Friday, February 27, 2015

They Ride the Short Bus to Games

Some weeks, things just don't work out, even with the "superstars" on your roster.  If I had to take one lesson away from this season of Fantasy Football, it would be that, that and you can make a joke out of pretty much anything.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #2

                When last we saw our heroes, Cap had just retrieved a piece of fabric with a Red Skull on it (re-cue ominous music).  Before we pick that storyline back up, we need to have our customary flashback/superhero origin retelling.  This issue showcases the Fantastic Four.  After a quick retelling of the origin of Marvel’s First Family, we get back to the action.  Of course the “action” in this instance is a brownstone in New York City, which happens to be the home to Ben Grimm and his wife Alicia Masters (you know her, the same blind girl that was in love with the Thing forever).  Honestly, with all of the bleakness that makes up this series, it’s nice to see somewhat of a happy ending for someone.

                It’s here that the Inhumans find themselves.  And if you thought the Inhuman royal family knocking on Ben Grimm’s door like they were coming over for dinner sounds’re right.  You know what else is weird?  The fact that Thing and Alicia have two kids, named Buzz and Chuck, that look just like Ben.  I don’t know if I really understand that just yet, but okay, I’m willing to suspend disbelief for the moment, this is a comic book after all. 

                The main reason that the inhumans have come back to Earth, and specifically, New York City is because it is time for the royal wedding. Luna, daughter of Inhuman Crystal and Mutant Douchebag Quicksilver is to marry Medusa and Black Bolt’s son.  A little more info comes out that apparently, something happened that gave everyone powers.  The power that Alicia got was apparently to give life to the clay sculptures she created. 

                While we’re on the topic of origin stories and history, Ben goes into the story of the dissolution of the Fantastic Four.  Apparently a fight with Doctor Doom and Namor turned deadly as The Human Torch attacked Namor, who was once again pissed about how humanity treated the oceans (seriously, that guy was a prius away from being a hipster douchebag), and Namor retaliated by murdering the shit out of him right in front of Franklin Richards (who was a kid!)  Franklin was not just a kid, but a kid with reality-warping powers.  He used these powers to set half of Namor on fire, which forced Namor back into the ocean.  Even though it was a different Human Torch, it was interesting that what looks to be the beginning of the end for the current Marvel Universe revolved around a fight between Namor and the Human Torch, just like the beginning of the Marvel Universe revolved around a similar throwdown decades ago.  Sue Storm then does her best Bucky impression, jumping on Doom’s helicopter as it pulls away, only to blow up with it.

                Well, that’s three of the four, you say, what happened to Mr. Fantastic himself?  Well, he became super emo and moved to Latveria, donning Dr. Doom’s armor and moping around his castle.  He then gets a video call from Tony Stark, who looks a lot like Reed, but with a bald patch on his head.  All old smart guys look like Santa Claus I guess? 

                We quickly look in on Cap and Redwing as they are searching through the SHIELD Helicarrier.  Leon does a great job of using the light from the screens in the downed Helicarrier (it landed on its side) light up Cap and Redwing from below (the art is really well done in this, that’ll become a theme).  Cap reveals that he has the keys to Nick Fury’s car and then they fly off in a vehicle that looks like something out of a Lego playset.  They are heading to the west coast to track down the Red Skull, who at this point is just an insignia.

                Now, either back in New York or in Los Angeles, I’m not sure which, we meet Daredevil.  He is not the Daredevil we know and love though.  He apparently cannot die so he uses that power to bring entertainment to the unwashed masses.  This happens in a carnival like atmosphere which is quickly broken up by members of the Skull’s gang.  One of them is named Iron Maiden, but is unfortunately not Bruce Dickinson, while the others are, old Sandman, what looks like Sunspot, maybe, some guy that I cannot pinpoint and fat Domino.

                We leave with some exposition about Reed Richards; Mole Man (who is now normal because the mutation of Earth’s population fucked everyone up, oh the irony) and the Skrulls, who are mostly dead.

Next Issue: More Emo Richards?  Do Thelma and Louise, I mean Cap and Redwing make it across the country?  Are there more characters named after 80’s metal bands?  Anthrax? Motorhead? Stryper?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dynamic Duo

This happened many, many times last season, until the last month of the season, that is.   

