Thursday, March 31, 2016

Excited for Camden Comic Con!

Yes I'm excited! Can't you tell?!



Hello and Welcome to the Basement...

You know I don't get excited for many things... however I am excited that I'll finally be able to check out Camden Comic Con next Saturday April 9

The C3 as it was dubbed by Geekadephia, is put on by the find folks at Rutgers University-Camden, and will be held this year at the University's Athletics & Fitness Center and is 100% free and open to the public.

Sure there will be vendors there, for those looking to buy and pick up stuff... it is a convention after all... but the C3 doesn't have all the other hassle, hustle and bustle that is associated with say Wizard World that will be in Philadelphia June 2 to June 5.

What do I mean? Well...the location for the C3 is easy for anyone remotely familiar with NJ Transit bus lines to, as you're heading to the Walter Rand Transportation Center and walking the short distances over to Rutgers. If you're in Atlantic City, and don't drive, you hope on a bus to Camden.

Don't even have to take the bus, cause of the rail lines that serve Camden go over to Philadelphia and even up to New York

If you're driving, there will be free parking in lots 1, 2, 3 & 14, and also there would be paid parking in the Camden County College Parking Deck, and metered parking locations around the area.
Of course this is all information available right at the C3's website, camdencomiccon.tumblr.com... .. but what am I excited about?

Well for me it's workshops that have been announced...

Phillip McNulty (who worked on Man O War and X-Men '92) and Ryan Bradly (works include The Bolt and Anomaly) will be hosting a workship on how folks can start to create their own comic books.

Bob McLeod (who co created The New Mutants), will be hosting a workshop called the ABCs of Creating Superhoeres, to explain his creative process

If you follow my on Facebook, you know I'm a Brony, and Diana Leto will be teaching the ins and out of drawing the characters of My Little Pony, which by the way had a very meme-tastic season premier this past weekend.

Larry Hama (GI Joe, Bucky O'Hare) will be in attendance for a discussion of his past, present and process of creating characters and story-lines, Fight Director Ian Rose will be there to show how stage and film fights are put together.

It's a stacked line up, and again, it's happening next Saturday, April 9 at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ. I know I'll be there to see everything and meet my fellow comic fans.

Top Gear What Was The Beginning Of The End

Take a wild guess at what it is folks...


Hello and welcome to the Basement,

First let me give a shout out to the staff at Cooper Hospital in downtown Camden for taking care of my mom. You guys and gals rock. Mom, we'll see you at home very soon.

Now... As I was re-watching the Top Gear Patagonia Special and it occurred to me that we have passed the one year mark of Jeremy Clarkson being fired from Top Gear, and subsequently seeing the resigning of James May and Richard Hammond as presenters of the world's most watched motoring show.

And I still honestly think it was the wrong decision... sure he punched someone in a moment of rage, but that has happened to the best of us at one time or another. But I can't help but look back at the Patagonia Special as being the beginning of the end for Top Gear as we has come to know it... thanks in part to people seeing malice in something that was pure coincidence.

For those of you who may not know... the trio of Hammond, May and Clarkson were paying tribute to the V8-Engine by taking three V8-powered cars on a journey through South America. Clarkson's car, a Porsche 928 GT... had the license plate - H982 FKL

Just seems like a random set of letters and numbers right? Well... some folks didn't think so... cause you see... in 1982... there was the Falklands War between the UK and Argentina...and the locals caused a row, claiming the license plate wasn't real and it was an insult to them.

But here's the thing... that license plate was real, it was registered to that particular Porshe on May 30, 1991. It was a pure coincidence, and since it was a British license plate. The car was shipped from the UK to Argentina with the plate it had for nearly 14 years. No one made an issue of it... until  a guy Carlos Cristofalo of Autoblog Argentina, caused the controversy just by seeing whats was on the plate taking a picture of it and asking if anyone noticed the reference to the 1982 war, but he proved himself to be a terrible journalist by not doing the research to see if the plate was legit.

Which is doesn't make Carlos a journalist, instead makes him a tabloid hack.

And what is funny is, that when was presented with the truth that plate for the car was legit... he said it wasn't, saying "No one who has seen every series of Top Gear can think that it was a casual thing"  while claiming that Top Gear "doesn't respect its audience and dignifies them with a proper explanation of what went on."

To which I still laugh at, cause if they did, it would've been told from the British perspective, just like when they did their special in Burma, and if they they did that, Carlos would've whined about that.

Anyway... that entire incident, which could've been avoided if Carlos acted like a legit journalist... but history is what it is, and this put heat on Clarkson following some other over exaggerated incidents, with the rising call from the more insane of folks for the BBC to fire him... which they did when he had a fit of rage that got the best of him.

And now... a year later, we have a newly casted Top Gear premiering on May 8.... which no one seems to give a damn about, probably because of Chris Evans (not Captain America... but the guy who used to play 'Billie's Piper') but fans are eagerly waiting for Clarkson along with Hammond and May to return via Amazon Prime later this year. I might just bite the bullet and sign up for Amazon Prime.... well for that and Doctor Who, and other things they have exclusive.

Anyway, that wraps this up, we'll catch ya tomorrow for the 'Weekly Round Up' (the new shorter name for This Week With The Superheroes'

Catch ya later

YouTube Version
 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Batman Isn't For Kids? SINCE WHEN?! - Nostalgia Trip

I seem to recall Batman being aimed at kids...


Hello everyone, and welcome to The Basement...And this is our weekly Nostalgia Trip...

Let me first thank Lego Batman V Andrew (@Truly_Defective) for inspiring this

There is a issue among the more insane comic book fans out that out there that say, 'Batman was never meant for Kids'... to which I say the following...

SINCE WHEN!?

