Archive for April, 2008

Crime Lords Month: Finale

April 30, 2008

So our magical journey through crime comes to an end… for now…

When Lost Hemisphere and I decided to go through with this month neither of us were aware of what a large impact crime had on the Marvel Universe. There is a HUGE variety of Crime Lords characters, many of whom we did not cover this month, who are every bit as interesting as Spider-Man or Wolverine. (Actually, just about everyone is more interesting than Wolverine, but that’s neither here nor there…)

Though a lot of teams seem ‘unplayable’ in any given format, that doesn’t mean they’re any less fun to play. One of my guilty pleasures is playing a rarely used card and having my opponent do a double take. “I forgot that card even existed!” And guess what? It’s even more hillarious when they do that to your entire deck.

So yeah, throw some Crime Lords together and see what happens. If you do it now you won’t seem like such a sheep when everyone is building the team in Marvel Universe.

Special thanks to Bloke, Spud, Stu, and just about everyone who participated, commented and/or did not openly mock us. Cheers!

CLM Preview! Bullseye, Closer to God

April 29, 2008

All month long Lost Hemisphere and this humble site have been celebrating the glory of Crime Lords with our very own Crime Lord’s Month! From Vanessa Fisk to Batroc to The Enforcers, every major criminal in the Marvel Universe has gotten some love in anticipation for… well, Marvel Universe.

It only seems fitting that I wrap things up with an exclusive MUN preview card featuring the greatest Crime Lord of them all, the ruthless mercenary known only as Bullseye!

Wait — what do you mean he’s a member of the Thunderbolts!?

Read the rest of this entry »

Artists I Love: Denis Medri

April 28, 2008

In honor of the upcoming Unofficial Italian National’s today’s artist hails from Italy!

Ben Medri is an extremely talented artist who has just recently started working for Marvel Comics. His rounded figures and wonderful detail instantly caught my eyes. Not since the late Mike Wieringo (also Italian) have I seen an artist so capably balance the realistic and the cartoonish.

There is a great variety in Medri’s style as well, since no two figures are exactly alike. Most recently his work can be seen in the Marvel Comics’ adaptation of Last of the Mohicans (along with Stephen Kurth) as well as a back-up tale in Giant-Sized Avengers Special #1.

As always, more images are available for your viewing pleasure after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

HL: Count(er) Your Blessings

April 26, 2008

Ironically, the week after we had an amazing showing at our local Hobby League was when we finally got our prize support. This was the prize kit that I had been waiting for since December, since it included the much-too-awesome Superman/Batman Robot and Roshambo! The night itself is already documented on Tier 2 Tutor, but I thought I’d include my personal story as well.

One of our newer players only had an Avengers reservist build on hand, so it was decided that the six of us try our hand at a Bring Your Own Set tournament. Yes, we’ll be giving away those same prizes all month long… but I wanted them NOW!

In order to win, I pulled out the big guns for this one. It was time for Shadowpact.

Read the rest of this entry »

CLM: Purple Rain

April 25, 2008

Today’s Crime Lord is arguably the most colorful Crime Lord of them all!

Born in Yugoslavia, Zebediah Killgrave was an infamous international spy until he was terribly injured in a chemical refinery. Although the accident permanently transformed his skin to a shade of purple, Killgrave soon discovered that it had also granted amazing superhuman powers!

(I know it sounds cool but please don’t try this at home, or in your local chemical refinery.)

Now with the ability to control the minds of others, Zebediah Killgrave took to a life of crime. From now on he would be known only as…

The Purple Man!

Read the rest of this entry »

Nostalgia Vs. Reality: The Chipmunk Adventure

April 25, 2008

Nostalgia Vs. Reality is an ongoing feature where beloved things from my childhood are looked at today with a critical eye. Today we review 1987’s The Chipmunk Adventure.

Before the recent success of the Alvin and the Chpmunks feature film I had assumed that Alvin, Simon and Theodore were lost to the ages. They seemed to be the type of characters who, while extremely popular in their day, had failed to reinvent themselves for the younger generation. After all, in their 1980’s television series The Chipmunks regularly sang old Michael Jackson and Bruce Springstein songs — not exactly the most timeless children’s entertainment.

So, I pretty much assumed that their feature film debut, The Chipmunk Adventure would be much of the same.  Worse yet, the 1980’s is notorious for poor animation, a product of aggressive accounting and a realization that children will watch just about anything. Needless to say my expectations were low.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rallying Cry!

April 23, 2008

“Now is the time, this is the place. Here is where we make our stand!”
                                                                          – Martian Manhunter

No, the sky is not falling, and the state of the game is strong. However, there is no denying that recent announcements have left this humble blogger a little concerned about the future of his favorite time-waster. It is great news that Marvel will continue to have VS. expansions throughout the year, but I demand more. We can keep DC an active part of the VS. System, we just have to speak up.

If you want to continue seeing your favorite DC Comics’ characters featured in UDE’s VS. System please send a letter to Paul Levitz, President of DC Comics. Mr. Levitz has always been receptive towards fan feedback, and I suspect that his influence can convince the bean counters at Warner Bros. that this card game is worth it.

Paul Levitz
c/o DC Comics
1700 Broadway, 7th Fl.
New York, NY 10019-590

In your brief (and courteous!) letter please include a copy of the card ‘Rallying Cry!’ [DJL-188] as well as your own favorite DC card. Once again, the future of the VS. System lies in the hands of the community that made it so great in the first place. The power is yours!

Update: If you have the time also consider posting your thoughts on the recent announcement in DC Comics’ official message boards. This is one of the few internet sites that DC regularly visits, so there’s a good chance someone is listening.

How Did I Miss This? Volume 2

April 22, 2008

I’m really late in noticing this, but maybe you missed it too…

That’s right! Birds of Prey, the WB’s misguided follow-up to Smallville, is finally coming to DVD! This is great news for Bat-Fans, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Admittedly this show was kind of awful, but it did have some strong moments. Now when will they finally get off their rear ends and release the 60’s Batman series? Oracle is cool and all, but I want to see Batgirl!

HL: Making Hawktank Work

April 21, 2008

This is the third or fourth time I’ve tried posting this. The WordPress servers hosting this site don’t seem to be cooperating… hopefully this problem resolves itself before our big Crime Lords finale next week.

As I’ve mentioned before, Hawktank is having respectable, but not quite impressive showings these days. I have more competitive decks than this (World’s Finest and Insanity, oddly enough) yet I find myself strangely compelled to make this one work. I’m a big fan of the power-up theme, and of the JSA, so if nothing else I’d like to earn the team some long overdue street cred. I’m open to suggestions!

At last week’s Hobby League I attempted to underdrop with Firestorm (DCL) to get some extra burn in. Unfortunately the work required for him to stun a five drop simply wasn’t worth the use of several power-ups, so Firestorm is out for now. In its’ current state I find that this deck regularly makes it to turn seven (and beyond!) Something clearly needs to change here…

Read the rest of this entry »

CLM: The Pride

April 19, 2008

Today’s Crime Lords are another recent, and terribly clever addition to the comic book landscape. It all started when writer Brian K Vaughn began to wonder why all of the superheroes in the United States were situated on the East Coast. There had to be some reason why both heroes and villains stayed away from Los Angeles in droves, so Vaughn decided to make one up.

Enter The Pride.

Who are The Pride? Well, they’re the greatest criminal masterminds you, and the superhuman community, have never heard of. A group of twelve diverse and dangerous individuals, they secretly controlled the greater Los Angeles area for over a decade!

Read the rest of this entry »