I don't know if the series will continue with Zatanna working along side with Dale Colton (the detective) but I hope so.
Ditto on not making changes to Zatanna or her powers.
I haven't bought a lot of DC titles in recent years, but when I saw a preview, with Zatanna working with a police detective, I immediately drew comparisons to the Dresden Files series and bought the first issues with high expectations.
So far... I love this comic! The next one comes out this week, and I can't wait!
Paul Watson wrote:
Good points (and I often think the same thing about many superhero battles), but I offer the following:
Seige #4 Spoilers:
One theory: Bob Reynolds didn't want the Void to win, and, arguably (especially in the final kill shot) was mentally struggling to gain control. In essence, he allowed himself to be killed, but with the end of Fallen Sun, it seems that his return is likely.
But the whole indestructible until hit one more time thing happens all over the place, like Superman and even more with Spider-Man, Wolverine or the Hulk.
I love all the initial Siege stories and tie-ins. It has already gone in directions I wasn't anticipating, and I'me excited to see how this all plays out.
I think the next big event (and you know they have it planned) will be Sentry-centric and involve his putting down so to say.
Hmm. I kinda see Siege as being Sentry-centric (or at least centrique-esque) and I won't be surprised if Siege answers the "Sentry problem" by itself. Maybe he'll go back into seclusion.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Ah, come on! It's just one movie!
There's a lot to like about the Three Disney-teers:
1: Rochefort. Isn't that a smelly kind of cheese?
Remakes that I think are better than the original (or prior attempts):
The Thomas Crown Affair (with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo)
That's five I can think of off the top of my head. I picked the 1993 Musketeers over the others with the noted performance of Tim Curry.
Just started Jim Butcher's Turn Coat (Dresden Files).
Soon I Will Be Invincible. Cool super hero book.
I saw them together in San Antonio Texas back in 1994. They were both fantastic. Possibly the best use of money I've ever spent to see a concert.
Though Wynton Marsalis was super cool. And Eddie Van Halen totally wailed at UNLV. And Sting's great no matter how big his tour band has been. And Lyle Lovett is surprisingly low-key cool in concert (and I was at the San Antonio concert they used for their Live in Texas album).
But, yeah. Billy Joel. Elton John. Two cool.
I think that Dr. Who benefitted from four great recent seasons. If not for David Tennet and Christopher Eccleston, the show might only be at #10, knocking V into a lower bracket.
Myself, I wouldn't have included V at all. Of course, this if the mini-series V, not the television series.
I'll think about my own top 10. It would have been easier if I hadn't read that article first. I really like most of those shows, and only a few I've never seen, though heard of.
Wizard Magazine named The 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Ever! (click link to read on line)
I have to say that I like the list, but I'm disappointed that Stargate SG-1 didn't make the cut. The magazine cited that it basically went on too long and that two spin offs make Stargate a poor choice.
I can't agree with that logic. X-Files (#8 on the list) went at least one season too long, and two Star Trek shows made the list.
I don't think I would put V over Stargate, and I would have easily taken Night Gallery off the list, which I always saw as more of a horror show, anyways.
Oh well. I'm still a Stargate fan, and it brought my wife into Sci-Fi as well. She just suggested last night that we begin all 10 seasons over again, now that the summer's coming up, it'll give us something to watch.
Sean broke it down correctly. It takes two consecutive saves to cure disease. (Though I thought it was three, and that's how I ran it for my healers.)
This changes the dynamic as presented from 72 a day to 72/2 days (or 3 days if you want three saves). 72/2 days being treated while hundreds more being infected each day... some of them on purpose, mind you.
And treating that many people in a day requires help and supplies. You don't just walk in and roll a die. That's fine for a once-in-a-while check, but if you're treating hundreds of patients a week, you need to consider the cost of the herbs, sterile bangades, etc. as more than the neglible cost of doing one heal check per week. Add the cost of healers kits, if used.
My clerics and alchemists handled the situation in a superb manner. They went above and beyond, treating people, creating alchemical cleansers, and ultimately creating a cure, becoming heroes of the city.
It was a great piece of the AP.
I've been re-reading some older Marvel storylines, and I came across this gem in Captain America #400, page 8, part of Operation: Galactic Storm.
Iron Man had left Cap back on the Kree world Hala, possibly to his doom, and defends his position to the rest of the Avengers by saying:
"Cap was getting out of tight scrapes before you were born. He'll manage. I'd be willing to bet Tony Stark's fortune on it."
Then thinks to himself:
"Am I just whistling in the dark? Can Cap survice everything the Kree may throw at him? Will the blood of one of the greatest heroes the human race's ever brought forth be on my conscience...?"