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Music Review: Nonpoint – The Return

                It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two years since I reviewed Nonpoint’s self-titled album, but the time has passed and Nonpoint has delivered yet again.  If you enjoyed their self-titled album (and if you didn’t, what’s wrong with you?) then you will find that The Return is more of the same without being derivative.

                The album opens with the fast and vicious “Pins and Needles”, a song that would easily fit in on any other Nonpoint album.  It’s sonically and thematically similar to everything else you’ve heard from the band since 1997, but it doesn’t feel stale at all.  They aren’t really breaking new ground, but they sure as shit are making sure the ground their walking has their boot-print in it.  The band doesn’t really let up throughout most of the album either, it is just an unrelenting crash of music, assaulting the senses and refusing to let up.  Unlike many of their contemporaries, Nonpoint is able to weave a melody and a certain listenability throughout their music that many of today’s metal bands are just unable to do (they are a lot like Sevendust in this respect).  The majority of this has to do with lead vocalist Elias Soriano and his ability to sing, rap and be intelligible while doing so.  You may not think this is a big deal, but in this day and age (adjusts old man overalls) it is hard to find vocalists that can really sing, especially in the metal genre.

                The album is not without flaws, as one song (“Widowmaker”) is whiny fluff that the band has done before, but better (“Past it All” from 2004’s Recoil), while another song (“F**ked”) while the message is accurate (we really do live in a fucked up world) it just feels like a song that is there to give Soriano an excuse to say fuck twenty-five times in a three minute song.  Obviously, I’m not someone that has a problem with any curse words, but I can tell when something is egregious and feels silly. 

                Despite the two missteps outlined above, this is a great album that continues Nonpoint’s return to the heavy music that was a hallmark of their early albums.  Nothing can beat seeing them live though, so if you ever get a chance, go and stand back (the mosh pits can get a little crazy). 

Monday, February 23, 2015

First Place Blues

Week Five-


Assorted Freaks:

The Masked Shrimp
The Slugomatic
The Wormy Guy
The Masked Shrimpette
Mr. Happee

The Masked Shrimp v. Mr. Happee
The Slugomatic v. Fred

The Wormy Guy v. The Masked Shrimpette

It's a good problem to have, I suppose.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Trade Bait 5

Has Wormy learned his lesson?
I hope so, I'm out of trade bait jokes...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #1

                Okay, now that we got the introductions out of the way, it’s time to start the meat and potatoes of the story.  If you do pick up the individual issues (I’m not sure if they replicate it in the trades) you will find that the graphic part of the story is bookended with blocks of text.  They both generally involve Uatu and Machine Man, known here by his serial number X-51 because Uatu is a douche, discussing the events of the current comic and recapping a lot of what has gone on to make the world this way (remember, this was initially going to be a future timeline until Marvel decided it was an alternate reality).  While this is a smart way to convey a lot of information without extending the limited series ad infinitum, it does get a little heavy in terms of reading blocks of text that are not broken up by John Paul Leon’s stunning art (as is the case in the rest of the book).

                One of the cool things that Earth X does is recap the origins of Marvel’s greatest heroes and then follow them into the “present day” and see how the change that the Earth went through affected them.  The first one to go under the microscope so to speak was Captain America (naturally).  We get a quick recap of Cap’s origin – scrawny kid drinks super soldier serum and becomes a symbol for patriotism and the American way. 

                The America that Cap loved and defended for years is no longer the America that he lives in.  A quick interlude as the Inhumans, who have been in deep space for years, are returning to Earth in time to see that it is quite the dump.  Not only is it a dump, but Hydra Is now a hive-minded organism instead of just a cult.  Octopus-like creatures attach themselves to an individual and as long as that individual relents, they will be possessed.  They then become part of the “hive” and fight for the Hydra queen, who just so happens to be the She-Hulk.  Unfortunately, one thing that Cap is still really good at is losing partners as Falcon has already fallen victim to Hydra, while Wyatt Wingfoot is fighting a losing battle with the Hydra. 

                A quick look around the rest of the area in New York shows us that Cyclops is still alive and kicking, blasting bad guys and being slightly less douchey than his counterpart in the X-Men Cartoon from the 90’s.  Peter Parker has given up his mantle of Spiderman, despite Luke Cage basically ordering him to not be such a pussy.  Oh Luke Cage, you know Petey has always been kind of a wuss.  There is a Spider-Something lurking, but we’ll have to wait to see what that is. 

