Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Open Letter to DC Comics... It's About Wonder Woman

Dead DC Comics,

I'm writing a letter to you about one of your most important characters, Wonder Woman.

As you are fully aware Wonder Woman is the most recognizable female superhero in the world and one of the most important characters in your company. She stands shoulder to shoulder with Superman and Batman, two men who helped establish the genre of superheroes. But in spit of this it seems she doesn't get the respect that she deserves.

Now, it's not your fault what goes on in Hollywood which seems to be unaware of how to pull of bringing Princess Diana to the big screen. But what happens in the comics is partially your fault. I want to bring to your attention the recent One Year Later relaunch. Now, the announcement of Wonder Woman was delayed to to schedule conflicts with Allen Heinberg but you and him went forward which caused a serious problem-lateness. Now the series did pretty well grantedmost retailers were ordering unsure of how it would work sales wise. But I'm sure you've had your ears to the fans and the critics and the results were mixed. Plus the fact Heinberg hasn't been able to finish his arc derailing a lot of fans with the recent fill-in by Pfeifer and leaving questions unanswered going into Jodi Picoults run.

The problem I'm having is around the portrayal of Diana. You see, you can only suspend disbelief so much until there are certain nagging aspects. Like this-whens the last time you've seen a six foot Greek woman? Let alone one in glasses? now, going to Superman isn't a real defense of this idea since you're more likely to see 6'3" well built dark haired men around. They may not all have that strong jaw line and dashing good looks but its not uncommon to find someone who has the build of a Superman, let alone a Clark Kent. But Diana? Sorry. This would be slightly more acceptable if she wasn't working for the government. this simply makes all of them look incompetent.

Another problem I'm having besides the lateness and the story points that are becoming unbelievable is that it seems to me Heinberg and Picoults runs are trying to cash in on their popularity elsewhere. This may work, but really damages things in the long run. Neither will have memorable runs. It might be early to count on Picoult's run but I'm going to. Right now it seems there are only two people buying Wonder Woman. Those out of habit, and those looking to see what these creators will accomplish. Have you really seen hardcore Wonder Woman fans praising the current events? If you do-point me to them so I can know what they see that I don't.

What you need, in my honest opinion, are creators who can spend time returning the character back to the bad ass woman she is while providing stories that will mean something down the line for the character and not just for another crossover to push sales because sooner or later that's going to bite you.

As a Wonder Woman fan I do like the recent artists but I feel there are people who can bring so much to the character. Number one would be Greg Rucka who excelled in convincing non-Wonder Woman fans, like I once was, that the character is not only interesting but very cool. Rucka understood her warrior nature, her kind spirit, and her desire to help people and change the world for the better. Next would be Grant Morrison. The man made Animal Man a cult character, produced the only Doom Patrol to get the thumbs up from one of the titles originators, he resurrected your JLA franchise, made X-Men worth talking about again, and has won too many awards and written too many much-discussed titles and possibly classics to mention here. Grant Morrison excels at big ideas and grand characters and would work wonders on the Amazon. Next is Gail Simone. This is seriously a "duh!" moment here. Not because she's a female writer but because her characterizations of Wonder Woman the few times she's written her has been spot on. Go back and read her JLA: Classified arc. Darwyn Cooke would be another good choice for a writer. His Wonder Woman in New Frontier was strong, powerful, outspoken, and sexy.

There are other qualified writers I'm sure but i believe those four cold turn heads and produce the Wonder Woman title that will restore confidence in her being part of the Trinity let alone the top female superhero in comics as it was meant to be. Wonder Woman once had two titles and outsold Superman and Batman-now she barely gets the respect she deserves. Time to start worrying less about using characters as puzzle pieces for the next big event and start making the titles worth purchasing.

C. Towns-

Monday, March 26, 2007

Yeah... I Hope This Was Sarcasm...

Looking at comic book sales charts for DC and Marvel and Marvel beating DC on every end and Marvel fans insulting anyone who saids the DC is coming out with better stories then Marvel seems to be working for Marvel. Marvel success of Civil War and fans cutting down anyone who saids they where unhappy with it's ending over the fact that DC's 52 is telling a better story. But that don't matter with fans attacking anyone who disagrees with them and their vows along with Marvel near Fascism vows as well. Marvel had a clear message to the old fans of back then and that is to go away and not come back the new Marvel are going to help build Marvel now. Message sent and understood and with Marvel high sales it looks like DC should do the same. Come up with a story to have the DC superheros to start beating the crap out of one another and if fans complain about this get other fans to make fun, cut down, or just insult them at every turn to make them feel like crap then maybe sales will go up for DC.

Lets go through problems with this statement. Problem one, people don't like people telling them that their wrong to like something. Problem two, Marvel is selling well but DC is selling well too. In fact, There is about 8-11% difference in sales between marvel and DC and then about 25% at the very least between DC and the third top publisher. Problem three, the top selling comic every month sales between 150K to 250K. Now, that's good... for the last several years. there was a point in time when these books were selling less then 100K. There was a time when Capt. marvel and Superman were selling millions. A time when x-Men #1 sold about three million copies. There's not as much dominance as this person perceives. Problem four, the truth is Marvel telling old fans to go away and in return DC pissing off old fans isn't good for business as bringing in new fans is hard. Have you tried getting new fans? Do kids really want to go buy a continuity heavy title when they could just watch a Spider-Man cartoon or play an X-Men video game? Most people reading comics now are either people who have friends or family who read comics, use to read comics, or came in from a non-superhero movie like 300.

Yes it's over. If anything Marvel comics is more edgy, more realistic and overall much more better written and edited than DC whose characters are all practical throwbacks to the 30s or 40s. Frankly the only people who really like DC are the ones who grew up or were born in that time period. Anyone else probably just buys DC either because they don't like Marvel or resents the fact that hispanics and foreign artists and writers are working there. If anything, the implosion of DC can only help Marvel become the sole dominating force that it is in the comic book industry. Just think about it, if Marvel takes out DC then they could be one step closer to scooping up and assimilating their rivals like Image, IDW and Dynamite then and finally then the comic book industry would be practically unified under one guiding mind with one guiding purpose. Think about it under Marvel's editorialship, you could have every comic book character in the Marvel Multiverse with every major creator working for Marvel comics from grant morrison to geoff johns with Dan DiDio and Paul Levitz forced out like the bootlickers that they are.

Think about it if there was only one comic book company then people like Byrne, Austen and Jones would be in the unemployment line and thats frankly the best reason for one comic book company.
Edgy and realistic does not equal superior product. At least in the eyes of critics. Maybe to the fans but comic books are generally bought by people who have a certain love for characters, creators, or are collectors in general. Not to mention sales are coming from retailers so that doesn't account for in store sells. Just cause something sells out from distributor doesn't mean you can't find it in a store. Retailers are purchasing comics based on several factors: characters, creators, and hype. Civil War would not have sold nearly as well if it was Dan Slott, Paul Pelletier, and only a decent amount of hype. But you can bet the characters would've pulled it in to the top 25 because fans like superheroes to meet. Also this statement above is laced with personal opinions. Whats best for the business? Grant Morrison is a multi-award winning creator whose popularity exceeds many Marvel creators internationally and has been mentioned in high context as some of the greats as well as being named checked in mainstream print. Grant Morrison makes money, as does Geoff Johns, if anything they would have secured positions in the industry over dozens of Marvel talent like a Daniel Way or a Zeb Wells. no knock on them but anybody in the business knows who would sell more.