Gotta love the moment.
Damn you Tony! (...for being right.)
There is a cleric of Sarenrae in my group. He took the library of books about diseases from Rolth's lair in Edge of Anarchy. I handed him the pages about disease from Seven Days to the Grave (edited out the part about Vorel's Phage and the assasins) and he spent time between adventures to study up on them.
He did preliminary studies on blood veil and was stumped, other than that it was spread by contact.
The party wizard and bard then worked some alchemy skills to create a cleansing agent to be used by the temples and businesses to clean all the money they get in and give out.
The disease was quickly getting under control, but little pockets of infections kept popping up because the Queen's Physicians were spreading the disease with their "poking sticks."
It all ended with the raid on the hospice, but the works of the "PC Doctors" was too effective for the disease to continue spreading on its own. It quickly became apparent that the disease was being spread intentionally, and the group took action against the hospice.
It was a Looooooooong battle, but ultimately pretty cool.
My group is led by a cleric of Sarenrae, who offers "the bad guys" a chance to redeem themselves before entering in combat. Even then, he tries not to kill anyone, if he doesn't have to (and he never *has* to). He also sees his mission to redeem as many people as possible, and tries to make as many contacts with the NPCs as the AP goes along.
So when the party met Devargo Barvasi, he made sure to leave with the encounter with a contact, if not a potential ally, regardless of alignment, deeds, etc., believing that further contact would only help redeem Devargo later on.
Of course, as written, Devargo dies shortly after the quarentine of Old Korvosa; Devargo closes his docks and is killed by his ettercap ally. I didn't particularly like that ending for him, and that he wasn't around to put up a fight against Pilts Swastel as he sets up his Empire.
Now, my group just finished searching the Direption and decided to take the dead body to Old Korvosa, specifically to Orisini's place, to question the body. They came on shore unnoticed (using water breathing to bypass the patrols) near Eel's End. They quickly noticed the change of Old Korvosa, empty streets, empty Eel's End, and instead of going towards Orisini's place, they stop by to see Devargo to see what's going on.
So, they enter Devargo's throne room, which now is covered in webs like the hold below, and occupied by ettercaps, large and medium monstrous spiders, and a spider swarm, with five "cocoons" hanging from the ceiling in the back of the room.
They fought off the monsters, and rescued Devargo from one of the cocoons (0 Str, 5 hp). After healing him up, and letting Devargo know about the Queen's Physicians, Devargo now owes the PCs big time.
I'm looking forward to Escape from Old Korvosa, to see what the PCs will request of Devargo to potentially liberate the city from oppression, murder and fear.
I must have missed some xp that I didn't include at some point. I'm going to go back through the first two modules and see if I can find out what I missed.
I always give out xp at the end of a session (unless they're close to leveling up at the begining of the game), and sometimes we break the game late... it's possible I didn't award a session or two's worth of xp.
That's what it seems like to me right now.
I've been running CotCT for a few months, and my group of 4 PCs, having finished everything else in the adventure, is about to storm the hospice, but they've only just made 5th level. Escape from Old Korvosa says it's an adventure for 8th level characters... so is my group falling behind?
They've hit every encounter in the first two adventures, and even had a little more, and they'll hit sixth by the end of Seven Days, so what am I missing?
Have other groups ran into this problem?
I've heard that someone will set up WWDDGD here in Seoul, Korea, but I haven't volunteered yet. I've run events in all but one of the events so far (when I was in Iraq), but this year I'm not sure if I'll run a table.
My group didn't switch to 4e like I thought we would (I'm running a 3.5 CotCT campaign), so I'm not really up on the 4th edition rules. I'm familiar enough to run a short game like the ones they have at game days, I suppose, but I'd feel a lot better if I had been running a 4e game for a few months.
On the other hand, it might be fun for me to just show up and play for a change.
I was (and am not) happy at all that Marvel killed off Steve Rogers. I've been following Captain America for decades, and then... what?
But, BuckyCap is an incredible character. As a fan, I wouldn't want any other person (if it couldn't be Steve) to take up the Captain America persona. I am in awe of the new character and the stories so far.
Equally, the Marvel superheroes have instantly accepted Bucky as the rightful heir to the mantle. I love the dialogue in New Avengers 48:
Spider-Man: This--This is Captain America's house?
*The final battle of Secret Invasion.
I love the under-played acceptance of Bucky and their immediate acceptance to follow him, even though Bucky himself has his issues to deal with.
Mac Boyce wrote:
Any bets on whether we'll see Thor vs Sentry in the near future??