                Back to Cap and the Hydra.  Cap is about to give up when he gets his good ole American spirit back.  This causes him to fight the Hydra and free Wyatt and himself.  They then escape to an alley as Tony Stark’s Iron Avenger show up and blast the Hydra that are on the street (this is apparently a pretty regular thing, collateral damage be damned).  The Iron Avengers are just what you think they are: if you took Iron Man’s armor and patterned it after the Avengers, there you have it.  Of course, these Iron Avengers were made in homage to the real Avengers who died, somehow…I’m sure we’ll get back to that.
                As the dust clears, Cap walks out to see a piece of fabric on the ground, a piece of fabric that contains a red skull.

                Cue ominous music.

                We wrap up with blocks of text explaining what happened to characters such as Black Panther, Nick Fury and Falcon as well as explain the fact that Norman Osborn is the big cheese (something that would be played up in later years in the regular Marvel Universe.

Next Issue:  Cap found a picture of a red skull…is it the red skull, or is the punisher just changing his color scheme?  Find out next time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Sometimes, I just have to pick the low-hanging fruit.
Okay, a lot of the times.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Late to the Party Video Game Review: South Park The Stick of Truth

                I have had South Park since it was released but have avoided it while I finished up other games, hoping to play it through without stopping and starting like I did for many of the other games on this list.  Having some free space in my gaming schedule, I decided to pick up South Park and give it a shot.  Not being a huge fan of turn-based role playing games a la Final Fantasy, I was a little worried, but hoped that the writing and familiar characters would help me overcome that distaste.

                What I got was a game that, while it was still a turn-based RPG, it did not make those turns as painful as I remember them being from old Nintendo games of yore.  The action was fast paced and interesting, the looting was epic, there is literally (that’s a pun) garbage all over for you to rummage through and turn in to the various vendors out there in South Park.  There were also plenty of collectables to gather in this game, from Chinpokomon, to Facebook friends, to all of the weapons, armor and enhancements scattered throughout the town (including the forest, farm and Canada – yes, Canada).  Searching for all of the collectables takes up a good amount of your time itself, but the bulk is obviously devoted to the missions. 

Being that this is an RPG, the missions are broken up into both story missions and side missions that don’t require you to beat them but that offer plenty of incentive to do so.  Not only do you acquire experience points by completing side missions (an important thing to do during an RPG, even if you are capped at level 15, a level I achieved long before the final stage, let alone the final battle) but you also get better loot and even summon abilities (Jesus, Mr. Hanky and the owner of City Wok to name a few) which provide a powerful ally that basically kills anyone you are fighting (except bosses).  The kicker with the summon buddies is that you can only use their ability once per “day” (there are three days in the game). 

The writing is exactly what you would expect from a South Park game that is unrestricted by censors of any kind.  While the unfettered cursing and suggestive items are funny enough, the nudity for nudity’s sake (even if it’s cut-paper animated nudity) seems a little ridiculous.  I could have done without those instances, but overall the majority of the interactions involve the usual gang of kids from South Park and in that respect it is just like an episode of the show.  Everything fits together quite nicely between the quests, the cut scenes and the battles and it all works well within the general framework of the game, which basically pits two factions against one another who then need to come together to fight a common enemy at the end.  While that is a traditional comic book/fantasy trope, it is wholly believable here because these kids are all friends and we know that going in. 

Trey Parker and Matt Stone do an incredible job of creating the town of South Park within the game and getting us to care about the town we live in.  The only problem I have is that we do not spend enough time in the town.  Even completing all of the side quests and finding probably 75% of the collectables, I was still able to finish the game in roughly 12-15 hours.  The last part of the game was a cakewalk as I had already reached my max level and had powered up my weapons with add-ons that basically made the fights incredibly one-sided.  While I’m not too mad about that last part, I put in the time to get to that level after all, the fact that one slow, lonely day could provide me with enough time to beat the game feels like a bit of a ripoff in this day and age of 50-60 hour game completion times. 