In 1939, when Batman was created because Superhero were popular with the kids...  that is an out right FACT... and over the past 77 years... Batman has always been aimed at kids... from cartoons to toys to underwear to lunch boxes to coloring books to video games... the Caped Crusader has been apart of many children's childhoods. Hell the introduction of Robin less than a year later in 1940 was done with the SOLE PURPOSE of Batman appealing to kids.

Then came Frank Miller and the 'Dark Knight Returns'... now don't misunderstand me, among the large amounts of garbage Miller has wrote, The Dark Knight Returns is a entertaining elseworlds story... but it somehow warped the perception of Batman in that 'he isn't for kids', which has been further 'pushed' thanks to the  Christopher Nolan Batman films.

Now there isn't anything wrong with a dark and gritty Batman, but there is a right way to do it... and guess what... if you're over 25 years old you... you've seen the perfect way to of how to portray Batman for both kids and adults

Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures

That's right... the Emmy Award Winning, animated series that ran from 1992 to 1995 on FOX, and it's one season sequel series from 1997 on the WB. Nearly every episode saw Batman actually being Batman and living up the nickname of 'The World's Greatest Detective' while at the same time creating a fairly dark atmosphere that showed how dangerous many of the villains were and how with a slight change of circumstances, they could've won. The show treated everything seriously, but it wasn't so serious that it would alienate or insult its audience.

And keep in mind, that this show had some dark scenes... from the origin of Two-Face that saw Harvey Dent having a psychological trauma that saw his mind snap when an explosion tore up half his body (and this was shown ON SCREEN) to the origin of Mr. Freeze that re-wrote the book on how that character has been portrayed in all Batman related media... to implied and actual murder, abuse within a relationship (such as when The Joker's treatment of Harley Quinn), kidnapping, blackmail, terrorism (Poison Ivy's entire MO is eco-terroism) .... but this was a cartoon, airing weekdays for kids and those who were apart of the creative team went all out to give the best version of Batman there has ever been.

It was good enough for both and adults and children, and it's legacy carried over to the Superman Animate Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, Young Justice... we continue to see its influence with shows Arrow, Flash, Gotham and Supergirl, that are popular with both kids and adults.

And it's why I say those say 'Batman Isn't For Kids' can kiss my ass.

Now if you want evidence of which episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures I say best represents what Batman should be I will give you a list.

"Nothing to Fear"

"The Underdwellers"

"P.O.V."

"Two-Face" Parts 1 & 2

"Heart Of Ice"

"Beware The Grey Ghost"

"Feat of Clay" Parts 1 & 2

"Dreams in Darkness"

"Almost Got 'Em"

"The Man Who Killed Batman"

"Harley and Ivy"

"Shadow Of The Bat" parts 1 & 2

"Harley's Holiday"

"Over the Edge"

"Girl's Night Out"

"Mad Love"

"Judgment Day"

YouTube Version
There are a couple of slight differences with the Vlog Version, since I tend to go stream of consciousness... but the spirit of what I'm getting at is the same...
 


Blue-Skying: Linkara At His Best


Hello and welcome to the Basement...

Let me admit right off the bat, that I never paid much much mind to the Blue Beetle prior to this month. I was aware of the character, but never thought much of him.That has obviously changed

It's no secret I'm a big fan of Linkara, aka Lewis Lovhaug, and what he does over at Atop The Fourth Wall. I've stated multiple times that it's his show is the reason why I got serious about my online presence. Is he the best content producer out there on the web... I don't think it matters, particular when for the past four weeks, he was doing a massive retrospective on the Blue Beetle, from the character's origin as Dan Garret  way back in 1939 with Fox Comics all the way up  Jamie Reyes with DC comics and the New 52... plus the Convergence event series from last year.

Normally Linkara does a MS3K style review of 'bad' comics on a weekly basis, but this was something different. Okay not that different, he did something similar with the Teen Titans that I mentioned briefly when I was doing my review of the JLA Titans mini series (which you can read here: http://fredcasdensbasement.blogspot.com/2016/03/comics-from-basement-jla-titans.html).

No, what he did was tackle the immense 70-plus year history of a character that has changed publishers multiple times, has handled by different writers, and has gone up, down and around the bend in being used incredibly well... and incredibly poorly. What impressed me about these past four weeks with Linkara, was how he he approached this retrospective in putting a spotlight on perhaps a character that has been a bit 'forgotten' by DC lately, and showing why DC should be more mindful of how they do things.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Blue-Skying series these past four weeks, and because of it, I'm going to check out the Blue Beetle, to see for myself how his story was told.

And I encourage you all to head over to www.atopthefourthwall.com to check out Linkara's incredible work this past month, because even if you're not into comics, the craftsmanship of such a project has to be admired.

YouTube Version

Predictions: WrestleMania 32, NXT Take Over Dallas

How many of these predictions am I going to get wrong?
 

YouTube Version


Blog Version
Hello and Welcome to The Basement...

And since according to YouTube my second largest audience is in Germany... Guten Tag und herzlich willkommen in den Keller

With WrestleMania being this Sunday, live on the WWE Network and even on some traditional pay-per-view methods...I'd figured I'd give my thoughts and predictions on the matches

Roman Reigns defeats Triple H for the WWE Title... and I'm going to guess the WWE is going to try and salvage this by doing a double turn, Roman Reigns turning heel cause he doesn't have the ability to even get part of the crowd on his side. Triple H can look valiant in defeat while taking the ass kicking he deserves for being associated with Lemmy. And speaking of Triple H, here's a drinking game, go watch his promo from the March 28, 2016 episode of RAW, and take a shot each time he says obsessed or obsession

A Quebeccer will win the Ladder match, there's guys from Quebec in this match, and frankly, despite this match featuring superior talents like The Miz, Dolph Ziggler Sin Cara, Stardust and Zack Ryder, the WWE will most like going with winner to continue one of the most overrated feuds in the modern era of pro wrestling... just wish that the Quebeccers involved were Jacques and Pierre.