Also, lets look at the model of one company and compare that to World Wrestling Entertainment. In 2001 WWE was the only major wrestling company in the states having bought WCW and acquired ECW rights. Think of the loyal ECW fans and that fact that WCW was doing around 1.5-3 in ratings towards the end of their run and the fact WWE was doing around 7s with their Monday Night Raw. Once WWE took away the competition the industry crashed. Raw makes around a 4.0 now. Think about the fact hundreds of thousands of wrestling fans stopped caring. As well as many being unemployed. Using that as a model, one mind and one purpose is a pathetic notion. Anyone who believes this is not a real comic fan as far as I'm concerned.

Thats his point. DC comics is just simply more infantile compared to Marvel. Marvel is about adult and mature themes, the problems that you and I encounter each and every day about responsibility and right and our nomal lives while DC is about guys who dress up in bat suits fighting clowns while endangering chilren or some wish fulfillment story about a kid who magically turns into an adult and finds his orphaned sister and his big brother sidekick.

DC = ludicrious and infantile stories
Marvel = serious stories that address current issues that effect our lives
Whats infantile is the bias right here. Marvel comics is still a superhero company. Batman fighting Joker is no sillier than Spider-Man fighting Rhino. It's a sad excuse that realism is suppose to warrant whats good and not. That's not true. As for this idiotic attack on Shazam, he completely misunderstands the point of the character. Its about childhood fantasies. About the desire as a youngster to be a good guy. And the feeling appeals to both kids and adults who felt that was growing up. thats whyt he character continues to be around and make new fans.

As for serious stories effecting the lives of people-what? Civil War? Two different groups fighting over different opinions does not make it an important current issue. Neither does World War Hulk or Uncanny X-Men in space.

Seriously, I hope the people I quoted were being sarcastic because this is some of the most bias and ridiculous bull crap I ever read.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Comics: I picked up mostly DC books again this week. Seriously, what the hell Marvel? Plus Runaways Saga just makes me think Humberto Ramos, who I usually like, should never darw these characters.

That said, it was all about Justice Society of America #4. When I got to the shop I saw they pulled the only Eaglesham cover aside and I made a comment about how broing Ross' covers have been so I got the variant at the usalu low price instead of the mark up. Oh, and that cover to 52 week 46 is all kinds of awesome.

Oh, and an artist I like named Ross Campbell produce this image below of Powergirl. Not exactly a fan but i would like to see him tackle some DC characters. or X-Men characters.

Finally got Gunsmith Cats Revised Edition Vol. 1. Discount Anime DVD came through and I put in an order to reserve the second Omnibus/Revised edition as well as a copy of the latest graphic novel.

TV: Wheres my Veronica Mars? Heroes? TV worth watching? 30 rock has been good but I have been very disappointed in this season of Scrubs.

Speaking of disappointing, whats with the lack of extras and cool sepcial features on the Justice League DVDs. Just started buying them and it makes me sad. Hopefully the Venture Bros. Season 2 has some nice extras.

Movies: 300 was totally awesome. Faithful to the book with stuff the director and screenwriters added that didn't take away but enhanced the movied.

TMNT might as well be entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4. However if you never saw those three original live action films it wouldn't matter as its connections to those films are small hints throught ou the film.

Next up the Grindhouse, and then I think I might be done with films after a handful of the big films like Transofrmers, Pirates 3, and Harry Potter.

Music: Pre-Ordered the new My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult album, Filthiest Show In Town. I've been waiting since, I don't know... early 2006 when they said it be April. They were right on the month, wrong on the year. I just hope its betetr then there released of the unreleased Gay, Black & Married.

Wrestling: Tonight and tomorrow Chikara is holding shows. Lately I've been enjoying their product so much so some comments.

Best Imitation of Myself show features a surprising amount of singles matches as Chikara focus' usually on tag matches. The Campeons de Parajes match between champs Team FIST and ShaneSaw could be good but its the other two tag matches including indy vets Mike Quackenbush and Reckless Youth taking on the luche libre team of Lince Dorado & Sicodellico, Jr. that looks to be fast paced fun and the 2.0 versus Los Ice Creams will guarentee laughs.

In singles actions all thee Ants of the Colony will have matches which will be interesting to see. as does the mini man monster Hydra. Most notably will be Chris Hero's return to face Hallowicked which I'm predicting show stopper. At least when I get it on DVD months from now. Luckily I avoid Chikara spoilers.

Time Will Prove Everything has a huge 8 man match with Hallowicked teaming with the Colony against Eddie Kingston and the Black Out. Four "thugs" versus three wrestlers in Ant amsks and a masked "goth." Interesting. I also predict Chris Hero to have another stand out match this time with the insane high flyer richochet. Sadly no 2.0 or Los Ice Creams listings but they still can be there. Larry Sweeny and Cheech & Cloudy also abset from these events.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chikara King of Trios DVD Reviews

EDIT: Apologize for the photos. Can't link apperently and too tired to edit.

Chikara King of Trios DVD Reviews

Think wrestling’s too vulgar? Maybe too violent? Want something fun that you can enjoy with your young kid? Well do I have a promotion for you-CHIKARA PRO! Imagine comic book zaniness, luche libre influence, and some old school WWF fun. When I first heard of the promotion I was skeptical. But based on building buzz I gave it a shot and I quite enjoyed it. Though not as good as Ring of Honor and even if the wrestlers are young and still green, its fun and entertaining and you can see everyone working hard to please the crowd and having fun doing it. And, in spite of not being the best around in the sport its still earns many replays because of the entertainment factor.

This is reviews, relatively short, for the entire King of Trios. A monstrous trios tag tournament that featured wrestlers from USA(obviously), Japan, Canada, and Mexico. Including Mexican legend Pantera, former WWF star patriot, and Alex Shelly, Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt comprising Team TNA. Done under luche libre tag rules(rolling out counts as a tag). Plus other cool and fun matches that were thrown on. Enjoy.

King of Trios Night 1-Hellertown, PA **¾
King of Trios Night 2-Barnesville, PA ***½
King of Trios Night 3-Philadelphia, PA ***¾
Overall Score: ***½

King of Trios Night 1-Hellertown, PA **¾
In brief, a fun show with several nice spots or great moments but a little under whelming in that some matches were not satisfying. Here’s the match by match.

New Jersey All Stars(Lucky & JC Rider) vs. Cloudy & Cheech **½
Pretty good, though short, back and forth tag match. Rider Nad Lucky play decent heels. One tries getting a “Let’s Go Jersey” chant to the boos of the Pennsylvania fans. Cheech has this nice move that starts as an electric chair pick up, he drops them onto their feet while hooking their arm between their leg and then goes into a pump handle overhead throw. Cloudy did this nice move that started as exploder suplex but swung them down into a hard uranage slam. Cheech won the match for his team with a modified go to sleep. For those who don’t know that, its basically dropping an opponent towards the mat while kneeing them in the face.