Well, with the thrashing that Thor gave Iron Patriot and the "Avengers" I figure he might try to sic his big gun on Thor.
All in all, I don't see the Dark Avengers lasting long. They immediately ticked off the "real" Avengers, and set Thor off at a glance.
I think a Sentry/Thor fight might be one of those things that helps Bob see what side he's on. He stayed out of WWHulk until the very end, stayed out of Secret Invasion too long, and probably feels that he needs to be doing some good. When you end up fighting Thor, you gotta wonder what side you're on.
All in all, this ain't gonna help his psyche one bit.
There certainly is room for a lot of role-play with Dr. Davaulus. If the PCs manage to meet with Davaulus to ask questions, he certainly should be ready to explain away some inciminating evidence.
PCs: We found the wreckage of the plague ship Direption, and the documents show that you are the owner of the ship.
Davaulus: Yes, and I also own two other ships that I use to study diseases that are too deadly to study in a city. Taking my research out to the water limits contact with anyone not trained to properly handle such volitile substances.
PCs: We found a plague rat and tainted coins... just like the ones in the city.
Davaulus: Yes. I found that using coins was the most effective way of studying the growth of this disease without resorting to the unethical threatment of animals.
PCs: We found the body of one of the Queen's Physicians in the wreckage... he was a cultist of Urgathoa!
Davaulus: Yes, I employ many from the followers of Urgathoa. They tend to have a great respect for the research, and they are somewhat religious to their duties, if I can say so. You may find that many of the Queen's Pysicians in the city are also followers of Urgathoa.
PCs: We spoke with his corpse... he said that he was in league with the Red Mantis assassins to purposefully spread this disease.
Davaulus: That is grave news! And yet, I feel a little comforted. I have been tormenting myself over the spread of this disease, thinking that I was at fault. Now I know that I have been used... a pawn in their nefarious plan.
That's just a few conversations I "imagined" my players could have with Davaulus, especially if they confronted him early in the adventure.
You can have Davaulus admit to knowing a man he suspected to having ties with the Red Mantis assasins, a man named Rolth. Then you can have him set up an ambush for the PCs to run into, with Rolth and some back-ups.
After some more investigation, though, all signs should lead them back to Davaulus. Hopefully the PCs will eventually go through the Hospice and find all that lies within.
We finished the Blackjack scene... and it went really well. My players participated in the event, but that was because of how they handled the Trinia encounter.
My group found Trinia, and were convinced that she was framed. The didn't want to turn her over to the city guard, so they took her to their only real contact they could trust: Vencarlo Orisini.
After a few days of city violence, Croft convinced Sabina to announce that the fugitive had been captured, to try to curb the violence, and allow the city guard to continue their search unimpeded by riots.
The announcement worked. It worked so well, that the queen decided to announce the execution of the criminal.
So, the players knew that the queen was going to execute an innocent, and made plans to try to help "Trinia" escaspe.
The party fighter has a hat of disguise. He disguised himself as Sabina, jumped up on the executioner's platform just after the Queen's speech. All the guards started toward them, when Blackjack appeared, finished the scene, then escaped into the crowd, with both Trinias, with some other contacts immediately throwing blankets and whatnot over them to help them get away (a la Stargate) and some other contacts (via Devargo Barvasi) made enough of a commotion to allow everyone to escape.
Orisini was so happy to see the PCs take an active stance to help Trinia (twice), that he revealed himself to the group, and said he would call for them in a couple of days with a favor.
So, it went really well, but our experience was definately more than a cut scene.
My group was already suspicious of the Queen, but they're still unsure of the Queen's motives. It's evident that she is at best a person willing to sacrifice an innocent "for the better good of the city" (because her motives might be to try to stabalize the city) and at worst an out-right evil dictator ready to get the city under her thumb.
Of course... there's also the truth. ;)
Big Jake wrote:
Bring on the Colts! We'll send them home just like last year!
I know I said it, but it was really just hopeful boasting.
I didn't actually get to see any of the game. We don't have a TV where I work, so we just checked the score every 30 minutes or so.
Well, I guess I get another week of hoping. :)
Yeah... I feel your pain.
I was in Saudi Arabia in January 1995 when the Chargers suffered the largest defeat in Super Bowl history... to the 49'ers.
No one (except us fans... it's the dellusions!) expected the Chargers to have a chance, but it still hurt a little to see them get blown out... and at 2 a.m. on a workday, at that.
Still... the Colts/Chargers could go either way. I saw someone called the Chargers the "scariest 8-8 team in history" or something like that.
It should be a really good game.