Tag Archive: comic books

NYCC 2013: Ray Takes on Cosplayers!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a video of any kind, and I felt I needed to shake some rust off my interviewing skills. NYCC 2013 seemed like the perfect place to serve this purpose and so I went around the show floor and chatted up some awesome cosplayers. Enjoy!

Marvel continues to rollout some of their re-launches this week while DC begins forwarding some more stories they launched in the New 52. Meanwhile, in the Indies, we go back to a galaxy far, far away. So, check out this week’s Pullbox!

1) Marvel – Daredevil #5: After a strong start to The Man Without Fear’s new series by seeing Daredevil take down Claw and The Spot, Matt Murdock accidentally begins to stumble upon a huge smuggling conspiracy amongst the world’s most nefarious organizations like Hydra and A.I.M. As he begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together, all the while trying to protect some new clients, he also happens upon a new villain whose strength and reflexes are something that could put Daredevil down for the count! Honestly, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed Daredevil so far and if you’ve missed the first four issues, I’d really recommend trying to find them in the back issues of your local comic store, while also picking this issue up to see just how far things are going to go. Great writing combined with innovative art to show the world through Daredevil’s “eyes” make this re-invention of Daredevil a must have in your pullbox.

2) Marvel – The Incredible Hulk #1: Part of the fallout of Fear Itself sees the Hulk somehow separated from Bruce Banner. You would think that both would be as happy as they could be, but that is not the case. As the Hulk finds himself feeling like a hero for the first time since Planet Hulk really as he becomes a champion for the mole people, Bruce Banner is turning into a Dr. Frankenstein of sorts as he cannot cope without the Hulk around. Hulk must now venture back to the surface to try to calm down Banner as it seems that Banner has been committing some crimes against nature in his attempts to move on with his life after the Hulk. A great way to kick this new series off is the role reversal of Banner and the Hulk as Hulk is the more rational being and Banner is being portrayed as the monster. You know at some point the Hulk and Banner will have to reunite, but until then to see them actually fighting against each other makes me look forward to the second issue of this new monthly more than any other re-launch we’ve had recently. Top it off with the great art from legendary artist Marc Silvestri and Hulk #1 is a must have for any and every comic book fan.

3) DC – Green Lantern: New Guardians #2: Kyle Rayner must fight off representatives from the rest of the power ring spectrum and get to the bottom of why these rings have all sought him out. But when Kyle looks for help from familiar allies, will he find what he’s looking for or just more problems? Continuing the feeling of what we had during the Blackest Night with all the various ring wielding forces coming together, New Guardians is clearly laying some groundwork for what will be a massive shake-up in the life of Kyle Rayner and what it means for anyone to wield a ring, green or otherwise. Great art, a tremendous ending, and an unfortunate fate for a long time friend of Rayner makes this a very compelling book and if you’re going to be able to follow all the craziness that is sure to follow, you had better get on board now while you still can. New Guardians may be the best Green Lantern related book out there right now as part of this New 52.

4) DC – Batman: The Dark Knight #2: After the crazy cliffhanger of the first issue of this new series, we finally learn about what is happening to many of Gotham’s villains as a new one dressed as a white rabbit (very Mad Hatter-esque) is leading Batman along a trail of drugged up arch enemies. Two-Face, the Ventriloquist, and even the Joker look as if they bathed in Venom or the Titan formula from Arkham Asylum and Batman must find out where this new drug is coming from and just how he can put a stop to it. This comic has piqued my interest right now because I admit I just don’t know where it is going to go. The new villainess dressed as a white rabbit has me thinking she’s not the brains behind the drugs, but it doesn’t fit the Mad Hatter’s modus operandi and so I wonder if there couldn’t be someone else pulling the strings. Either way, this mystery has me itching for the next issue of this Batman series just to see what other villains may get doped up and how Batman will find a way to bring it all to an end.