Shane McMahon defeats Undertaker in Hell in a Cell.... I'll admit this probably a toss up, but the WWE has to get away from the Authority nonsense... it's been going on for 20 years, it's time for a change from this status quo of 'evil' bosses in wrestling.

I was going to take Team Total Divas to win the 10-Diva tag match... but then Eva Marie ended up being the 5th member of that that... which so I'm picking Team Bad and Blond, with Lana getting the pinfall win on Brie, who is rumored to be retiring next week

I'm picking Big Show to win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, it just makes sense for him to win, make this his match for a few years, and then when he's ready to retire, have the next big giant eliminated him as a passing of the torch. Just how I see things.

The New Day defeat The League of Nations in the 3 on 4 handicap match... with the rumor of Wade Barrett leaving, just makes sense for him to eat the pin and to be kicked out of the League of Nations as a result

Ryback defeats Kalisto for the US Title... since this storyline is based on Ryback being big and Kalisto being small, Ryback needs to go over and sqaush the luchador, but also allow him to have a nice little flury of 'hope' offense. Plus it's high Time the WWE gets serious about weight classes / divisions again. I'll touch on this again in a bit

Becky Lynch wins the Divas Triple threat match, though I won't be shocked if Sasha wins or even if Charlotte retains, because its too close to call, because there is no 'wrong' winner here. I just hope Ric Flair does not factor in any way in the match,

AJ Styles defeats Chris Jericho... because this is what Jericho does, put guys over, and I think it's high time Jericho starts touring with Fozzy again. If this was the third match in the series, it would mean something more, but it's just a jealousy fueled feud.

The Dudleys defeat The Usos because... lets with New Day going face, and the Dudleys going heel in recent weeks, a win gives them momentum to head for tag team title match

And in the main event match... Dean Ambrose beats The Vanilla Gorilla Brock Lesnar... because there is no logical way for Brock to out crazy Dean in a no-holds barred street fight.

So with that done... let's talk about NXT Takeover Dallas...


I'm taking Samoa Joe over Finn Balor for the NXT Title, for no reason other than I think Finn is moving to the main roster next week.

I'm taking the Revival to keep the NXT Tag Titles in a win over American Alpha... if they weren't going to lose the belts to the much more deserving Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy, just means Dash and Dawson are keeping the belts for a long while.

As much as I love Bayley, she is the female version of John Cena in that she is a great character to create younger fans, I am picking Asuka to win the NXT Women's Title... probably via referee stoppage. Also this probably frees up Bayley to be a sudden replacement for Eva Marie in the 10-Diva Tag Match on Sunday

Since he's the new 'toy' in the NX-toy chest, Shinsuke Nakamura is making short work of the ginger haired Quebecer

I know I'll get this wrong outright, I'm picking Baron Corbin over Austin Aries... cause Baron is awesome, and there is no LOGICAL REASON a cruiser weight should beat a Super-Heavyweight just weeks after Nate Diaz smacked down the smaller Conor McGregor. Realism is key here and its time to bring back an the 'Big Guys beat the Little Guys' part of wrestling that was lost when WCW started having the five-foot nothing Rey Mysterio beating guys like the seven-foot tall Kevin Nash.

Also because he's fairly new, I'm picking Elias Sampson to defeat Apollo Crews, but I can see Apollo getting the win here as well, but I have a feeling he's going to be fast tracked to the main roster.

Now on to the WWE Hall of Fame...

Sting, The Fabulous Freebirds, Stan Hansen, The Big Boss Man, Jacqueline... are all deserving to be in the Hall of Fame... Joan Lundon is a great choice for the Warrior Award... however I consider The Godfather to be a 'border line' choice at best, and it really exposes just how idiotic the Attitude Era was, cause he's going in as a character from that period because his overall career doesn't hold up when compared with many other members of the WWE Hall of Fame... Then there is this years celebrity inductee... Snoop Dogg... I'm sorry but there are a few celebrities that needed to go in before him... one is Cyndi Lauper who without her there wouldn't have been a WrestleMania... and the other is Regis Philbin, who had a great association with Classy Freddy Blasse and had wrestlers on his his various shows all through out his legendary broadcast career.And of course there's Andy Kauffman whose exploits need no explanation.

So that was my break down of WrestleMania weekend... got your own? Post 'em below cause I'd love to see 'em.

Monday, March 28, 2016

TMNT - Trans-Dimensional Turtles - Reaction


Hello and Welcome to the Basement...

Yesterday on Nickelodeon, the long awaited episode  'Trans-Dimensional Turtles' premiered... and let me tell it, it does right everything that 'Turtles Forever' did wrong.

Of course, let's get the plot out of the way, The current version of the Turtles are transported to the dimension of the 1987 Turtles where they team up to stop Krang who intends to wipe out all of reality.

And while the plot is 'similar' to Turtles Forever... in fact, it's the same plot right down to the 'take out the original B&W Mirage Studios version of the Turtles' bit... this felt more of a celebration of Turtles franchise because it wasn't treating everything associated with the 87 Turtles like complete jokes the way Turtles Forever did.

So lets get to the positives here... for one, this was the second time to my knowledge the 87 Turtles appeared in the current cartoon, the other being "Wormquake!" to which this episode ties into with how that episode ended... and like it, all four Turtles are voiced by their original voice actors... Barry Gordon is back as Donatello, Cam Clarke is back as Leonardo, and Townsend Colemen back as Michelangelo, which leads to a cute little in-joke regarding Rob Paulsen, who voiced Raphael in the 87 series and Donatello in the current series.

Second, as said before, the 87 series isn't treated as a joke, and actually gave Krang (voiced by Pat Fraley)  a lot of the bad-assery that was said to be associated with him that we never got to saw in the 80s. Fact is in his 'giant man baby / wrestler' styled body, he takes on all 8 Turtles and actually holds his own. Keep in mind, beyond the original mini-series, Krang never really went toe-to-toe with the Turtles. Also, this episode actually explains why Krang was banished to Earth (or the Earth of the 87 Turtles) in the first place. World expanding... I love it!