2.0(Jagged & Shane Matthews) vs. ShaneSaw(Shane Storm & Jigsaw) ***
Good promo by 2.0. Very charismatic comedy heels. Their in ring charisma puts many wrestlers to shame in my opinion. Similar in ways to early Edge & Christian but with sort of an 80s WWF flair to it. They team against Shane Storm and Jigsaw. All four wrestlers, individually, have flaws but as units they are not as noticeable and they still work their buts off to produce good work.

Theres a great bit in the beginning with Shane Matthews “winning” exchanges with Jigsaw and yelling “booyah!” Gets to the point where his between both 2.0 members and receives one from each of them. Only to dodge a swing, Shane stopping before hitting Jagged, turning and having jigsaw startle him with the same line. Sending him back into Jagged. Both teams work well together and Shane Storm pulls off That Japanese Move(Shining Wizard) for the win. Earning three points for his team to earn a shot at the champonais de parajes(sp?)I wish this match was longer.

Order of the Neo Solar Temple(Ultramantis Black, Hydra, Crossbones) vs. Los Ice Creams(El Hijo Del ice Cream, Ice Cream Jr., Mysterious Ice Cream)-King of Trios Round 1 ***
Comedy tag has the “super villains” of Ultramantis Black(also a color commentator and one hell of a fun commentator at that), the masked Mexican super heavyweight Crossbones and the mini man monster Hydra(complete with drawn in muscles) fight the Ice Creams including a new member who is non other than former Kings of Wrestling member Claudio Castignolli in a mask. Various comedy bits including a push up contest between Hydra and El Hijo and Double C messing with Ultramantis lower antennae. Both teams start being a little more serious part way through. Nice triple team with Crossbones using a uranage slam over Blacks knee and then Hydra with a double stomp on the Ice Cream, accidentally slipping and nailing a back senton. Match ends with an insane looking choke slam by Double C where he launched Hydra high in the air, reaching about 8 feet and then catching him by the throat for a choke slam. By the way, Double C has no rhythm. His attempts at mimicking the Los Ice Creams persona was very amusing because of that.

Larry Sweeny, Mitch Ryder, & Robbie Ellis vs. Iron Saints(Sal, Vito, and Brandon Thomaselli)-King of Trios Round 1 **
Larry Sweeny, another occasional color commentator and I guy who wrestles like he misses the days when Randy Savage was in his prime, teams with a pair of older little known wrestlers Mitch Ryder and Robbie Ellis(who has to be pushing 60) to face a trio of generic looking indy wrestlers. This Robbie Ellis surprisingly does the shiranui(or Slice Bread #2, whatever) and the fans are quite behind Sweeny’s team and really elevate this match more than it is. Its not bad, just one of the more bland matches on the card. Saints pulled off a mean triple team move. One sets up the Quesadore(that’s luche libre terminology) while the second guy a lung blower(reverse back cracker if you will) and then the third wrestler comes down with a flipping leg drop.

Miyawaki, Yago, & KUDO vs. Dino, American Balloon, Masamune-King of Trios Round 1 ** ½
Sometimes a single wrestler can bring down a match. No, not American balloon and his incredible girth and man boobies, but Dino. Balloon was able to balance between comedy based on how he looks and seriousness with four Japanese wrestlers who were more serious and hard hitting where as Dino tried to bring more fun to it. Bit of a clash. In spite of it, including some man on man kissing, there were some nice stuff. American Balloon can do high flying maneuvers such as moonsault and twisting senton. Yago was intense. Very reminiscent of older All Japan wrestlers. Heart punches, stuff kicks, and mean moves. Very intimidating. Very surprised he went with some of Dinos offense as he looked to be able to destroy him. KUDO with the flying knees to win.

Kings of Wrestling(Icarus, Gran Akuma, Chuck Taylor) vs. Team USA(Patriot, Kidd USA, USApe)-King of Trios Round 1 **
What other promotion will you have that features former WWF star the patriot and USApe? Not exactly a good match but silly and amusing. Kidd USA did a few nice moves, Patriot only had brief portion which involved absorbing Icarus’ chops and then using his own. USApe did his Kurt Angle impression. This was a bizarre encounter. Icarus and Gran Akuma are Chiakars Champonais De Parajas, which are the main titles. Their luche tag titles that have their matches in 2 out of 3 falls.

Shiima Xion vs. Nobutaka Moribe **½
Moribe missed his teams match, they lost anyway, and gets a singles match. Or, I believe he was on Dino and Balloons team initially and maybe Masamune was to fit this role as Moribe, Balloon and Dino represent Japans DDT promotion.

Anyway, back and forth match with a nice luche libre opening. Moribe controls for a while until Xion, who needs totally new look, catches a back kick, swings Moribes leg forward and catches him with a reverse DDT. A very odd yet cool reversal. Does a bit of high flying but Moribe uses the sit out power bomb and then dominator type move to win. Good, too short.

Skipped Max Boyer vs. Ricochet

Kings of Wrestling vs. Los Ice Creams-King of Trios Round 2 **½
Double C gets unmasked as he attacks his former stable mates right off the bat. Becomes something of a wild brawl for a moment. KOW work of Claudio for a portion. Hot tag to the Ice Creams and they go at it. Including a nice variation of the doomsday device where instead of the flying clothesline one of the ice Creams hit the hip attack. Chuck Taylor shines the most on his team. His heel charisma flows. In a few years this guy will be one of the hottest indy wrestlers. Great personality, good mic work, and solid in ring. Plus an intense finisher if you’ve ever seen it(starts as a belly to back suplax into a piledriver). Match ends when Gran Akuma and Icarus hit one another’s finishers on the Ice Creams respectively.

Iron Saints vs. Yago, Miyawaki, KUDO-King of Trios Round 2 ***½
Best match on the show. Back and forth at the beginning with the Iron Saints at first trying to avoid Yago. Eventually Miyawaki ends up getting worked over by the trio. They work over Miyawakis gut and ribs and keep him isolated. When he does tag both Yago and KUDO explode in. the match breaks down and the teams go at it. Yago gets hit with this power bomb into a back cracker. First time I ever saw it and it was nice. Goes back to format as KUDO gets worked over. Borrows from Low Ki(Senshi) and KENTA with a suspended tree of woe spot involving him coming down knees first on the upside down wrestler. Miyawaki in and utilizes stiff strikes on Sal Tomaselli including a non protected head butt that made himself bleed. Breaks down but Miyawaki uses a modified emerald fusion from the second turnbuckle to advance his team further.

King of Trios Night 2-Barnesville, PA ***½
The first night survived mostly on humor and outrageous moments you never expected to see in wrestling. Night 2, the matches were better overall. But at first, I was worried.

Gran Akuma vs. Masamune **¾
Akuma is on the rise in the indy scene as his become a regular for Floridas FIP promotion and will be getting a try out on a few Ring of Honor shows. His style is similar to what some people expect of puroresu. Masamune, straight from Osaka pro, utilizes the PuroLucha style which mixes Mpuroresu and Luce Libre. The two have good chemistry here. He ahs a mean spot where he traps his opponent in the corner much like Golddust use to. He then runs in, stops, and smacks his opponent hard. Did this in the trios match but figured I point it out here. Anyway, he uses one of my favorite variations of the STF so that earns points. Akuma uses a weird double wristclucth to flip his opponent into a reverse power bomb. The ending is anti-climatic so costs this.