5) Dark Horse – Star Wars: Crimson Empire III #1 (of 6): The Empire is in shambles. The final clone of the Emperor has been flushed out and destroyed. And only a lone soldier in the once elite Crimson Guard remains. This is the continuation of his story. Set about a decade after Return of the Jedi in my personal favorite part of the expanded universe, as in events that take place after the original movies, we see the last Crimson Guard, Kir Kanos, established as a tremendous warrior as he easily…removes…several bounty hunters after him, but in the end is caught by Boba Fett. Yes, Boba Fett miraculous survived the Sarlacc Pit. It is what happens when you wear Mandalorian Armor and it takes 1,000 years to be digested. What could Boba want with Kanos though and what purpose does this lost warrior have without the Empire to serve? If you’re like me and a fan of the expanded universe of Star Wars then I’m sure there are many Dark Horse comics in your collection. This particular series though looks especially interesting though because it deals with the rarely mentioned Crimson Guard and features some of our favorite characters, including the greatest bounty hunter ever in Boba Fett. This issue is a must pick up for Star Wars fans.

Sorry for the lateness for this week’s Pullbox. Our big reveal for NFL Blitz this week forced a lot of people’s responsibilities to be pushed back some, including mine, and so I’m still in the process of catching up on everything. Never fear though as it was another solid week in comics as we’re seeing the return of H.A.M.M.E.R. storyline ramp up in the Avengers, Fear Itself finally came to an end and ANOTHER Marvel event has started with The Fearless. Meanwhile, we also saw the end of Uncanny X-Men so a lot was going on with Marvel to compete for my spotlight. DC continues to be strong with several new titles and a surprising new Indie comic makes it into the Pullbox this week. So here’s this week’s Pullbox!

1) Marvel – Avengers #18: With Fear Itself wrapping up this week, we also are starting to see the comics revolving around its fallout. This comic is one of those fallout comics, but also details an unseen figure from several of the most recent Marvel events. All this while Captain America has a mandatory Avengers meeting in Avengers Mansion since Avengers Tower is nothing but a pile of rubble now. You could see some lineup changes here after this while also you have the groundwork being laid more importantly for the return of the Dark Avengers, which was immensely popular its first time around. This is just continuing to build up the foundation to make Norman Osborn one of the biggest bad guys in the Marvel universe once again while also allowing what has been a revolving door of heroes on the Avengers roster to settle down with all the other events going on in the Marvel universe. The Thing is doubting himself and his involvement with the team after Fear Itself, Beast is working on leaving to be with Wolverine and the new school in Westchester, and Iron Man is poor. Like really poor. So he’s not sure how much help he can be right now as he tries to get his affairs back in order. All in all, this is a key issue to the future of the Avengers and is a better read than the major Marvel event books that came out this week so I highly recommend it.

2) Marvel – Uncanny X-Men #544: The final issue in this official volume of the Uncanny X-Men, more or less details once again who is going where, whether they are staying in San Francisco with Cyclops, or going with Wolverine back to Westchester. It also finds a way to work in a classic villain who has been laying low and has obvious interests in this split amongst the X-Men standbys, the one and only Nathaniel Essex, best known as Mr. Sinister. As everyone’s personalities are highlighted and you get to see how this affects everyone on an individual basis, you also see the groundwork for the two new monthlies that will come out of this and I personally am looking forward to seeing how each new team will do as this harkens back to the X-Men Blue Team and X-Men Gold Team of my early childhood. A must read for any and every X-Men fan, there is a reason why this is the best thing going on in comics right now and this issue sums it up well in the matter of a single issue.

3) DC – Red Hood and the Outlaws #2: After the mysterious cliffhanger of the first issue, this continues to be one of the best comics of the DC New 52 because of the tremendous team dynamic between Roy Harper, Starfire, and Jason Todd. After giving people who may be unaware of how Jason Todd came back from the dead a brief catch up/origin story, we learn what all the mysteriousness of the last issue was all about and got into some awesome action where the banter of the team was no complimented by how they fought together against some undead martial arts masters. We also see Starfire in sexy clothing again, which for me is just full of win. Really though, this is probably the best written comic DC has right now and I love the art work and am happy to have this as a part of my Pullbox. Now if we could just get Justice League and half of the rest of the New 52 up to this level and DC might be able to fight back a little better against all these ridiculous Marvel events.

