Archive for October, 2008

…Well, I’m still waiting on my copy to arrive, but LittleBigPlanet officially hit store shelves earlier this week and I’m hoping that when I get home from work today that the game will be waiting for me so that I can give it a go before hitting the books again this evening.  By all indications It appears the game doesn’t disappoint in the least as its receiving extremely high reviews across the board for its “sky isn’t even the limit” creativity and given the potential inherent in the level/character building concept I’m looking forward to seeing what I can come up with as far as my own interests are concerned.

Glad the game is finally here, and I tell you what, a vacation would be real helpful right about now!

[Update: I only had time to play for a couple of hours over the weekend, but navigating through the levels, changing the appearance of the Sackboy, trying to collect as many items as possible and checking out newly created levels and creation options was an awful lot of fun (some great music to boot).  My girlfriend actually pulled up a chair beside me to see more of the game and instantly fell in love with the little guy. She loved the different expressions, moving the character around, and switching the different looks (she had an Elizabethan sackboy with big glasses). She even wanted me to attempt to create a level after I explained that aspect of the game so I can thankfully say that this may be something that we can enjoy playing together.  Couldn’t be happier with the game and I really have only scratched the surface.]


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My copy of Usagi Yojimbo #115 arrives this Friday, so I haven’t had the chance to enjoy the story yet (and I still need to review #114 to boot!) but for anyone interested in a preview of the contents, here’s Dark Horse’s Solicitation and preview pages to enjoy (thanks to the Usagi Yojimbo Dojo!) before heading off to your local retailer…which I’m assuming you’ll do with all due haste:
When Lord Tadakazu died without leaving an heir, the Shogun himself took responsibility for dividing the lord’s holdings. Mysteriously, an entire fortress was given to Lord Otomo, a rival of Tadakazu, with the provision that he personally take possession of the structure.  When Usagi discovers that the Neko ninja plan to attack Lord Otomo, the rabbit ronin believes this strange gift may be part of a plot to assassinate the lord. Yet no ninja assault can compare to the surprise that awaits Otomo within the walls of his old enemy’s fortress.

Publication Date: October 22, 2008
Format: B&W, 24 pages
Price: $2.99

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Over the past several years Gemstone Publishing has released Halloween ashcans, which feature Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, the nephews and other Disney cast characters in several short holiday-themed stories, all in the hopes that you’ll have something unique and rewarding to pass out to trick-or-treaters and to enjoy yourself while you wait.  It’s a great way to introduce the wholesome books to young readers, and it’s a nice change of pace from passing out only candy.  I hadn’t heard if we were getting them again this year, but according to The Scoop, it looks like we can indeed look forward to a new Halloween offering in the form of Donald Duck story entitled “Halloween Huckster” and you can read more about it in the solicitation below.  In addition, this is a great deal, because you get [15] giveaway comics, including the three copies of the Gemstone book, along with Peanuts, Archie, Bone and Cowa! for $3.99:

Boo! It’s Halloween next week and the Jack O’ Lanterns are flying! Check the cover of 2008’s Gemstone Disney Halloween ashcan if you don’t believe us. This 16-page fun size Donald Duck giveaway is haunting your neighborhood now.

Under the shocking cover by Fajner and Pasquet you’ll find an all new Marco Rota Duck tale making its North American debut, “The Halloween Huckster!” Spooky scare expert Kaspar Kanterville invites Donald to help him paint the town orange, and haunt the dickens out of Uncle Scrooge, Gyro Gearloose, and Daisy! But too much fright proves no delight…and what happens when Donald learns his host is a g-g-ghost?

Get your ducks in a row for a scare beyond compare! Ask your participating comic shop for a $3.99 Halloween Mini-Comic Variety Pack. It pairs Donald Duck with Bone, Peanuts, Cowa!, and Archie giveaways. You’ll get fifteen books in all, with three of each title.

Please don’t miss out on these great collectibles folks.  They’re a great way to enjoy the holiday, a nice change of pace if you pass them out as treats, and encourage reading while entertaining the little ones in the process.