Chuck Taylor vs. Create-A-Wrestler **¾
Fans are important to Chikara and right now they’re doing a create-a-wrestler contest. He debuted against Smooth Chuckie T. Chuck gets the heel thing down pat and at first create looks green but he works hard. Does a nice slingshot over to the outside twisting low dropkick to the face. Luckily the rings low so there’s not a huge drop to the floor(this comes up later). Chuck comments about the contest “Call him masked jobber.” Nice bit with Chuck taking an Alex Wright action figure and moonssaulting with it. The ending is a bit anti-climatic but overall fun warm up match.

Team PWG(Joey Ryan, Chris Bosh, Scott Lost) vs. Team Mexico(Pantera, Sicodellico jr., Lince Dorado)-King of Trios Round 1 ***
Representing California’s Pro-Wretsling Guerilla is the stable the Dynasty. Promo has Joey Ryan(who you might know from Mtv as Joey Magnum Ryan from that 70s Team) comments on “We fly across the country and who do we face? Mexicans.” They even come out to Beverly Hills 90210 music.

Team Mexico proves to me that Mexican wrestlers are at their best outside Mexico. Because they’re trying to impress non Mexican fans. I tried watching AAA and CMLL to no real amusement but these guys were firing on all cylinders. PWG open up with a little comedy as Joey Ryan lubes up for the match. Each team member has an opening exchange. Ryan with Sicodellico which was bit of a size/comedy bit. Lince and Lost go fast paced luche action. Pantera and Bosh do the longest opening exchange showing off why Panteras popular in Mexico and still very talented. PWG works over Dorado for a bit. Apparently Dorado was relatively new but he moved like he had been wrestling for a few years. Quite impressive. Once the match breaks down it continues to be good with Sico scoring a roll up pin for the victory. Not too many fancy spots, just great work all around.

The Colony(Fire Ant, Solder Ant, Worker Ant) vs. Hallowicked, Cheech, Cloudy-King of Trios Round 1 ***
Nice opening with Cheech mockingly using gourry special(and inverted version) on Worker ant. But Worker gets the best in the end and we see the faster cloudy in with Soldier ant for a fast paced exchange leading to Fire ant and Hallowicked. Fire ant loves those fireman carry takedowns but Wicked didn’t give him any. Interesting, well pretty hilarious spot, with Hallowicked over selling the hurricaran on the floor. He rolls outside. Cheech and Cloudy take on Worker and Soldier as Fire ants confused. Once his backs turned Hallowicked returns with a block of snow/ice to break over Fires back. Each team pull out great team up moves and fire ant finally gets those fireman carrys going. However Hallowicked wins this with a combination firemans throw and kick followed with the running yakzua kick to the face.

Team Canada(Jagged, Shane Matthews, Max Boyer) vs. Mike Quackenbush & ShaneSaw(Shane Storm and Jigsaw)-King of Trios Round 1 ***½
Match starts off good. Various exchanges. Quackenbush shows off his ridiculous knowledge of wrestling holds and locks. The match gets real good when jagged proclaims he can “outwrestle” Mike Quackenbush and the two go back and forth with Jagged using a couple of cheap tactics to try and earn the edge. Of course he losses. Back and forth for a little while with Team Canada working over Shane Storm. Shane is able to roll out to earn the tag and the match breaks down again. Shane Storm uses the air raid crash for the win. The best match on the show and one of the two best Trios matches thus far which is surprising but I’ll explain that later. My full opinions on the trio of Quack and ShaneSaw.

Team TNA(Alex Shelly, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt) vs. Black Out(Sabian, Joker, Ruckus)-King of Trios Round 1 ***¾
Each team show off their belts. However Sabin has the X-Division title and him and Shelly are carrying silver tag titles from Japan and rocking their little seen in the States tag gear.

Watching these teams just shows the difference in skill level. Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin are just amazing athletes and they perform so well. Especially Shelly here who is able to make all the little things look important. Theres some nice mat work and luche work all through out. Each team taking some time to control. Sabian gets worked over by the TNA guys and gets double team and triple teamed to punish him for the upcoming finish but Sabian gets the luche tag and his team mates come in to even the score. Ruckus shows off why he at one time was one of the most talked about indy wrestlers with crazy high flying moves like a rolling scissors kick or the cartwheel handstand back flip into corner elbow smash. Incidentally caught and turned into a submission by Shelly. Eventually Sabin hit’s the cradle shock on Ruckus to advance. Best of the Trios thus far.

Skip Icarus vs. Player Uno

Olsen Twins vs. Madawaska & Yago **½
Just to show how bad ass Yago is. But Yago and Miyawaki allow Olsen twins to do some work and get their moves in. Miyawaki shows off some mean chops. Not as mean as those kick boxer heart punches that Yago uses. His finisher, a modified crucifix power bomb done up almost like Kawadas gonso bomb is brutal.

Team Mexico vs. Cheech, Cloudy, & Hallowicked-King of Trios Round 2 ***1/2
Pantera opens with the larger Hallowicked and shows off. Him and team try to single out Hallowicked until Hallow is able to get out and tag in Cheech. Sicodellico is able to cut off Cheechs building momentum with a mean side thrust kick. Sicodellico incidentally one of the biggest men in the tournament. Second and third only to Yago and Patriot. Some good stuff with Cloudy and Lince. Its just back and forth as the teams try to get an advantage. This match is a more structured version of something you’d see in AAA and works because of the fact each athlete brings their best and works well. Fun, flashy, entertaining. Though, a little too short. Team Mexico advances when Lince Dorado with a top turnbuckle cartwheel splash.

Team TNA vs. Mike Quackenbush & ShaneSaw-King of trios Round 2 ***
Something didn’t work here. But still a good tag match. Better than you’d see most the time in WWE or TNA. Sabin and Quackenbush have a nice exchange in the beginning. Starts picking up fast paced steam. Its back and forth in the early going. Alex Shelly pulls off a Johnny saint tribute much like you’d see Nigel McGuinness or Colt Cabana pull. Its to European for me to try and explain but if you know those two wrestlers you might able to decipher a series of moves they both do or have done at one time or another. Team Chikara, if you will, take control for several minutes and then Team TNA work over Jigsaw. As always these matches come down to hot tags and spots. Big signatures, multi-man team up moves, etc. Match ends with Jigsaw nailing the reverse piledriver and pulling a win. I would have liked Team TNA to have advanced but I’m assuming that with the money Chikara was spinning on the international talent, the other talent, and the ECW arena the next night they couldn’t book Shelly, Dutt and Sabin which is a shame.

I think Quackenbush, Storm and Jigsaw are good but… Quackenbush overdoes a love his stuff. Too technical without the personality in his craft I see with Danielson. Shane Storm has an interesting style and look but at times seems off. Jigsaw, well, really very generic but has good charisma. Really, good wrestlers, good team, but I don’t think I would have booked them to past Team TNA if I could’ve gotten Team TNA for another night.

King of Trios Night 3-Philadelphia, PA ***¾
Filmed at the ECW arena. Which, incidentally, made the atmosphere much better. More fans, full ring, and the such just elevate the product.