Beyond the painfully short play time, this game was everything I was hoping it would be when I heard that it was coming out.  I’m glad I picked it up and will definitely be doing so if they ever get around to making a sequel.  Even if you are not a fan of turn-based RPGs, I would advise you check this out. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

So You Said

This would be autobiographical, except I don't do the dishes.
Seriously, ask my fiancee (just warn me first so I can duck).

Friday, February 13, 2015


I was almost beat by Steve Smith's thirty-plus points that week.  
I can only imagine how it must feel for his owners that had him riding their bench.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #0

                In the summer of 2015, Marvel Comics is going to revisit a good portion of their alternate universes, most likely tied in to their year-long “Secret Wars” event.  I am going to take a look at one of those alternate universes that holds a special significance, the Earth X Universe.  The special significance of this universe is that many of the changes that have taken place in the regular Marvel Universe over the past few years, were already done in the Earth X Universe years ago.  Were Alex Ross and Jim Krueger (the masterminds behind the universe) prophets, or did the “house of ideas” become the “house of out of ideas”?  I lean towards the latter, but it would be interesting to see how everything goes together.  So please, join me for a journey into a different timeline where everything you know is turned on its head.

                I remember buying this issue when I was in tenth grade.  At that point I had just read Marvels for the first time and was a huge fan of Alex Ross’s work (I had yet to read Kingdom Come, that would have to wait until college).  Instead of waiting for Earth X to be collected, I wanted to get in on the ground floor, to collect his next bonafide hit from the beginning.  Of course at that time I did not realize that he would not be drawing the interiors, but it didn’t matter as once I started reading the book I was hooked.  Yes, it was a little wordy, and quite dense, but the prospect of a dystopian future for these characters I had grown to love was too much to ignore (it was not revealed until later that this was an alternate reality running concurrently with the regular Marvel Universe, and not a possible future).

                This introductory issue brings us face to face with Aaron Stack, also known as Machine Man for those individuals that are not well versed in superhero codenames.  Aaron has been chosen by Uatu, the Watcher to become the new Watcher, cataloging the exploits of the inhabitants of Earth.  Why does this mantle need to be passed down, you ask?  Because Uatu is now blind.  How does someone known as “The Watcher” not see that coming, you ask?  Well, just pay attention as that will be explained.  So Uatu coaxes Aaron to come work for him through the subtle art of telling him that he is just a machine and therefore has no real family, friends or humanity (something Aaron has tried desperately to acquire in recent years).  Uatu is a dick, but we are soon to find out that Watchers are dicks by their very nature.  That’s what happens when you just watch bad shit go down without ever intervening.  But Uatu did intervene, you say, remember the Ultimate Nullifier?  I haven’t forgotten, and we’ll get to that as well.

                The most interesting part of this issue to me was the way that Ross and Krueger were able to interweave the history of the Marvel Universe with actual historical events.  Now Marvel has been doing this since they were known as Timely Comics, but this gives complete and total relevance to the Marvel Universe and makes it a lot less fantastic and a lot more “believable” than the DC Universe (something I always enjoyed about Marvel more than DC).  For example, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was not just a random event.  That asteroid hitting the Earth created the Moon, which was created as a place for the Watcher to watch from.  If nothing else, this book uses the idea of a benevolent God (in this instance the Celestials) to full effect.  We are not in control of any portion of our lives as the Celestials have everything mapped out.  This is a crazy notion and one that, somehow, someway, Krueger ties in to just about every major Marvel milestone of the last thirty years. 

                Krueger explains the creation of the gods (the traditional Greek and Norse ones especially) as beings created by the Celestials to protect the planet from the first race of life forms they created known as the deviants.  Eventually, the Celestials created humans.  Once the humans get there we get a nice little montage (with beautiful art all the way through by John Paul Leon) of the many different eras, from conquistadors, to the West, to the beginning of the Marvel Age.  We get a brief history of the Invaders (the original Human Torch, Namor and Captain America) and then move through World War II to take a brief glimpse at many of the other inciting incidents of the Marvel Heroes (something that will be a hallmark of the rest of this series).  Throughout, Leon does a great job of capturing the essence of the various Marvel Heroes in a style that I was not too keen on at the time (I was a Madureira/Bachalo fan and this was a huge departure from that) but has grown on me considerably since then.  In fact, the issue ends with a double page spread involving the majority of the major Marvel characters.  A beautiful piece that I would love to have hanging in my office.