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Covers by ALAN DAVIS

One of the Marvel Universe’s most staggering sagas from two of Britain’s most remarkable writers, reprinted in total for the first time! Captain Britain fights to save a universe…and fails! But a single reality is small change in the game Merlyn’s playing against Mad Jim Jaspers, who’s rewriting reality so he’s the center of the universe! Worlds collide, heroes and villains die, and Captain Britain’s beside himself – except when he’s fighting himself…to the death! Featuring the first appearances of the metamorphic Meggan, Opal Luna Saturnyne, the Captain Britain Corps, and more! Plus: Psylocke joins the X-Men, and the X-Men join Captain Britain on a cosmic quest into the secrets of life and death! The fiendish Fury, the horrific Horde and the malevolent Mojo are only a few of the adversaries who await within! Also guest-starring the New Mutants and Captain America! Collecting MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (UK) #377-388, THE DAREDEVILS (UK) #1-11, CAPTAIN AMERICA #305-306, MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL (UK) #7-16, CAPTAIN BRITAIN (UK) #1-14, NEW MUTANTS ANNUAL #2 and UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #11.

680 PGS./Rated T+ …$99.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-3760-3
680 PGS./Rated T+ …$99.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-3771-9

Wa-Hoo! That is all.

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If you’ve been hanging around here awhile, you’ll know of the high, high esteem in which I hold Davis and Claremont’s Excalibur.  It’s one of my favorite runs of all time and I’ve re-read it more times than I can count.  Well, Captain Britain and Meggan were always one of the most compelling parts of the book for me and they became a couple of the most realistic characters in the Marvel Universe.  So you might understand my diappointment when Meggan was seemingly killed in Uncanny X-Men a couple of years ago.  While her “death” was certainly heroic, I felt it was pretty needless within the context of the story and that it could have ended in a myriad of other ways than the one that claimed the character.  That said, I was fairly confident that she died in such a way that she could be brought back when an author (Davis!) felt they had a story for her and/or valued the richness of the character.  Well, last month I caught a glimpse of Meggan on a cover for MI:13 (which I hear is great) and hoped that it was indeed her, as opposed to a skrull or somesuch, and if this month’s solicitation is any indication she is indeed back!

Just one more (great) reason to pick the MI:13 collections up (though I’m going to pick this issue up to support the decision to bring her back…and because I don’t think I can wait to read it).


Penciled by LEONARD KIRK
“Hell Comes to Birmingham”
Captain Britain is reunited with his wife, Meggan! But
can they stay together and live through Dr. Plokta’s
devastating attack? Also, the Black Knight gives into his darkest urges and comes to grips with the truth about the Ebony Blade. Can he ever turn back to the light? Part 4 (of 4)
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

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Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2; 2005) was my first foray into the world of Yuuji Horii and Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Quest series since the early days of the NES’ Dragon Warrior (which I obtained in the popular Nintendo Power giveaway) and I was so enamored with the game, its mechanics, rich world, and characters that I decided to use it as a springboard to start my own DQ collection.  I quickly re-obtained that original NES cartridge, and spent a couple of years hunting down complete versions of the Game Boy DQ Remakes I-III, Dragon Quest Monsters I-II, and DQVII for future rainy days.  I scarfed up Rocket Slime and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker for the DS a couple of years ago, and of course, the shiny new version of DQIV was released only a few weeks ago as the first of 3 remakes on the Nintendo DS which will bring the series up-to-date here in the states, all the way up to Dragon Quest IX: Protectors of the Sky which should be hitting our shores sometime in 2009.

A better version of the TGS trailer for the game can be found in the video sidebar and from the looks of it, its going to exceed my own lofty expectations coming out of the epic Journey of the Cursed King.  Toriyama’s classic art style is handled so well in the impressive cut scene footage and while the DS can’t quite muster the detail found in DQVIII, it certainly still knocks it out of the park on the hand-held.  What’s more, I’m jazzed at the prospect of creating and equipping my characters as shown in the video.  So, if you haven’t seen it, sit back and take a moment to enjoy the music and the way in which the video quickly endears the characters to the audience as they try to fight back the forces of evil endangering the land.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the last 20 years.

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I really enjoyed Gail Simone’s Villain’s United mini-series during the Infinite Crisis build-up several years ago, and I’m waiting anxiously Secret Six Vol. 2 to be released and collected before picking up both vol. 1-2 in TPB (better late than never for that first go around).  Granted, it’ll be several months before that happens but it does serve to remind me that Ostrander’s original Suicide Squad, which served as an inspiration for the Secret Six concept, has never been reprinted by DC.  It’s only a matter of time at this point, but you’d think that a series as original as that one was, which provided an anything goes atmosphere for stories, gave us an intriguing in-your-face character in Amanda Waller, revitalized Barbara Gordon as Oracle, and that prominently features Deadshot, one of the greatest villains/anti-heroes in all comicdom (!) would’ve been reprinted by now!

And if it’s merely a cover they need:

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