Kings of Wrestling vs. Miyawaki, Yago, KUDO-King of Trios Semi-Finals ***½
Opens with a kick exchange between Yago and Akuma which shows that Akuma may kick, but not with the force of an ex-kick boxer. Back and forth in the beginning with the Kings eventually working over KUDO. Miyawaki in on the jot tag and the men from Japan take control briefly with the Kings fighting back with the Campeones de Parajas nailing spots. Yago and his team don’t stay down as they fight back with Yago eventually hitting the gonso crucifix bomb on Taylor to advance his team.

Team Mexico vs. Mike Quackenbush & Shane Saw-King of Trios Semi-Finals ***¾
Pantera shows his skill early on working circles around the much younger Jigsaw. Including the ever humiliating rocking pendulum to the bottom buckle. The match starts moving in a more structured version of what you would see in Mexican promotions like AAA. Fast paced action, high flying, team maneuvers, etc. Lots of lucha exchanges with team Mexico looking very good. They even do power bombs on all three opponents. It comes down to Quackenbush and Pantera with Quackenbush using a roll up for the victory. Best match in all trios tournament but needed five more minutes to be rated higher. Also, I’d have loved Team Mexico to advance since they impressed me the most only behind Yagos team.

Allison Danger vs. La Malcrida *½
Better than the WWE diva matches? Yes. All that impressive no. But La Malcrida makes a good heel and Allison Danger is constantly improving in the ring(those were some mean elbows to the jaw), and looks very hot here.

Skipped Max Boyer vs. Sal Tomaselli

Matt Sydall vs. Hallowicked ***
Former ROH tag champion and Dragon gate lightweight champion Matt Sydall makes his Chikara debut(or special appearance) against hallo wicked. There is a good opening exchange. Sydall starts to slowly play the heel. It seems as more of a response to the fact that, while he incidentally is more known on the indy scene and across the world, Chikara is Hallowickeds home and thus Sydall is the bad guy. The two have nice chemistry for what could be a first meeting in general. There’s a nice reversal from hallo wicked super snap mare that’s a headscissors takeover. Nice lucha spots and Wicked uses his graveyard smash which starts as a fishermans pick up into a swinging sit out spine buster. Nice move.

Tag Gauntlet ***
Gauntlet matches are when two people start and every time someone loses a new person comes in. I’ve never seen a tag version, let alone any version with more then about seven people. But here is over a dozen!? Yikes. In brief, first few teams go at it fast paced. Some crazy high flying including a springboard twisting splash to the floor by one of the New Jersey All Stars. Than a semblance of tag wrestling with 2.0 eventually coming in and doing a good job of working over Mitch Ryder and Robbie Ellis and then the team of Joey Ryan and Excalibur. Finally quickly finishing two of the three Colony ants only to get a quick roll up pin and out. The highlight of that series was the match with Ryan and Excalibur which had some fun comedy spots. More teams enter and eliminated until PWG tag champions Chris Bosh and Scott Lost bring some seriousness after guys like Player Uno would use the “pause button” in the match. They dominate a few teams and then meet Cheech & Cloudy. Some incredible high flying including a complex move where Cheech uses the middle rope to flip forward and bounce off the top and back off into a pair of arm drags. Or when Bosh uses a tornado DDT on the apron. Cheech and Cloudy win and beat one more team to not only win the tournament, but to earn shots at the title as they’ve accumulated 3 points.

Mecha Mummy vs. Mokujin Ken ½*

Daizee Haze vs. Sara Del Rey **¾
Good womans match. Sadly too short and coming up after the insanity that was the tag gauntlet. Both these women are amongst the top womens wrestlers in the states. Sara Del Rey does incredible in the ring working over body parts and has some serious power while the smaller Daizee Haze in amazing on the mat and overall a skilled performer. Haze wins with a nice sunset flip pin.

Masamune vs. Moribe ***
Fast lucha exchange opens. Masamune takes control until Moribe cuts momentum. Good back and forth action between these two. Moribe uses a nice modified abdominal stretch into a power slam at one point. Masamune goes heel and utilizes a low blow and then follows with a running, hooking, flipping reverse DDT to win.

Ricochet vs. Claudio Castignolli ****
Double C is one of those ROH wrestlers I never quite liked. But I am digging his Chikara work. One of the tallest men in the company here he plays the base to a lot of spectacular high flying maneuvers. Flipping off Double Cs shoulders, using insane head scissors takedowns. Richochet utilizes his handspring twisting 450 splash which is an amazing looking move and nails a springboard flipping hurricarana on Double C. The ending comes when Claudio launches Ricochet about 10 feet in the air and nails him on his way down with an uppercut. Best Chikara match I’ve ever seen. One of my favs with Claduio and Chris Hero vs. Kings of Wrestling stable mates Akuma and Icarus.

Yago, Miyawaki, & KUDO vs. Mike Quackenbush & ShaneSaw-King of Trios Finals ***¾
Back and forth traditional tag format with the Japanese team first working over Shane Storm and then the home team working over Miyawaki. Yago and co. shifts power abck and all get in on punching their opponents hearts. Jigsaw gets worked over for a while until he hit’s a superrich and tags out and Quackenbush and KUDO go at it. The Chikara team fight back but after brief spurts it’s the Japanese team in control. Part way through jigsaw swings momentum for his team and then things break down into back and forth action. Tombstone by Quack on KUDO followed by a guilltoine leg drop by Jigsaw secures the win.

Overall fun DVDs. Very cool and looking forward to upcoming DVDs.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Top 10 for February 2007

10. Pirates of Coney Island #4: Violence against women is wrong. gang violence is wrong. Comic violence between a female gang and a male gang is just so damn right. Light on the story, high on the moments, it's the Pirates vs. the Cherries with our main character Patch looking for some revenge on Trish, who cut his eye out. Sorry ladies, but this is one of those times you have to smack a woman.

9. Runaways #24: The final issue by creators Brian Vaughan and Adrian Aphona and one of the reasons I'm such a hardcore reader now. Sad to see them go. This issue had Chase trying to resurrect his Gertrude and the Runaways battling the Gibborim. I couldn't rank this hire because of a certain character whose appearance may force me to stop reading this title in the near future. Seriously... I don't follow all but two Marvel titles. No tie-ins please. Still, very good issue and Alphona needs to get a new gig soon because I'm already missing his art.

8. Welcome to Tranquility #3: I think I found a book by Gail Simone I love as much as her Birds of Prey. This issue has Sheriff Lindo still on the search for the killer of Mr. Articulate within the retirement community of Tranquility. her search leads her to question a waitress from the diner where he was killed named Leona. Seems she has a secret that drives her to a desperate act the end. I sometimes question Neil Googe as the artist for a series that has such dark overtones, but it looks good so what the hell. Good work guys and gals.

7. 52 Week 41: A lot of response on the comic message board I frequent had people say this was a filler issue or boring but i really enjoyed it. Helps that I've been a Renee Montoya fan since Batman: TAS. Specifically P.O.V. episode where she stood out. Was a shame she wasn't used as much on that cartoon but she went on to be quite a supporting player in DCU and the stuff here with her dealing with Charlie/Questions death is good. Plus some nice moments with our space heroes, an important scene with Ralph leading to major issue, and a cameo by the coolest Green Lantern ever-Mogo. Plus Guiseppe Camuncoli pulled art chores and I dig his work. Oh, and Joe Benitz doing the art on Origin of Starfire was a good call.