If I seem to be gushing more over the 87 Turtles side of things...well... I'll admit, I'm haven't watched the show too much. I did like what I saw  here... even if the current Leonardo sounds like he should be a van-driving werewolf... but their designs seem a bit too....plain, and this really shows when you see the 87 Turtles done up in the 3D rendered style.

Also should mention the Mirage Turtles... and in a twist, seems to looking to kill the Donatellos when they drop in to retrieve the device to save the Turtle-Verse.... if you're familiar with the original Mirage Turtles, you'd know this is not at all shocking.

If I had to give one complaint... it's that it was over too soon, but as I said, it fixes the big problems Turtles Forever had... and that's the important thing.

Of course that's just my opinion, check out the episode and make your own judgement.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lets Play Star Trek Online - Better With Friends

If you look closely you can see a cloaked ship


Welcome back to 'Lets Play Star Trek Onlin'... we are continuing our adventures in the Delta Quadrant with 'Better With Friends'...

As you saw last week, the best chance we have at defeating the Vaadwaur is the build an alliance of all the Delta Quadrant species that doesn't want Captain Janeway's head on a pike, but some need extra convincing... after all, war is much better with friends than enemies right?

This is of course a 5-part system patrol bundle, to introduce new daily grind missions. The good news is that these are fairly quick missions, with one large exception It's probably best to be at the very top of the Delta Quadrant sector map or at the very bottom since 3 of the missions are at the very top of the map, Subcommander Rai's mission is in the middle, and the Kelsid mission is at the very bottom of the sector map.

Even though this isn't the order I played the missions in, for the sake of this break down, lets say you're starting at Kelside and working your way upward

And let's talk about Kelsid mission first... basically, we're responding to a Talaxian distress call, one of their ships broke down and one of their captains insulted the Vaadwaur...so it's a mad dash to set up as many defense satellites as possible to fight off three waves of Vaadwaur ships. I've never gotten all the satellites set up, but they do pack quite a bunch.

After this mission, hail Rai and head to Xiokel system. Rai has a unique idea of capturing a Vaadwaur ship to stage an attack to get the Benthans and the Hazari on good terms. This is a breeze to walk through, as Rai gives you some tactical support when capturing the needed ship, you go off to another system, greet the Benthans and the Hazari, fight off the ship you captured and then sit back and watch our allies tear about a group of Vaadwaur ships that think the alliance won't stand.

Once you're done, head up to the Izad system,save the ship that is under attack and then agree to help the Benthans in luring our and ambushing Vaadwaur ships.

Now we come to the most difficult of these missions, the Zahl system... the Vaadwaur are attacking a Benthan colony world... and your job is to rescue ships trying to run the blockade. There aren't that many Vaadwaur ships... but the problem comes with the fact they have artillery that can and will blow you out of the sky. So having a fast smaller more maneuverable ship is a lot better than having a big bulky cruiser... plus having speed batteries (which I forgot to use) and making frequent use of evasive maneuvers.

The final mission takes place in the Farn system, you respond to a distress call of Borg Cooperative ships, that have been disabled thanks to a solar flare, and Vaadwaur ships are coming in. Make sure you quickly repair the Borg Cube and Sphere ASAP they will join in the fight against the Vaadwaur. On top of that, there are solar flares to contend with, which play havoc with your ship and the Borg vessels. I normally complain about 5-ways of enemies, but with help, it's a breeze.

Factoring in the travel time, this mission all together probably takes about 45 minutes, however my game-play video for this takes an hour, due to where I started (in the middle of the map, working my way up for the Izad, Zhal and Farn systems, then heading down to Xiokel and Kalsid.

Daredevil'ish Thoughts Omnibus

Add caption
 Yes, I've combined by two original Dardevil'ish Thoughts into one, mainly because it's interesting to see how my mood soured.

Part 1 - Orignally published March 21, 2016
Hello and welcome to The Basement...

While many have binged watch all 13 episodes of Daredevil Season 2, I am going at a much slower pace... as the time this video, and it's corresponding blog , was produced after viewing episode 6 of this season, meaning I have seven episodes to go. I will keep this as spoiler free as possible.

Right off the bat, let me say the lighting is still absurdly bad to the point I have to watch the show with the lights on, just to see any damn thing when it's set at night or in a dark location. And I've watch it on my phone, TV and PC, and basically it's a poorly lit show. That's my major complaint, it carries over from last season, but let's hit do the run down of the things that are obviously talking points for the first six episodes

Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, is a one man army, gunning down gangs, punishing them for what they did to him and his family... and it appears that the DA Samantha Reyes (who appeared on Jessica Jones), is out to get Frank, and our heroes Matt 'Daredevil' Murdock, Foggy Nelson and Karen Page are caught in the middle... of stopping Castle from his murderous campaign and playing nice with the DA... plus there's the added complication of Elektra, a love from Matt's past, arriving to draw him into her issues that she has going on.

Damn... keeping this spoiler free is going to be tougher than I thought...

Anyway!