4) DC – Nightwing #2: What had started off at a decent clip in the first issue has amped up tremendously in this issue as it seems everyone knows now who Nightwing really is! A blast from Dick Grayson’s past comes back to surprise everyone, especially Dick, but this new assassin who is meant to take him down has the biggest surprise of all. The assassin known only as Saiko uncovers Dick’s biggest secrets and looks to send them with him to the grave. A lot of great action, a ton of surprises that really push Dick Grayson’s character forward, and a new villain that reminds me of an old Nightwing villain in some ways named Lady Vic has me really enjoying everything about this comic. I can’t wait to see what happens next as both Batman and Nightwing is centering right now around the idea that Dick Grayson is the most dangerous man in Gotham somehow. It’s a story line we haven’t really seen probably since the Bruce Wayne: Murderer story from a decade ago and it will be interesting to see how the characters work their way out of it. To me, this was an easy addition to the Pullbox.

5) IDW – 30 Days of Night #1: Picking up where the tremendous graphic novel of a few years ago left off and capitalizing on the success of the movie by the same name, this new monthly from IDW gives people what they should want, horrific, blood-thirsty vampires tearing people to shreds. Now though, the vamps from the graphic novel and movie have moved southward to warmer pastures than Barrow, Alaska, and are looking to take out the people who know of those events and are working feverishly to keep their presence a secret still to the larger world. I will say that I am a huge fan of vampires being the monsters that they are supposed to be and not the stuff you see in that True Blood or Twilight crap and that’s exactly what this comic will be and I know that because it did not get off to a slow start. You had people getting torn apart about midway through the book and it just didn’t stop. My only concern with this comic is that I’m not a fan of this particular art style, but that’s my personal tastes and my enjoyment of seeing people’s jugulars ripped out overcomes that any day of the week. If you’re looking for a new good horror related comic, then look at this book.

Originally Published: August 9, 2011, on EGMNOW.COM

One of the most charming and long lasting impressions that you take away from Comic-Con is the pure love and devotion that people are willing to show by pouring hours on end into costumes just to go gallivanting around the Con for a few days. Some put more thought and effort in than others and some simply relish the opportunity to show off some of their finer…ummm…assets, but no matter what the reason behind it, cos-playing is one of those things that define the Con and is proof positive as to why this is the pop culture extravaganza that it is. On that note, here are some of our favorites that we saw while roaming the show floor.

1. Castle Crashers: CHARGE! When released in 2008 as part of the Xbox Summer of Arcade that year, few knew the intense following the simple side-scroller beat ‘em up Castle Crashers would encourage and these two gentlemen here are proof positive why it was a hit.

2.Catwoman: Puuurrrfect in every way, this femme fatale is a comic book staple for over 70 years now and is a favorite for female Con-goers everywhere representing the strong independent woman mindset. The authentic bullwhip also works as a deterrent for those of us who ogle too long.

3.Ghostbusters: Who ya gonna call?! Probably not these guys. It wouldn’t be a Comic-Con though without staples like Slave Leias, Stormtroopers, or a fearless foursome in brown jumpsuits. Including prop ghost traps and proton packs, these guys (and lady) are ready to believe you.

4. Black Cat: If this is what Black Cat looks like, you might have to question Peter Parker’s tastes for sticking with Mary Jane all those years when he had this waiting for him for a long while. Although rather harmless looking, this feisty feline knows where to hurt you the most.

5. Portal: Lacking in characters to cos-play as, did not act as a deterrent this year for Portal fans. This group found a way to put everyone in a costume with Chele, a pair of portals, and even a very lovely Companion Cube. They all deserve some cake for their efforts.

6. CoD Sniper: As the world rushes by him, the quiet and calm sniper stays hidden in the brush, waiting patiently for his target to finally enter his sights. Holding my breath, I quickly squeezed the trigger when this Sniper wandered into my sights due to the great effort put into his costume.

7. Waldo: Where is he? Right here. And I found his girlfriend, too. I always was very good at those books. I wonder just how much they actually blended in though once they made it through the Con doors and mingled amongst the huge crowds.

8. Army of Two: You can tell cos-players take their craft seriously when you ask them for a picture and they strike a pose relevant to the characters they are portraying. Unfortunately for them, the Call of Duty Sniper from earlier is off camera ready to take them both out.

9. Female Assassin: A huge fan favorite this year was people dressed as Assassin’s Creed characters. The fan turnout was rewarded by Ubisoft as those who dressed as AC characters and attended their Saturday panel, like our female assassin here, were promised free autographed Signature Editions of Revelations when released.