6. Birds of Prey #103: Always consistent, sometimes head and shoulders above the rest Birds of Prey concludes on of the best arcs of the series run. Once again Gail Simone and co. set a new exciting mission statement with the end of this issue explaining the past between Oracle and Spy Smasher. Add in a few surprises like Manhunter running a black op right under Oracles nose. Great action, humor, character moments, and Nicola Scott putting in good work and you've got a great escapist comic book. Makes me feel good to be a fan.

5. Astonishing X-Men #20: We get to the only other ongoing I'm picking up from marvel these days. One where the wait is pretty lousy(May for issue 21? Huh?). Still, packs quite a punch. It takes elements of my two favorite X-Men runs but doesn't try to ape them but move forward. This arc has the X-Men and Agent Brand landing on Breakworld to figure out how to deal with the so-called prophecy that Colossus will destroy their world. There's a great sequence with Wolverine and Hisako as well as Cassaday kicking some serious ass on the space sequences. This is the only X-Men comic I buy and I'm loving it.

4. Detective Comics #828: In between breaks for shining up his Emmys, counting his money, and talking about how awesome it is to be him Paul Dini finds time to write a definitive Batman story. This time out a murder mystery that has both Batman and private PI the Riddler following two different sets of clues. All the pieces fit, the story is tight, and everything works out perfectly. Plus Don Kramer yet again providing great work to bring Dini's scripts to life. I like Grant Morrison, a lot, but his Batman series just does not do it for me as much as this book does.

3. Shazam: Monster Society of Evil #1: Jeff Smith's Bone is one of the best books I've ever read. Shazam stories are fun. Together they are all kinds of awesome. Utilizing the golden age/silver age version of the characters and updating them for modern audiences show how much the concepts behind Capt. Marvel have changed. This is essentially the original origin brought into the 21st century with the homeless kid Bill Batson becoming the host for the superhero Capt. Marvel. It's delightful and kid friendly. Check it out.

2. Justice Society of America #3: Why do I like the JSA? Golden Age flair, modern age story telling, cool characters in costumes, deadly villains, big action sequences, great characterizations, bad ass male superheroes, even more bad ass female superheroes, and Hawkman hitting Nazis in the face with a mace. I'm telling you, it's like God is personally creating these comics for no nonsense fans of superhero comics. though God tripped up on one "surprise" which follows a predictable route. it's alright, it's still the best damn superhero comic out there.

Oh, and Vandal Savage is the baddie in this arc. Vandal Savage=money in the bank.

1. 52 Week 42: Ralph "Elongated Man" Dibny has had a tough few years. With the death of his wife and a downward spiral he seemed to be getting worst and worst. That is, until this issue. is it the final chapter in the life of a silver age hero? maybe. But if it is, he went out totally gangsta. Exposing the Dr. Fate mask as a hoax cooked up by Felix Faust, Ralph turns on his detective wits and explains how he had it all figured out. Then, for an encore, he beat the devil of the DC universe. Tricked him. Played him at a fool. RIP Ralph Dibny-you are truly the man. And thank you Darrick Robertson for coming in and nailing the artwork out the park.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Good Year For Music?

The first new album I bought in 2007 was Skinny Puppy's latest Mythmaker and with it I've come to like this incarnation of Skinny Puppy more then their stuff before their initial break up. Then I picked up former Sister Machine Gun main man Chris Randall's first solo album, Devil His Due. Switching from his industrial/alternative rock stuff to a straight up blues album that I'm enjoying. KoRns first release of the year, an Mtv Unplugged disc, was far better then I expected it to be. They have a new studio album in September.

Now we got Nine Inch Nails new album Year Zero coming out soon and the leaked tracks and new music video(posted below) have made me hyped for its April release. Finally My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult has given word of their newest release Filthiest Show in Town will drop in April as well. Plus nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot is recording his new disc Secrets From the Future. Also Queens of the Stone Age are set for a new release in June. Supposedly in spring another Pigface release too. Word going around Ministry will release their final album this year. Their last record, Rio Grande Blood, was tough to get into at first but I like more now. Also Mindless Self Indulgence and PIG have mentioned new albums in the works which has me hyped.

My one time favorite band KMFDM also plans a release this year. To see I'm uninterested would be an understatement. I hate you Sascha Koneitzko.


Friday, March 9, 2007

Standing Aside During Civil War

I haven't really spoken about it and with recent fallout effecting titles and, in on case, making headlines I'm going to give you the reasoning to why I skipped Marvel Comics Civil War event and why its unlikely I'll ever read it and how its also hard at this time for me to try any marvel title.

The story of Civil War opens as the New Warriors, who had just recently finished a mini to that saw as a traveling group of superheroes on a reality TV series, face off against a number of villains in Stamford, Connecticut. One villain, Nitro, explodes and kills most New Warriors and 600 people including children. Afterwards Human Torch, whose identity is not a secret, is attacked outside a club by angry people. This leads to the idea of a superhuman registration act. This develops into two different factions-those who will go along with it and those who don't. Proving, yet again, he isn't a tool of the government Capt. America makes the only American choice and opposes. This leads to a battle between Capt. America and the resistance and Iron Man and those who support the idea.

So why didn't I read it? Why does it not interest me at all. Here's my reasoning.

1. That New Warriors story that was referenced was aimed at kids. Well, at least the art style, the comedy, and general PG feeling of the series makes me annoyed that they would go out in the beginning of a big mini-series designed to be aimed at more mature readers. Yes, shared universe. but couldn't they have just decided against doing that mini-series or even doing a more realistic approach. Civil War really makes it feel as if that whole story was just to make the people aware of who they planned on killing in the opening.

2. Registration act idea has been done before. Many times. Incidentally in some of my favorite stories too. I have a high doubt Civil War would ever please me more then those classic X-Men stories or as important as Watchmen.

3. The general realism of it. I'm not against realism in superhero comics, sometimes I like it. But Of late I have been wanting to just enjoy superhero comics with costumed heroes fighting costumed villains, with either damsels in distress or femme fatales. With good stories and characterizations I can walk away from happy. The idea of the book splitting up characters, some of which I like, into political stances has actually effected my interest in some of those characters. I'm looking at your Iron Man(which means I might skip that nice looking Iron man mini out now). Honestly, the way this title was marketed just was not the book to interest me at this time. Maybe three years ago but not right now.

4. Spider-Man reveals his identity. Now, how many times has Spidey given up the fight because it's too tough? because it effects his day to day life? How many times has he moaned and groaned? Now he wants his, unarguably, most rounded rogues gallery to know where he is? Dumb ass.

5. Lets beat up the black people. I'm joking a bit but it seems that when big comic events happen(Marvel and DC) its not good to be a)teenager b)a female and c)not white. In Civil War we had Patriot as the Young Avengers to be chased down and beaten up by Pro-Reg. Yeah, being black and in LA I don't like seeing this. Plus Patriot had that drug use thing a while back. Heinberg, the writer on that series, relates it to his own problem and I understand but why is it that the one major black teenage character, the only one alive in the Marvel U, got to suffer. Sync, dead. Alex Wilder, dead. ... Well, Night Thrashers not a teen anymore but he's dead too. I'm black Marvel. I like teenage characters. What the hell? Oh, and clone Thor kills Black Goliath. Good going Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic.

