Archive for February, 2009

I can’t believe it

February 28, 2009

Ugh, what terrible news. Apparently scans_daily, that lovely site of comic book scans, has been shut down. Thankfully they’ve got a backup site running, Daily Scans and are looking into recovering their old entries. Also, one member made a backup of the site, as you’ll see when you click on the first link.

What a bummer, though. Scans_daily had rules to avoid mitigate copyright issues (e.g. no one could post more than half a comic per post) and were going to introduce even stricter rules just before LiveJournal pulled the plug. Plus it got me interested in a whole ton of comic series I wouldn’t have checked out otherwise. Not to mention some of the posters could be really, really funny.

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Weekly Recommendations for 2/25/2009

February 27, 2009

Uh wow, time sure flew. Anyway, let’s do this:

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Spiffy’s Oscar Chit-Chat and Favorite Flicks of 2008

February 23, 2009

In case, it’s not obvious, I’m a big movie guy, and so, despite immense bullshittery, I love award shows. And, after last night’s rousing 81st annual Oscars, it’s the perfect time to look back and see what the best movies of the year were, and more importantly, which one’s were my favorites to give you an idea of what to check out in the coming weeks ahead (what better thing to do on Spring Break than watch The Visitor?). While I won’t argue that Iron Man is a better film than Milk, you bet your ass that Iron Man will top it in my rankings. If that rankles you, I apologize. But read on for the top 25 films of 2008. But before that, a quickie Oscar recap.

Sexiest Host Alive

Sexiest Host Alive

[Note: The top 25 list will be added later this evening.]

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Thieves’ Gambit

February 20, 2009

Last time, the X-Men came to the rescue of one of their own, narrowly avoiding a disaster that would’ve no doubt brought the human/mutant struggle to a quick boil. With the vital assistance of Emma Frost, the team defeat the Shadow King, and Storm rejoined the team.

Today is a bit different. Mysterious forces are moving against the X-Men. And it all centers around a convenient little device developed by Forge that negates a mutant’s abilities. The device, a collar, manages to curb Amara Aquilla, aka Magma’s abilities before they bring down a block of apartment buildings that the MRD forced her into. After releasing Amara to her father, Wolverine brings the collar home where it is safely locked away.

But while the X-Men sleep, a familiar face, contracted to steal the device, sneaks in and out of the mansion without being seen. But Logan’s heightened senses make finding him a snap. And all it takes is a little cash to convert this thief to Wolverine’s point of view and help him steal it back.

Do us all a favor, Wolverine!

Do us all a favor, Wolverine!

Yawn. I’m not a huge Gambit fan. The episode doesn’t serve much of a purpose other than to introduce him. And if he isn’t going to be part of the team, it seems a bit gratuitous to introduce him in the 5th episode. The accent is also a bit off, and the voice-acting for Gambit in the 90’s cartoon was much better.

Other than that, there is the introduction of a mysterious woman in white, as well as Bolivar Trask, who attempts to reverse engineer the collar (whether he is successful or not is unknown). Trask mentions the woman’s name but it is drowned out by background noise.  We also get a peak at plans for a Master Mold, which could lead to something down the road. We also get a moment between the comatose Charles and Logan where he reveals that he doesn’t feel he is up to snuff when it comes to guiding young mutants.

Wolverine enjoys conversations with vegetables.

Wolverine enjoys conversations with vegetables.

Next time, however…

One of the X-Men that hasn’t been around since the explosion at the mansion returns. And he’s in quite a bit of hot water.

Weekly Recommendations for 2/18/09

February 17, 2009

I’m back, and as mediocre as ever!

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Checking In With The Big Two With Uncle Spiffy (Part Uno)

February 17, 2009

It’s been awhile since I posted reviews for comics, and instead of forcing you to sit through that excruciating experience, I decided to just take a look at what’s been happening in the way too many titles I own, and check up with Marvel’s Dark Reign and whatever goddamned event is going on in DC this week (Origins & Omens is gimmicky, and yes, I know it ties into Blackest Night, but just give us Blackest Night!).

batmanalfred

"We'll have to do away with this one. There's no more laundry detergent, sir"

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The Eyes of Despero

February 12, 2009

Hey! Kinda forgot about this last week. “The Eyes of Despero” was the latest episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. We’ve got Batman in space, Despero on a path to control the minds of the entire universe…and it’s loaded with Green Lanterns. The uh, sad part? It ain’t exactly Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner you’re gonna be watching save the universe.

Instilling the universe with uh... "hope"... Right.

Instilling the universe with uh... "hope"... Right.