10. Princess Peach: Not the most traditional Peach, but if this is what is always awaiting Mario, no wonder why he keeps going through eight castles for her and that Bowser won’t stop kidnapping her. If your choice was this girl or weird little mushroom people, well, is it really a choice then?

11. Street Fighter: Another group shot, these folks decided to take on the guise of several protagonists from the Street Fighter series including fan favorites like Chun-Li, Ryu, and Blanka. They sure let themselves go since Super Street Fighter IV was released though, haven’t they?

Comics to Video Games: Green Arrow

Originally Published: March 8, 2011, on Comicvine.com

This summer is going to see some iconic heroes make their way to the big screen for the first time and with that comes corresponding video games. Thor, Captain America, and Green Lantern will star in their own movies and video games, but unfortunately when a game is based off a movie that was based off a comic book, by the time it reaches video game form it becomes watered down in quality. So we’re going to try to beat them to the punch and give our ideas for some heroes that could have a video game made about them.

Today, I’m going to highlight the Emerald Archer and see how we can bring Green Arrow into the video game world.

My inspiration for this was the Justice League Heroes action RPG from the last generation of consoles. Although not playable from the start, Green Arrow was your first unlockable character and simply dominated my gameplay from that point onward. At first, I was thinking that we could make this a first-person shooter similar to the Turok games for the N64, but realized that would limit a lot of what we could do with Green Arrow in terms of acrobatics and melee combat and so this game would have to be done from the third-person perspective in a sandbox similar to Spider-Man 2, but take combat elements from Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Set in the urban landscape of Star City, you would have a basic compliment of abilities to start the game, but would of course unlock new arrows and learn new abilities as the game goes on. You’d start with some basic punch and kick combos and an unlimited amount of regular arrows and grappling hook arrows for offense and to get around, but could unlock electric, glue, exploding, and knockout gas arrows as the game progresses as well as combo extending maneuvers and even Ollie’s sword.

Now the interesting part of this game would be to help get across Ollie’s new anti-hero willingness to put down his enemies for good. So I would institute two bars into the game besides your standard health bar. The first bar would be a focus bar that fills up as Ollie defeats enemies and when activated would allow Ollie to do some bullet time arrow shots and pick off enemies with his archer’s precision. Being a hero still, most of the time Ollie will only be allowed to use incapacitating shots in this mode (shots to the limbs) or pin foes against walls with some extra precise shots (bonus xp awarded for those to spend on upgrades).

Green Arrow has an infamous temper though and so he’ll also have a rage bar that fills up as he defeats enemies or takes damage. When this is activated, the Emerald Archer may see red and could let a couple arrows slip…right into a thug’s throat. It wouldn’t be the first time Green Arrow has killed someone, but it could set up some really sweet effects combining the focus bar with the rage bar.

There would be your basic gameplay elements, but what about the story? The game will be broken down into five acts, with a boss battle set up at the end of each one. Green Arrow is known for trying to keep the streets of Star City clean and it looks like drugs and guns are becoming abundant again so it’ll be up to the Emerald Archer to figure out just who is making a move and to try to clean it up again.

Taking a lot of influence from more recent storylines, the final boss and mastermind of the gun and drug running will be crime lord Brick (Act 5). Along the way, you’ll have to take down Brick’s hired help in Constantine Drakon (Act 1) and Deathstroke (Act 4). In between, crazed stalker Cupid (Act 2) and classic Green Arrow nemesis Merlyn (Act 3) will cause trouble for the Emerald Archer.

And to help make the boss battles worth it, you’ll earn special attributes and weapons while each one will have special twists to them. For example, against Drakon, you can’t use your arrows because Drakon will simply catch them all and throw them back at you. Thus, you’ll have to use your fists and feet and at the end you’ll learn a new combo. Or Deathstroke’s battle can end in a swordfight that has you unlock Ollie’s sword.

On top of all this, the game will feature a local co-op mode that allows you to take over as Roy Harper, Speedy or Black Canary and lend a hand, but this will primarily be a single player oriented game.

Originally Published: February 1, 2011, on Youtube.com/RCars4885

Ray Carsillo will return to where it all began…his mother’s basement. March 1, 2011, the future king of all geek media begins anew.