6. Clone Thor? Seriously? You cloned Thor. You guys are some crappy friends.

7. A team of super-villains were hired to hunt down Anti-Registration hero's. Let me repeat that. A team of super-villains were hired to hunt down Anti-Registration hero's. Iron Man had a hand in that.

8. Big battle, then, Capt. America surrenders after seeing how the battle is effecting the neighboring city. Drawing in more supporters to the Registration cause. Surrendering is another term for giving up.

Now, Mark Millar has written some stuff I like and Steve McNiven is a good artist and it's entirely possible I could actually like this story. But there's so much that I've read in reviews and spoilers that make me not give a damn about this story. I got back into comic books for escapism. But the real world attitude and some of the ideas in this story just don't appeal to me. I can't view Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic as heroes if they clone a Thor who is basically unstable and kills a friend. No. sorry, that's not what I look for in my superhero comics.

We are currently in the fallout factor, or status quo change. Iron Man is the head of SHEILD. Some heroes have committed to the act, some are in hiding. Capt. America is apparently dead. Oh, and the fact that Iron Man showed up(spoilers ahead) in Brian Vaughan and Adrian Alphonas last issue of Runaways makes me nervous to continue buying one of the only two ongoings I currently buy from Marvel. I want superhero comics and Civil War does not feel like a superhero comic to me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Captain America Is Dead

I don't see this lasting more then a few years tops. But if it does, kudos to Marvel. Doesn't necessarily get me interested in the product as I only buy two monthlies, an occasional mini-series, and a few trades here and there. DC universe may be getting more violent but Marvel universe feels more real, and so the darkness there seems more genuine. And I don't want to read bleak comics where the good guys lose, the bad guys are more sinister, and where friends will forsake friendship and inadvertently(or not) cause the deaths of people they once fought beside. I buy comics to see action-packed stories where the heroes stand tall, friendship and love mean something, and hope still exist. DC may occasionally crap on some of those ideals but I still feel happier with their product compared to Marvels.

No knock on Ed Brubaker who wrote the story. I haven't read this issue myself but the first year of Capt. America stories he did write that I have read were good and he is a talented writer. But my tastes are more geared to fantasy and less to his more down-to-earth "realistic" approach.

Reached for comment on the death of his character at this point in history, 93 year old Captain America co-creator Joe Simon told the AP, "We really need him now."
Yes we do need him.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Understanding Your Future Masters: Excel Saga Overview Part 6

Table of Contents
Introduction & Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Excel Saga Wikipedia

Finding pix of Shioji is tough so this might be the last of them.

Also, a lot of information is explained within these two chapters.

Volume 12
Side Story: A companion piece featuring a spotlight on Professor Gojyou Shiouji and his cousin Umi Rengaya. Opens with a bit of history on Shiouji. He is the son of a scientist and biologist. His father, Tenmangu Shiouji, left him and his mother Miwa when Gojyou was only 6. Afterwards his mother started to become more and more physically affectionate to her son which warped him. After his first meeting with his younger cousin Umi, he initially decided to dedicate himself to her life but that changed as she got older. Umi now dedicates her life to comfort her cousin whose consumed with his own work as she assists him as an intern and his families lab. Coincidentally located near a children’s park.

The several short stories are supplementary and don’t have any real bearing on continuity but show why Dr, Kabapu couldn’t get in contact with him in earlier stories as well as what delayed Iwatas return as a cyborg. The stories really focus on him enjoying sitting at the bench by the park while his some what air headed cousin, Umi, who dresses in various cosplay style outfits tries to get him to answer the phone or try some food she made. There’s also a man named Heisuke Matsunobu whose presence is just for extra comedy effect.

Mission 1: Kabapu and Momochi discuss the bombings that occurred in volume 11 mission 8. Various contractors and owners who were to start demolition but were slow to start the renewal are outraged. Though now, with the demolition out of the way, construction on various projects on those sites is moving quickly. Kabapu admits to having considered destroying the sights himself. After Momochi leaves Kabapu starts to believe himself and Il Palazzo are on the same wavelength.

Our Across girls get a job at a diner on the beach run by Mrs. Manager from Mission 6 of volume 7. Hyatt has one of her collapses and is left in the shade by Excel and Egala. Later that night Excel, Egala and Manager are firing off bottle rockets. Egala accidentally blows up a near by facility. The facility was owned by Kabapu who, once hearing about the destruction, orders for the debris to be cleared away. Hyatt seems to have been barely alive through the night and still out when Excel and Egala find out hey forgot about her.

Mission 2: The department(and Ropponmatsu II/Second-Chan) go to the beach. They were suppose to train at the special facility but as you know from the last story it got blown up real good. Now they’re just on vacation. Watanabe goes out looking for shade but finds Hyatt/Mrs. Ayasugi. He takes her for a boat ride while Iwata decides to try and chase them down and ruin things for Watanabe. With Second-Chan chasing right behind him. “Love is more amusing and passionate when obstacles are placed in its way”-Iwata. Nabe and Ayasugi get out to sea but lose the oars in a tidal wave caused by Iwata(and his cyborg body). Hyatt tries to explain she has a brick of gold to repay her and her roommates debt to him while Nabe tries to express his love for her. At that optimal moment she collapses again. Nabe needs to do CPR but perverted images float through his mind.

Mission 3: Shiouji remembers back to when he first met his cousin, Umi. His daydreams are interrupted by Umi whose older and specifically more grown up. She hands him a telephone with Kabapu whose asking if he had spoken with his father or if his mother, Miwa, has spoken to his father. Shiouji has not on both counts and talks with Umi about his fathers disappearance and his mothers change in personality afterwards. At his office Kabapu and Momochi discuss Miwa while Shiouji prepares to make a trip to the beach to retrieve Iwatas body from underwater.

Mission 4: As Watanabe is finally going to give Ayasugi CPR they are met by a ship. Once their helped on board they’re held hostage by modern day pirates. Ayasugi awakens, confused, as is Watanabe on how she revived herself. The ship however gets knocked for a loop by a submarine. This sends both Watanabe and Ayasugi into the sea. The sub is manned by Shiouji who sends Second-Chan to rescue Nabe while Ayasugi, unbeknownst to Shiouji and Second Chan, floats away. Iwata ends up washing ashore, as does Hyatt who just returns to work though covered in seaweed. Nabe’s in the hospital worried and second Chan admits to Matsuya she doesn’t know if Ayasugi was with him or not.

Mission 5: Hyatt gets cleaned up as Excel and Egala end up arguing on how “fine” Hyatt is. Egala is worried she was sexually assaulted because of how she returned. Though Excel thinks she’s just being Hyatt at her most casual. The girls get paid and Mrs. Manager speaks about how the hotel(way back in her first appearance) will rise again. The girls return home to find Mince almost starved to death in their home.