From the first six episodes, it appears that this season is being broken down into the chapters, episodes 1-4 deal with Daredevil and The Punisher at odds, in particular with methodology in dealing with crime... and we get a lot, I mean a LOT of plot exposition... I would say it's overly talky when Matt and Frank are face to face, but since they have make the Punisher a 3-Diemensioanl character, there's only one way to do it, as he does get some actual character development, particularly when he interacts with Karen. As mentioned earlier Reyes, the DA, has it out for Frank, and there is a lot of mentions of the cartel and, in less than subtle fashion it's implied that she is quite dirty (in the political sense)

Once the apparent issues with The Punisher are 'resolved', things switch gears as Elektra is introduced at the end of episode 4, with episode 5 having flash backs, and her basically luring Matt into her world, with him trying to stay out of it (which he fails too). Basically Elektra knows Matt is Daredevil, and knowing what he can do means she sees him as an ally (UN-willingly mind you) in dealing with a Yakuza styled organization. While I have an idea of how this is going to fit with The Punisher side of the story, the obvious bit from the start is that Matt is going to have a dual-loyalty problem, which is heavily indicated in episode 6, when it's clear he's really needed to be with Frank, Foggy and Karen when a... ah crap... so much for keeping this spoiler free. Basically Frank is captured thanks to Daredevil and ends up pleading not guilty and Reyes is fast tracking his trial to give our heroes 'no chance' when Matt is off with Elektra.

So, both story lines are compelling... but obviously not as good a season one with The Kingpin's rise and fall, but I'm going half way through the season. I think every character is very well defined, and the interactions come across to me as natural. If there are negatives with the story telling, it probably is at least up to the point I watched is the implied juggling act Matt is going to be doing heading into episode 7.

But I'll give my thoughts on that when I watch the remainder of the season.

Part 2 - Orignally published March 24, 2016
I'm not really sure what the make of what we saw (or didn't see as my same complaint about the poor lighting still stands)... and I'm not fully sure where to begin to try and make sense of this. Actually the best starting point will have to be with where the main focus was for the first chunk of the season.

Frank Castle... aka The Punisher... we get his trial.... and the subsequent implosion of Nelson & Murdock... and it's treat all as a subplot thanks to the Elektra story line, and I have to say... that's real damn shame. I get that the things that went down with Elektra, The Hand and so-forth are all apart of the Daredevil mythos... but man, did some things get royally screwed here. As I said before, The Punisher by far isn't the most interesting character in the Marvel Universe, but when he is on screen and in particular with Karen Page (whose own character growth is tied to his), it gets and actually got frustrating to see his story arc being treated with less importance. He goes to prison, escapes, there's a manhunt, the DA Reyes and other folks tied to the death of Frank's family is killed, he finds out WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE and has some awesome character moments with Karen who is going through her own character turmoil with Nelson & Murdock imploding... and its all treated as secondary. The Trial alone which should've been the focus of the second half of the season, was over and done within two episodes, Frank's in-prison for all of one episode, which sees Wilson Fisk return and we see what he got up too, The Police are going all out find him for 1/2 an episode (And is only brought up when Karen is on the screen)....this raises the question of why wasn't The Punisher just given his own series if basically they were going to shove him aside like this. The best thing that came out of this was the sit down conversation he had with Karen in a diner where he basically set her straight as it relates to Matt Murdock.

And speaking of Matty.... Why is it that every single Superhereo ends up going to through a screwed up hybrid of the Batman-Spider-Man mindset, as in 'the weight of the world is in my shoulders and no-one understands that the mask is more important than the man' b.s. that turns the character into a freaking idiot? We've seen this recently on The Flash with the Earth-2 stuff and it's a reoccurring theme on Arrow. Hell the only actual character development Matt gets is that he got his famous billy-club.

Now lets talk about the mess with him, Elektra, Stick and The Hand...first up, it's this storyline that leads to the rapid implosion of Nelson & Murdock, as it distracts Matt from the task at hand, putting all the weight (as brief as it was) of the Punisher trial on Foggy, who ends up going to a big law firm as a result, but it's treated as a non-issue the further into the season you go despite being what the season was building towards. Because the real focus on the season was all about Elektra and everything else was secondary, we get flash backs of her past, her relationship with Stick, the fact that she is a living weapon. She is the cause of the budding romance of Matt and Karen to falter, the cause of the end of Nelson & Murdock (not to mention a huge reason why the trial of Frank Castle ends up being a non-issue, she's the macguffin used to eliminate a key witness). Now I know she has closer ties to Daredevil than The Punisher does, hell they made sure Elektra was a huge part of the Ben Affleck movie but her presence forced so many rapid changes to the status-quo on the show that I wasn't exactly moved when the character died. Now I know I wouldn't have minded it so much if her story line was the whole season, because the effects caused by her presence from a character standpoint really have no time to breath to feel the weight. Not to mention that her story line basically ends up having nothing to do the with The Punisher story line in no way beyond her presence screwing up the trail.

Damn....

Okay... If I had to describe this season in one word it would be 'crowded', and I think this would've been better served if the focus was kept on Frank Castle, turning the season into about the trial for a longer period of time, his escape from Prison with the investigation of the cartel that's bringing in drugs in large shipments to Hell's Kitchen, as it does tie in directly to events from Season 1. Elektra could've been introduced with a slow build up to tease things for the 3rd season, where the implosion of Nelson & Murdock could've taken place, with her pulling Matt away from his actual job. Not to mention the obvious tie-in with The Punisher and Wilson 'Kingpin' Fisk is very much underplayed.

Grading the season on the whole.... I'd give it a C-.... they had great ideas, but having two very different story lines that had zero to do with the each other other than the one derailing the other just because you want to use more than one Marvel Universe character was an idea that weakened the season as a whole.

Of course you don't have to take my word for it, check Daredevil Season 2 out for yourself on Netflix.

Star Trek #45 (1989 Series) - Comics From The Basment

Trelane is back...and wants Captain Kirk's help with women?!


Hello and Welcome to Comics From The Basement

For the past week or so you saw this, Star Trek #45 sitting in the background... and guess what today I'm reviewing it, but of course I have to get some history our of the way.

On January 12, 1967... The Star Trek episode the Squire of Gothos premiered, debuting Trelane, a powerful alien being that has the ability to create seemingly anything and have total control over his environment... but in reality was a boy, a child within his race of super beings... and one would think this would've been brought up more times in the show, a reoccurring antagonist that the crew has to out-wit?

