Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thor and Green Lantern: Double Review

Yes, I'm doing a double review; two for the price of one. First I want to talk about the Thor movie that made major record sellouts across the country and earned raving reviews. Mine is really no different. If you haven't seen Thor yet and it's not longer in the theater near you, you've missed out. You need to see this movie. It's brilliantly made with fantastic special effects and views that make Asgard worthy of... well... ASGARD. The Ice giants looked awesome, the battle scenes were all incredible. One of the feelings I look for when I go to a comic related movie is that I am definitely looking at the character in question. I want to feel like "Oh Yeah! That's definitely Spider-man, Cap, Thor" or who ever I went to see. Thor delivered that in spades. Props to giving Hawkeye a speaking part for the short time he was in the movie. Even that felt very accurate. Loki was diabolical too, big props on that. When you see it, remember to wait through the credits for the teaser at the end. One of the villains is suggested for the Avengers movie and it promises to be awesome already. I saw a hint of TWO villains in it.. how about you?

Now the only problem I had, and it really didn't bother me that much, was Odin's eye. The movie makes it look like he lost it in combat with the giants. Even the comics continuity, however, follows the original legend that Odin gave his eye in payment for ultimate wisdom. The eye is never specified in legend, but most often drawn as his left eye. In the movie it's his right eye. Now, because it doesn't specify, they could claim that he went in search of ultimate wisdom because of the war with the giants (that still wouldn't be accurate though). Legend says his gaining the wisdom happened before those wars. But it's not something that made me dislike the movie in any way. It's just technical fact jargon that I happen to know. If that's all I could find "wrong" then they did a fantastical job. And they did.

Now, let's take a look at the new Green Lantern Fast Forces pack. I have to say that this is a well made set that does allow for new players to get involved quickly and easily. Points are carefully set to make for quick team building in even hundreds. It even says so right on the back of the package. All six together make a nice even 600 points, so you can pit two sets against each other right off the bat, or make two 300 point teams out of one. That's instant game play with map and dice included. For all it has in the package, meant for new players, there's just one thing missing.

A RULEBOOK, PEOPLE! Seriously? No rules of any kind? Hang on a second. You have a great marketing strategy to get new players by using venues like Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, etc.... and there's NOTHING that says HOW TO PLAY? OOPS! Were we assuming that the only people who would buy know someone in heroclix? That would be folly if so. People may buy this set out of interest in the movie... then go, "This is cool, but what do I do with it?". People who are in the game aren't going to care, but there's a lost connection, lost opportunity for those who get this to get started as the package suggests: "Fast forces are the quickest way for you to get in the game".

The figures look pretty cool and click nicely. I only had to fix two of them and they were very minor fixes. Plastic quality.. a little cheaper than most, but usable. Hal's head doesn't seem quite right, that angle in mass production makes him look like he broke his neck. Modders could make a heck of a zombie out of Hal in this set!

Still, I suggest picking up this set, because it's way cool and has Kilowog and Tomar Re. You can't get those two without shelling out some bucks for the originals. Enjoy some clicking today with Green Lantern, we are!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Green Lantern's changing origin

I recently picked up the Green Lantern Super Spectacular comic at the grocery store and gave it a good read. I can't afford comic books much anymore. For that matter, I have to stick with a limit of vices for budget sake. So my comic junkie fix is Heroclix. First of all, it's not that spectacular. It's full of short stories that come across as teasers more than anything with little in the way of good ol Green Lantern action. The only story really worth the read is the origin story. Now for the meat of this blog article.

Just how many ways are they going to choose for Abin Sur to die? Yes, it's always a crash landing in a spacecraft. What's always changing it the cause of that crash. Never mind the need of a spacecraft when you have a power ring that allows for space travel, no, forget that. There's been some weird explanations for that one. They pile it on heavily with an excuse in this newest story. Actually, it might be one of the best excuses they've come up with so far. Abin Sur loses faith in his ring to protect him because of some fortune telling prophecy. His will must have been waning badly in the first place for that to work. So the ring would eventually fail because of that weakness. So who caused the crash of the ship that Abin shouldn't have been in? The second cause of him using that ship, namely...

That's Atrocitus. If you've been paying attention to current storylines (and I try to) and Heroclix, you know this guy is the leader of the Red Lanterns. He doesn't have a power ring yet in this story, but he's on Abin's ship for another really silly reason. Apparently Abin needs him to show where the darkness is coming from. Uh, okay. Anyway, Atrocitus breaks free and attacks Abin... cue crash. But that's not who originally did this according to origins written.. last time I read the story of Hal's origin in a special called Emerald Dawn, it was this guy...

That's Legion. Legion is a whole alien race living inside of yellow armor. Note the color.... yellow. The weakness of a power ring at the time was the color yellow. In the current story, that weakness is mentioned again and declared to be still be accurate. Funny no? According to that 90's storyline, Legion fought Abin to the point of nearly killing him and a spacecraft was his only hope of escape, having drained his ring with no safe place to recharge. So he fled with Legion right on his heels. Legion pursues him into Earth's atmosphere and causes the crash.

Of course, that's not the only way the story has been told, even still. You can check out all those versions in one handy place HERE.

It seems to me that Abin Sur's fate keeps getting tweaked with what ever villain is popular at the time. To me, this makes the continuity of it all a total joke. I've seen origins get tweaked in movies a bit, but this is ridiculous. If I understand correctly, in the movie it may even be different still, with the darkness itself causing the crash... we'll see. At least Hal still keeps getting the ring from ol Abin. That hasn't changed... yet.