Kabapu contemplates the bombings still. “Yes, I do sense his hand in this. I’m certain he ahs resurfaced. And things that I feared might happen someday are already happening.”In his head he goes over not being fully prepared for attacks on this level. About not being ready with the technology and robotics that his staff is employing as they are not yet perfect. He wonders about Shiouji’s father because his disappearance delayed his plans and how he refuses to contact Miwa. Kabapu and Matsuya visit the staff(minus Nabe in the hospital) and after speaking with Iwata Kabapu in his head determines he needs Tenmangu.

Matsuya and Sumiyoshi run into Hyatt/Ayasugi and ask her to accompany them to visit Watanabe. She explains how she survived to him even though Sumi and Matsuya think she’s just humoring him. Il is not at HQ, instead he’s in a mysterious location plotting.

Volume 13
Mission 1: Miwa Shiouji returns to the shock of her son by infiltrating and disarming the security system which includes second Chan. She showers her son with physical embrace as she does with Umi and Second Chan. Seems she rewrote Second-Chans command priorities. They discuss the fact Kabapu is looking for Tenmangu Shiouji briefly before Miwa up and leaves to her personal lab. Umi and Shiouji discuss the fact they’ve never been in her lab as its been locked and couldn’t figure how to get in, including sending Ropponmatsu to try and break in. After Umi tries using “open sesame” Shiouji tries a spoken password(whispered) which lets them in. they look around and find old pictures of Miwa from years back. Miwa more or less looks only several years older then any of the other women running around in this series.

The Across girls are waiting around for Il Palazzo to return. Spending time saluting a cardboard cut out Egala made.

Mission 2: The women of Across bum rush a news team and get spotted by a producer as they promote the word of Il Palazzo. Thinking they’re wannabe idols. They do some public speaking about Il Palazzo and Across while Kabapu meets with Miwa to talk about Tenamnagu and finding a “ruin.” A hologram of Il Palazzo looms over the city for thousands to see and hear. The girls rush to HQ as Kabapu watches and wanders about Il’s goals.

Mission 3: The staff(Matsuya, Iwata, Watanabe, and Sumiyoshi) see the hologram as do many on the street and ones at home watching the news before its cut off by the government. The staff is assembled in their battle suits to see Kabapu in his native dress. To the shock, dismay, and embarrassment of his employees. Kabapu explains who Il Palazzo is.

He is the mastermind of the organization we regard as our enemy.-Kabapu
When you say “we” do you mean “you and Mrs. Momochi?”-Matsuya
Surely you did not mean us, dokta.-Sumiyoshi
It is an established fact you are included in the we.-Kabapu.
“Established fact“?-Watanabe

Kabapu explains why the Department of Environmental Safety was invented. To stop Il and destroy the over technology that could destroy the world. Matsuya wants to quit but Kabapu makes it clear she knows too much and she would have to live under strict protection. Also admits to hiring the four cause they lived in the same apartment complex, past applicants died in hiring process.

Kabapu is from Solaria. An advanced civilization that existed 20,000 years in the past. Solaria vanished with few survivors and remains. “I have made it my task to seek out these scattered devices, and destroy them.” Kabapu explains he lays dormant from time to time until he senses a danger. He feels Il Palazzo possesses the source of Soalrias destruction. The staff, needless to say, think they deserve a raise. And get two weeks leave.

Mission 4: The trio are sent to the enemies “stronghold” to abduct Ropponmatsu I. Undercover are the group as Excel and Hyatt work as janitors and Egala as an office worker. When the trio run into Ropponmatsu they try different ways of capturing the robot. Excel tries tying her up at first to no avail but Egala shocks her down. Kabapu finds out her system went off line and once abck she’ll go into a violent self-preservation mode. He calls in SWAT while Egala and Excel, unaware she’s a robot(though Excel had ran into her once before and had to carry her back in vol. 6 and missions 6-7. Once Ropponmatsu awakens she destroys Egalas stun gun and chases the two but slips on the floors Hyatt heavily waxed and falls out the window. which is many floors up. The Across women escape to report to Il Palazzo and Ropponmatsu survives. Matsuya meanwhile was detained trying to flee the country.

Mission 5: Kabapu and Miwa Shiouji meet and talk by an indoor pool. Kabapu mentions the attempt at abducting Ropponmatsu I. How he needs her to be perfect for his ultimate goal. Miwa speaks on her son finish the culmination of her husbands work which is Ropponmatsu. She is to reach and open the gate of the Ruin and confront what is inside. He talks about Ropponmatsus core being the ruler of Solaria. How he hid “her majesty” inside the core. He continues on about destroying the ruin and mentions having used “dead men souls” to accomplish some of his goals. Miwa asks why he never sued his resources to just conquer the world but he is against that idea.

Prof. Shiouji and his assistant/cousin Umi enter Miwas lab. Shiouji uses her computer to look for information on his father. He finds notes left by his dad, tenmangu Shiouji, about the birth of his son Gojyou Shiouji and the development of Ropponmatsu I. It leads into information on the Ruin, Solaria, ancient science and technology, and wanderings about Kabapu. He discovers his father was years ahead of where he is now and that his mother can exchange information with his father. The files, though, were left on the computer by his mother for him to find.

Mission 6: Matsuya approaches Shiouji outside his lab with questions regarding many things that have been happening of late. They talk about Kabapu but all Shiouji knows about him is that he financed his fathers research twenty years ago. Matsuya comments on Kabapu having the police and government in his pocket. They discuss Ropponmatsu and the holograms. Shiouji tells Matsuya that the power source for the Ropponmatsu units was provided by Kabapu and believes it was his fathers invention. Matsuya asks about their battle suits. Shiouji answers that they were tailored after Kabapus instructions. Lightweight, enhances strength, good in hot and cold environments. The material that was used to make them was fabric that was provided by Kabapu and was also used in the development of the Ropponmatsu units. Shiouji admits to her that Ropponmatsu II was specifically designed by him for independent studies.

They retreat to his labs lobby. Umi, dressed like a DOA girl Kasumi, gets the two coffee(and seems a little jealous of her cousins company). Shiouji explains that he only cooperates with Kabapu to further his own research and to learn what Kabapu knows about his father. They speak about Kabapus plans as well as the mysterious Il Palazzo. Miwa enters the scene and greets Matsuya quite affectionately.

“There’s something artificial about your mothers… sexuality.”-Matsuya.

The two part and Shiouji invites her to return to talk if she needs too. He says “This may be the only place safe to talk.”

Bonus mission. Fantasy story set in hospital.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Whatever Happened... ?

To seeing how something finishes, hell, seeing how something even goes about before you start of hopping mad and throwing a hissy fit. Its one thing to disagree, its another thing to make pointless tantrums when you didn't see/read the product and haven't seen how things turned out.

I didn't bother with Civil War. I didn't like the ending. But Jesus, I ain't crying about Marvel destroying themselves. Who knows, maybe the comics in Marvel will turn out great. Some people need to take their hobbies a little less seriously.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Music Player Added

On the bottom of the page their is a music player that turns on automatically. you can switch it off. Some of the tracks, probably more then half, are not work safe. Eventually I'll put together a more reasonable tracklisting. by reasonable, not so parental advisory.

EDIT: New special playlist for this blog. ranging from my industrial and goth to oldies, old school rap, punk, and more.