Well no.... actually... in fact Trelane is never referenced to again in any Star Trek episode, despite being for all intents and purposes being considered fore-bearer for Q in the Next Generation. Then again the Next Generation only made ONE reference to the Original Series, that being in The Naked Now, which borrowed quite loosely the plot from The Naked Time... and I'm getting off topic here.

Actually, I'm not... cause as I said, Trelane is never referenced on the 'canon' side of Star Trek ever again... and he's barely appeared in any of Star Trek's expanded universe. In fact you could count those appearances on one hand - appearing in the game Star Trek: Judgement Rites, as the main villain in the novel Q-Squared (which ties Trelane directly into the Q Continuum), and in two comics, Star Trek Unlimited #7 from Marvel... and this week's comic, Star Trek #45 from DC. I shall note now: that just about every one of these stories act as a direct sequel to the 'Squire of Gothos' episode... so one has to stretch to see try and place them into any type of continuity logic.

Anyway time to do the break down!

Cover: Adding this bit, because, it is a great cover, drawing attention with Trelane himself, and the phrasing 'Why Yes It's Trelane! With A Whole Slew Of Lethal New Games You Simply Must Play! Also of note is that Kirk looks down right pissed while Savvik (The Robin Curtis design) looks amazed... how un-Vulcan of her!

Writer: The writer for this issue was Steven H Wilson, who has a rather brief comic book resume as far as I can tell. I have read the Star Trek comics he was commissioned, and he certainly captured the 'What Would The Fans' like to read spirit that some other writers failed to do.

Art Team: The inker was Arne Starr... who pretty much had all the inking assignments for all of Star Trek's second run with DC (since this was the 1989 series), so he basically had the style down to a science, with every thing looking as it should. Beyond Star Trek, he's worked on Power Girl, Booster Gold, and Legion of Super Heroes. The penciler was Rob M. Davis, who did work not only on DC's Star Trek comics, but also a lot of work over at Malibu comics for their Deep Space Nine Series. If I have to describe his approach, I'd say he's one of those who is able to get the likenesses down pretty darn well, though in this issues there is certainly a few odd results, but everyone looks like they are supposed too. Beyond Star Trek, his comic credits include Quantum Leap, Judge Dredd: Lawman of the Future and work that has appeared in the Doctor Who magazine.

Plot: Called 'A Little Man To Man' Talk', Trelane has come to James T. Kirk to seek his advice on women and romance... yes that's right Trelane has gotten older and is noticing girls! And despite the obvious comedic set up, the story isn't treated as a joke. Trelane takes Kirk to a seedy space port, arranges a reunion with Yeoman Ross (who appeared in the Squire of Gothos episode), and even takes Kirk to see Carol Marcus... however the twist here is that Trelane is wanting to learn how to deal with women because he himself is being pursued. It is an enjoyable one-shot story, that shows that not only has Kirk aged, but also one of his adversaries.

Positives: As I just said, the story is enjoyable, the artwork is solid, it's a light easy read the covers familiar ground for Star Trek fans while not being weigh-downed too much to alienate non-Trek fans, as it's a story of a 'boy wanting to know about the birds and bees'... with said boy having powers of matter transportation and transmutation. Also when Trelane doesn't get his way, he does lash out at Kirk. Then there is of course the factor, that this was Trelane's first major appearance in Star Trek since the 'Squire of Gothos' episode, and unlike in the Peter David novel 'Q-Squared', Trelane isn't killed off.

Negatives: The artwork can be a little... 'meh' at times, as I said Rob Davis certainly is one of those who can get likenesses down, but sometimes things just doesn't look right to my eye.

Weirdness: Kirk's reaction to Trelane wanting to see him on the Field of Romance, being that of 'You Want To Spy On my Personal Affairs?' is answered by Trelane with, "Personal?' Come, Come Captain, YOUR Affairs are the Stuff of Legend!"... and it's the kind of self-awareness that one doesn't normally see in anything Star Trek related.

Which actually led me to reach out to Steve Wilson himself about that one little aspect, and I'll give you a summary of what he told me, first off we never got to see how the media viewed Kirk in the 23rd century, and with his exploits, he probably would be viewed in the same way we view George Clooney today, with endless speculation about his personal life. Also Trelane in the story is presented as the 'bratty little brother' who wants to be like Kirk, cause he's probably been watching him since The Squire of Gothos, and anything Kirk does was legendary. But also that looking back on his story from 20-years ago, he was probably taking full advantage of the easing up on the creative restrictions Paramount had on DC, wanting to remind the world that Kirk was indeed a ladies man.

Recommendation: So... what's the recommendation here? Since it's a stand alone story, It's easy to say check it out. For a deeper enjoyment of the comic, it probably helps a little to be somewhat familiar with the episode 'The Squire of Gothos', and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek II: The Search For Spock.

Of course the trick is probably tracking down the comic itself, if you can't find it at mycomicshop.com or eBay, you might want to track down the Star Trek: Complete Comic Book Collection DVD-ROM, which has all the Star Trek comics from July 1967 to October 2002.

I also want to thank Steve Wilson for giving me his insight for this issue, be sure to check out his website at www.stevenhwilson.com

Well that wraps it up for this week... next time, maybe we'll go Under The Sea

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Lets Play WWE 2K16 - My Career Hits NXT Arrival

The week of Arrival is NXT
 
So we're back to WWE 2K16... and yeah... not exactly a live stream this week... mainly because of the quality issues that plague it last Saturday as well as another stream session earlier this week to try and resolve those said issues. However I liked the layout I had for the live stream, being able to present in at 16:9 format without wasted space, so I went with just recording it straight away, which lead to another problem with an echo effect.

I will attempt to resolve that by next Saturday...

However with all these tech issues... including the bad streaming session from a couple of days ago, there is obviously some 'missed' content here. Basically I've been in a feud with Tyler Breeze, he ambushed me, we had some brawls... plus ended up having some matches on Superstars (The WWE's preliminary program that airs on the WWE Network on Fridays). Nothing really to write home about.