Next Issue: With the introductions complete, it’s time to actually tell a story.  And if you thought this issue was long-winded, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Could Be Worse

This happened to me, I definitely dropped the Seahawks defense for the Texans only to have them do this.
Not only that, but my son had the Panthers defense.  It was a sad Sunday in our house.  
I am fully against anything and anyone that makes Eli Manning look like a serviceable quarterback.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


At the beginning of January, my brother and frequent collaborator, Nik and I discussed the things we have not done (as tends to be the case in January, the month of reflection, depression and resolution).  We resolved to do more this year and to hold each other accountable for those goals.  The main goals revolved around creating portfolios, sequential pencil art for me, and voice-acting for Nik.  I quickly devised a plan and got to work.  I will be displaying the pages here on Eat @ Shrimpy's once a month.

The plan is to create two pages of sequential art in various styles with various subjects every month for a total of twelve "stories" and twenty four pages.  This works two-fold.  One: I have not done much regular sequential art, especially involving characters that are not mine, since I graduated college nearly ten years ago (it's always a good idea to have an updated portfolio, and a collection of dick jokes made by a talking slug may not qualify as "portfolio material"), and two: by the end of the year, I will have plenty of pages to choose from when I try and get a job to get out of the 9-5 grind.

If you have any critiques or criticisms that you want to pass along, please do so and I will try to incorporate everything into later submissions.

Angry Birds

In these portfolio pieces, I wanted to choose subjects that ranged across comic companies (in this case, IDW) as well as styles, while also drawing things that I enjoyed and I knew my kids enjoyed.  This led me to attempt some Angry Birds pages.  These are just penciled pages, darkened and slightly cleaned up in Photoshop, with a little black crayon thrown in to signify King Pig's speech in the second panel of page one.

Mega Man

Mega Man was one of my favorite characters and games when I was young.  When I found out that Archie Comics was doing a Mega Man series, I was excited, to say the least.  I would like to think that my passion for  the source material and my ability to tell a story involving cartoon robots not only shines through here, but would also make me a good candidate for a job penciling the blue bomber's monthly book.
Mass Effect

Mass Effect might be one of my favorite gaming franchises of all time.  The characters, the depth of story, it's one of those games you can really just lose yourself in for hours at a time.  Even though I haven't chosen subject matter that is totally realistic, I think that this shows that I can draw more than just "cartoon" characters, and as the months go on, there will be more of these kinds of samples as opposed to the more cartoony subject matter, if for no other reason than to hopefully highlight my versatility.  As always, let me know what you think.  Is there something I could have done better, something that you think I did well and/or should do more of for future samples?  I want to know!

Masters of the Universe

Anyone that knows me well must have known that this was coming.  Masters of the Universe is firmly entrenched in the "dream job" category for me, and always will be.  Hell, even before they were making Masters of the Universe comics again it was a dream job for me.  I wanted to be the one to resurrect the franchise.  At this point, I'll take a backup story, an online exclusive, hell, I'll take a variant cover, anything to live out my childhood dream of getting paid to draw He-Man kick some ass.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Trade Bait 4

Week Four-


Assorted Freaks:

The Masked Shrimp
The Slugomatic
The Wormy Guy
The Masked Shrimpette
Mr. Happee

The Masked Shrimp v. The Wormy Guy
The Slugomatic v. Mr. Happee

Fred v. The Masked Shrimpette

Oh Wormy, someday, someone will accept your trade, keep your chin up.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Last Minute Substitution

This was, yet again, a word for word conversation between the fiancee and I.  
She tries to help.  
She always tries to help.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) Post-Mortem

                You know that feeling of emptiness inside?  That hollowness inside that just won’t go away?  That’s because you read the last Guardians of the Galaxy recap last week.  “What do I do now?” you may ask.  Well, first things first, we are going to tie up some loose ends for our favorite Guardians (and our non-favorite, Vance, that douche) and try to figure out some of the dangling plot threads that the Guardians team left when they ended the series, maybe even coming up with an idea or two of our own for the characters in the process.  So join me, if you will, for a heaping load of speculation and probably a lot more fun than the actual reviews.