Yeah. It’s G’Nort, Sinestro, and Guy Gardner. What the hell? Well let’s slow down. We open with a Doctor Fate/Batman team-up against the master sorcerer, Wotan. Its a trippy little segment, with some weird visuals in the Library of Infinity.

As we move on to the main story, the Green Lantern Corps in its entirety is taking on Despero near the planet Oa. Despero seems easily capable of overpowering their will and using them as his personal army to conquer the universe. Hal Jordan takes matters into his own hands and destroys the Corps… Only one thing remains of the Corps. A ring. And it is seeking out the most qualified individual it can find… Batman. The ring transports him to Oa where he finds the GL Corps reject club, locked in the brig.

Unable to wear the ring, the remaining Lanterns use their ring to augment Batman and provide him with armor and ring-like powers. But Batman’s got a few issues. One hot-head, a subversive GL with ulterior motives, and one useless GL doing a great Woody Allen impression.

"One punch." You know you saw it coming.

"One punch." You know you saw it coming.

As I’ve mentioned, this series seems to flip-flop between awful and compelling. This episode is firmly on the positive side, with some great voice acting. Doctor Fate, voiced by Greg Ellis, is a pleasure. Despero and Sinestro are particular highlights as well. As a side note, the episode was written by J.M. DeMatteis

The animation is typically colorful, consistent, and crisp. There really isnt much to say about it other than that, other than an odd scene in the solar system’s asteroid belt with computer-generated asteroids floating by in the background. It reminded me of a scene out of the old Reboot cartoon!

Thumbs up over all though. It’s a fun introduction to the Green Lantern Corps, and I’m starting to see how this series may put younger viewers on a track to becoming more and more curious about the DC Universe and these characters.

What I’m really looking forward to, however, is…

Next time: Batman and Owlman of Earth 2 switch places. Batman is determined to stop the Crime Syndicate, while Owlman is framing Batman for terrible crimes. Guest staring the Flash and Red Hood!

Weekly Recommendations for 2/11/09

February 12, 2009

So much awesome out this week, that I couldn’t pick a single one for the Weekly Spotlight. So I’ll just cover it all in Weekly Recommendations!

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Final bits from NY Comic-Con (UPDATED)

February 9, 2009

Here we go, in a slightly loser format:

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Overflow

February 8, 2009

Last week, the X-Men “rescued” Charles Xavier from Magneto’s iron citadel, simply by asking! The only problem is that he is brain-dead, and on life-support. But not all hope is lost, as he appeared to them from a desolate future, using Cerebro and the astral plane. Twenty years from now, mutants are pursued by Sentinels, and the world is under their control. Why? The disbanding of the X-Men. If they’re to prevent this, Xavier reveals, Wolverine must lead them. This, as you can imagine, does not sit well with Cyclops.

overflow01

GTFO, Emma.

As “Overflow” opens, Xavier pulls Logan from a deep sleep into the astral plane to reveal to him that 20 years ago to the day the continent of Africa was completely destroyed by none other than the former X-Man Storm. The last time we saw Ororo she was (predictably!) pushing Charles’ wheelchair before the explosion went off at the mansion over a year ago.

Charles catches Emma mentally spying on the two, which leads Logan to expel her from the mansion. Fortunately for her, 30 seconds later, the need to locate Ororo via Cerebro is apparent and she is brought back to do so. With that, the X-Men gather, with Kitty attempting to rouse Cyclops out of his room for the mission. It appears he won’t be joining them until the last minute when he silently and stoically boards the Blackbird.

Meanwhile, in Africa, someone has made their way to the foot of the weather goddess Storm, and taken control of her mind…

Under the influence...

Under the influence...

So, with that brief lead-in out of the way, let’s get to the meaty stuff. We get a straight forward Storm origin, which includes a particularly menacing version of the Shadow King (would they get rid of the fez, please?!) and Xavier’s intervention. We also get a look at a few budding plot points, including Kitty being quite concerned when Bobby is taken out by Storm’s raging hurricane. Emma risks her life to save Storm and take down the Shadow King, finally earning herself the unspoken trust of Logan. But to what end?

Overall, a pretty decent episode to follow up the three-part opener. The action during the fight in Africa was exceptional, and the animation I found to be particularly good, especially during the ice-shard rain and Emma’s battle with the Shadow King. As far as the plot goes, another mutant from the opening sequence is added, leaving only one mutant missing to round out the team. Where could he be? The only thing I found odd about the story was bringing along Iceman, Kitty, and Beast, if their roles were simply to be taken out of the equation seconds into the fight. What purpose did it serve to take them along at all when the focus was meant to be on Scott, Logan, and Emma?

Next week: A device that could turn the tide against mutants in the fight for the future has fall into the hands of an expert t’ief…