So let's get into what is in this weeks game play video... namely it's the week of NXT Arrival... in the middle of the summer...

Starts off with a match with Frankie 'Big Ham' Franco with Rosa Mendes (yeah... she's my manager cause why not?) against Prince Pretty on NXT... but the match goes no where, it's a brawl before the bell that ends up on the outside and a DQ win for me somehow... hey I'll take the win!

Then it's off to Superstars with the Big Ham taking on a Quebecer... yeah I'm not a fan of the guy I was facing off against, I personally think he's overrated... its fairly quick match that sees the Hamster get the win. Finally we get to Arrival... for the big show down between Breeze and Frankie... which certainly is by far the longest of the matches in this video.

A couple of game play notes is the limited number of reversals can often lead to some bad moments, in particular if you counter the A.I, and it counters you back, if you run out of reversals, the A.I. can make quick work of you.

Anyway, the game play video is below for your viewing enjoyment.

Tales From The TARDIS - Five Hundred Eyes

Ping-Cho and The Doctor are mocking me aren't they?



Hello and Welcome to The Basement and Tales From The TARDIS, where I go through each and every single episode of classic Doctor Who on an weekly basis.

For those of you who may not know, we are currently up to part 3 of the Marco Polo serial... but wait... how can I be going over something that doesn't exist? Well I happen to have the reconstructed version of the serial that was produced by Loose Cannon Productions. So it is possible my friends!

So let's get right to this week's episode, Five Hundred Eyes!

The situation is dire, as the water supply is completely exhausted, and our heroes only survive because of SCIENCE! Okay, actually because The Doctor and Susan manage to collect water off of the TARDIS walls because of condensation. That's actually pretty imaginative thinking, and I don't think that solution has appeared in fiction since then. If I'm wrong about that, please tell me in the comments section below.

The group makes there way to Tun-Huang, which may or may not be a city in China’s northwestern Gansu Province. The reason why I'm unsure on this when I google it spelled Tun-Huang, I get results for it relating to this episode and for it spelled Dunhuang for the actual location. Anyway, they replenish their supplies and meet up with Tegana... who is quite in shock about them being alive, but he rejoins the group.

Also of note, while in Tun-Huange, Ping-Cho tells the storry of Aladdin and the Assassins, which is a nice way to pass the time during their stay... and also fill up time in the serial!

Since he's back, no doubt Tegana has some devious things in mind... and he slips away, heading to the Cave of the Five Hundred Eyes, which I believe are actually the Mogao Caves. He meets up with Mongol agents Malik and Acomat who tell him that another, name Noghai has an army and is heading towards Karakorum (the capital of the Mongol Empire). Tegana recruits Acomat to attack the group and to kill Marco and everyone else... but these plans are overheard by Barbara who happened to followed Tegana.

Actually she only heard part of what was being said ... but regardless she is found and captured. Tegana returns to the group, where he acts shocked about her disappearance. That dastardly cad!

With some leaps of logic, The Doctor figures that Barbara may be at the caves and heads out there with Susan and Ping-Cho... cause bringing Ian along would be pointless? When they arrive, Ping-Cho finds Barbara's handkerchief, and they call out for her... but she can't respond... why? Because she has a knife being held to her throat by a mongol in a hidden chamber.

The trio continue to call out for Barbara... but then the episode ends as Susan cries out, pointing at a wall where there are a pair of eyes moving!

I love that ending... Carol Ann Ford had like the perfect terrified scream. Anyway this episode, while continuing the 'teaching of history', sees that down-played a little as the story of Tegana plotting his latest scheme takes center stage. Because this serial's story is being told more for its historial aspect, we got the 'survived by condensation' bit, because the TARDIS is 'broken'... and thus we see the first big problem with the historical stories. Following An Unearthly Child, The Daleks and Edge of Destruction stories which featured a lot of sci-fi elements, the more realistic Marco Polo story sticks out like a sore thumb.

Anyway, we've reached the half way point of the serial... next week, we'll be going over part four The Wall of Lies

Friday, March 25, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Reaction

SPOILER WARNING: I'm giving my thoughts on Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and there are a number of spoilers here... you have been warned!


Hello everyone and welcome to The Basement...

Let me say that everything seen on this channel and on my blog is my opinion. I am entitled to it and I'm choosing to share it with you all, and I encourage you all to do the same.

Now as you can tell by the name of this video, and if you follow me on Twitter @FredCasden, you know that I went and saw Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice today. Saw it IMAX 3D, so you know which version of the film I'm basing my commentary on,

Anyway, onto the film itself... you know all those negative reviews it got? They were in fact justified, from way to much CGI... to just cramming together story lines that really should have nothing to do with one another... to Henry Cavill's horrible performance...to the outright attack on the character concept of Superman.

But I'll get to that cause I got a lot to say... so lets to the positives... and the one huge positive this film had that actually got a reaction from the audience I saw it with... Wonder Woman, in her full costume, arriving to throw down with Doomsday. The audience I was with was deathly quiet, but when the Amazon from Themyscira showed up, the theater erupted with cheers, and this was topped when she was using the golden lasso to restrain the monster and when she cut off one of his hands. Gal Gadot just owned the part, To say she saved this movie is an understatement.In fact when I left the theater, everyone was talking about her.

Also a positive, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman... finally we got a decent Batman again, I thought his performance was strong, and far exceeding the material that was given to him. He has great chemistry with Jeremy irons who played Alfred, who had a few chuckle worthy lines.

Another positive, Jesse Eisenburg as Lex Luthor... actually not quite a positive, more of... eh that was different... in that his portrayal of Lex was more 'Joker-esq' from Batman The Animated Series than what one would expect from the character. Amy Adams was much more enjoyable here than she was in Man of Steel as Lois Lane, though there was a lot of leaps of illogical involving the character. Also, loved how Aquaman looked and the glimpse at the origin of Cyborg.