First we’ll list the characters, tell you where they were at the end of the last issue and try to deduce a future for them. 

Vance Astro:

When last we met-  Vance was stranded on a random planet with Charlie, Martinex, Hollywood, Aleta , Yondu and Nikki.

Where he is now-  Everyone left Vance because they couldn’t stand his attitude.  With no one else left to have pointless arguments with, Vance started to fight with himself, or more specifically, his symbiotic suit.  Eventually that left too, preferring the sweet sweet release of death (because it no longer had a host) to being attached to Vance any longer.  Vance died shortly thereafter as he aged 1000 years in about twenty minutes.  Parades were thrown around the galaxy. 


When last we met- Charlie was stranded on a random planet with Vance, Martinex, Hollywood, Aleta , Yondu and Nikki.

Where he is now-  Charlie wound up with Nikki, and they were happy for quite awhile together.  Nikki, however, started to go a little crazy as they were unable to go anywhere or see anyone new.  Charlie put up with it for a long time, going so far as to pretend little rock formations were their children.  Charlie eventually got fed up with this and took off one night when Nikki was asleep.  He walked, and continued to walk until he died from a mixture of dehydration and just plain exhaustion.  


When last we met- Yondu was stranded on a random planet with Charlie, Martinex, Hollywood, Aleta , Vance and Nikki.

Where he is now- Yondu retreated completely to the spiritual plane of existence, leaving his physical body behind.  Here he achieved a level of clarity and omniscience that he had not attained before.  Yondu never really died as, at the end, he never really was alive.  He actually became a bit of a saint, and took the place of Anthos as the deity of his people (when it was finally revealed to everyone that Anthos was indeed just Thanos in disguise).


When last we met- Martinex was stranded on a random planet with Charlie, Vance, Hollywood, Aleta , Yondu and Nikki.

Where he is now- Martinex spent years trying to fix Mainframe and get him operational again so that they could all leave the desolate planet they had crashed into.  While searching for a fuel source within some caves in the planet, Martinex was buried alive amidst the rubble where he slowly died, cursing Vance the whole time.


When last we met- Mainframe crashed on a random planet with Charlie, Martinex, Hollywood, Aleta , Yondu, Vance and Nikki.

Where he is now- Still in the wreckage on that random planet.  What little energy he had left he used to spy on Nikki and Charlie “playing house”.  Mainframe was always kind of a creeper.


When last we met- Hollywood was stranded on a random planet with Charlie, Martinex, Vance, Aleta , Yondu and Nikki.

Where he is now- Hollywood, realizing he was supremely powerful, especially compared to all these other whackadoos, took off.  He was tired of fighting so he just went back to Earth and opened a Whole Foods in Manhattan.  It was a thriving business with all of the early 3000’s hipsters and foodies.  Because Hollywood never aged, he never gave up the business and just kept stocking shelves forever.


When last we met- Starhawk was flying away with his mommy, Kismet, to find and defeat Era.

Where he is now- He found and defeated Era, but his mother perished in the process.  Starhawk was rightfully tore up about this and erected a tribute to his parents on a distant planet…that was then eaten by Galactus.  Starhawk, as is his nature, began his lifecycle over again, and continues to do so.


When last we met- Talon was meditating.

Where he is now- It took quite awhile for Talon to regain his composure enough to be deemed worthy of the power that Krugarr stripped him of.  After that he found himself summoned to the Maury Povich Show where he contested his child’s legitimacy, saying you couldn’t get pregnant if you were raped.  Starhawk showed up, said the baby was his, said he knew because he’s the “one who knows” and left.  Once it was proven, Talon did the right thing, and smothered the child in his sleep.  Rancor tried to rape him again but found out that Talon had removed his own genitalia with a butter knife to ensure he was never raped again.  Talon faded into obscurity, doing slight of hand magic in local bars until a talent agent found him.  Talon performed a David Blaine-esque stunt that forced him to be eaten alive by a space shark yet somehow be regurgitated whole.  Suffice it to say, it didn’t go as planned, and he never was regurgitated.  The ratings were through the roof though.


When last we met- Nikki was stranded on a random planet with Charlie, Martinex, Hollywood, Aleta , Yondu and Vance.

Where she is now- Nikki and Charlie ended up together, and to ensure that, Nikki hid them away from prying eyes.  They never did escape the planet, but they settled down and had a nice family together nonetheless.  They obviously never found the lost Jovian colony, but that brought the two of them closer together because they truly were the last of their races.  As crazy as Nikki could be at times, Charlie really loved her and would do anything for her, including pretending the random rock formations were their children as she drifted deeper and deeper into psychosis.


When last we met- Aleta was stranded on a random planet with Charlie, Martinex, Hollywood, Vance , Yondu and Nikki.

Where she is now- Aleta realized that she was more powerful than everyone else on that rock and took off.  She left Vance there because he’s a giant douche and lived the rest of her life traveling the cosmos, hooking up with random cosmic deities.  She never forgot her dead children, and would never have any more children of her own despite her many dalliances with the likes of The Silver Surfer and the 3007 Chicago Bears football team.


When last we met- Yellowjacket had time-traveled home to the present day.

Where she is now- Yellowjacket fell on hard times while trying to readjust to present day living.  She became a drunk and would often fight against the Avengers saying “that’s not how Vance would do it”.  She pined away for Cuchulain and spent most of her time in Ireland looking for him.  Yellowjacket died at the age of 45, the victim of an ill-placed bug zapper.

                Fear not, true believers, for after the conclusion of the original series in 1995, you only had to wait a short twenty three years for the next incarnation of the Guardians to emerge.  Of course this team was only the Guardians in name as their roster was completely different.  If  you want the original Guardians, then the Guardians 3000 book is more your speed.  While the story does not pick up where the original series ended in 1995 (I’m assuming) it does have the core group intact.  Of course the art is by a clone of Joe Madureira, and I have problems with people that can’t draw things for themselves, so I haven’t read it.  If you don’t mind the fact that the art is devoid of both originality and backgrounds, then by all means, grab it and let me know how it is.

                Next week we’ll be diving into another old series and seeing how the story and art hold up over time.  Come on back to see what it is!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


There's always that one guy on your fantasy football roster that gives you hope for the week.
Hope that is then terribly, horribly squashed by everyone else playing like they are still in PeeWee Football.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Music Review: Mr. Big – The Stories We Could Tell

                Whether it was because they came in at the tail end of the hair metal genre (1989), or the fact that in twenty-five years they have released a total of eight albums, Mr. Big doesn’t really get the credit that they deserve.  Yes, they are huge in Japan (all white guys are huge in Japan though…get it? get it?) but that success never really translated to the United States (except for in 1991, they were huge then but died out quickly). 

                The band went through some turmoil around the millennium and broke up for a time, reemerging in 2011 with What If… a good album that sounded like an adequate continuation of their discography.  The Stories That We Could Tell is an even further continuation of that discography.  The album showcases what Mr. Big does best, combine great musicianship with an excellent singer, throw in a couple ballads and you get another classic Mr. Big record. 

                One of the things that I loved about the hair metal genre (and believe me, there was enough to dislike) was the fact that the musicians were so technically proficient in their instruments.  They were able to play fast and accurate and really showed a mastery of their craft that I found to be incredibly admirable (I’m a sucker for a killer guitar solo, so I’m probably a little easier to win over than most with that kind of music).  The fact of the matter is that Mr. Big is one of the most technically proficient bands I have ever heard.  While their older albums are full of tracks that could easily fit into anyone’s characterization of “hair metal”, their recent releases have provided a little less flash but no less substance.  Everyone involved has fallen into their role of creating a straight up rock band, something that an older generation can listen to and enjoy, and maybe remember back to their youth when songs like “To Be With You” and “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” were radio mainstays.  Mr. Big traffics in nostalgia (as do most older bands nowadays) but they do it without mailing in the quality of their newer music. 

                Standout tracks include “I Forget to Breathe” and “It’s Always About That Girl”, two songs that take that technical proficiency and put it right on display.  That along with Eric Martin’s vocals (think Jeff Keith from Tesla but with half a pack less of cigarettes smoked per day) make for a lethal combination that have the ability to transport the listener to a different time and place (as all good music can do).  This is definitely an album that you should check out.  It’s not the best album you’ll hear all year, but it’s a solid album that will be in a constant rotation in my car for quite some time.