The pacing was on right... but it is an incredibly dull movie for the first hour and half.

Now... onto the negatives... gonna start small... Ezra Miller as The Flash... no... just... just no... the look we got of his costume and how he looks in general just says...No... No... No... Grant Gustin is the Flash, case closed.

The CGI... oh boy the CGI... if I watched this in the non-3D version, I probably wouldn't be mentioning it.... but with the 3D... it's really shows how bad it is when things don't even look solid... and the biggest example of this is actually the battle with Doomsday, where it looks more like a cartoon.

The musical score was so heavy on the drums that people around me where covering their ears, not to mention the score itself was a bit bland.

Then there are the story lines being crammed together: We got Lex Luthor playing a long game of pitting Batman vs Superman... with no real goal established of what his end game is, hell it the movie is relying on folks already knowing the dynamic between Lex-Lois & Superman... then there is of course Doomsday himself and the Death of Superman, which for all intents and purposes should be its own movie, and feels just tacked on to try and give Lex that sinister edge, to say he 'won' despite ending up in prison... and to set up the 'resurrection of Superman'

And then there is the third story line...well not so much of a story-line but more of a reoccurring theme... the endless attacks on Superman as a concept and as a character... from a very liberal point of view, says that he's 'Jesus'... that 'we are throwing out image' on to him... along with the constant digs that 'this is 1938 anymore' and things like Truth... Justice... The American Way... don't work like that anymore.

To which I say to director Zack Snyder, writers Chris Terrio & David S. Goyer... screw you.

And that this is my biggest problem with the Batman V Superman... while it portrays Batman in a negative light, it's no where NEAR how Superman gets torn down... from noted left wing nut-jobs (like Anderson Cooper and Nancy Grace) tearing down a character the for the majority of 78 years has been a symbol of what everyone should strive to be.... a good person who has core values who tries to do the right thing. That is Superman... that is the character concept... that is what they got RIGHT with the first Superman movie in 1978 and what they sure as HELL got wrong here.

So what's the call here... well there's enough good concepts here, that for me, holds my interest for things Like the Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg films... and since in a way certain aspects of the movie played out like an infomercial for 'what's coming', then it did its job in peaking my interest for those things... but by and large, I hope that the creative team involved with those projects are not in any way the same morons involved with this movie.

This Week With The Superheroes: March 25, 2016



Hello and Welcome to the Basment, and its time for This Week With The Superheroes, my weekly blog and vlog on things that in some cases goes beyond the realm of Superheroes.

As noted in the opening, Garry Shandling passed away yesterday at the age of 66. I will admit that know him best from re-runs of It's Garry Shandling's Show and occasionally seeing The Larry Sanders Show during its run on HBO in its fourth and final season, and the influence of that show is certainly seen in things like Entourage, 30 Rock, Extras and Curb Your Enthusiasm, that show a 'parody' of certain aspects of show biz. Based on that, it's clear he had a lasting impact.

So let's jump right in and do the NEWS

Zack Synder & Henry Cavill are whining about the reviews for Superman V Batman: Dawn of Justice... saying 'the reviews' don't matter... well if it didn't matter, they wouldn't make comments about 'all the maters is the people who pay to see the movie'. Look if you're going to get defensive about critics, that means you know you made a crappy product (or a glorified infomercial if some reviews I've read is true).

Also let me add this: Of course the movie is going to make big bucks at the box office this weekend, it's an 'event film'. The real question is, how bad is the second week drop off going to be.

CBS has found their MacGyver for their upcoming reboot, 25-year old actor Lucas Till will play the role made famous by Richard Dean Anderson. Other than Walk The Line, I have seen nothing that Mr. Till has starred in, but he passes the eye-test in looking like he could step into the role of playing MacGyver.

Platinum Games announced that their upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Video Game, titled 'Mutants In Manhattan' will not have 'local co-op' as in, it will be a Ninja Turtles game that you CAN'T PLAY with someone in the same room using the same console. Their reason, and I'm quoting directly here: '“We actually really wanted to do local couch co-op, but the problem is if you do, then you have to split the screen, and suddenly your 60FPS situation gets a lot worse, and it also starts limiting, technically, the things you can do, so we had to go with online only.”'

Some have said that's a legit reason... but I say no it isn't... that's just being lazy, particularly since the video games based on 2K3 series, had local co-op, even the more recent TMNT Out of the Shadows had local co-op! How the hell have we gone BACKWARDS? Granted I've gone back to being a PC gamer so this kind of makes sense, but the whole point of having a video game console is to be able to play with someone in the same damn room!

Anyway, onto this week's shows Supergirl - Manhunter Plot: J'onn J'onzz discloses the details of meeting with Kara and Alex's father, Dr. Jeremiah Danvers, and the takeover of Hank Henshaw's identity; Kara must decide whether to trust someone with her secret identity; Siobhan devises a plot against Kara. Rating 5 out of 5 - Awesome episode, as we get not one, not two, not three but FOUR origin stories (J'onn, Kara, Alex and even the Silver Banshee), plus new character directions for J'onn and Alex as they are now fugitives searching for Dr Danvers (Alex's father and Kara's adopted father), Lucy Lane is now heading up the DEO as the new point of contact with Supergirl, and of course we have a new super-villain in the works.

Gotham - Wrath of the Villains: Mad Grey Dawn Plot: Gordon and Bullock follow a trail of clues in a robbery, not knowing they were left by Nygma; Gordon receives an anonymous threat; Penguin meets his father; Bruce works on his street smarts. Rating - 3 out of 5 - Something about this episode didn't strike the right cord with me, we get to meet the Penguin's father played by Paul Reubens (who also played the role in Batman Returns) and there interaction was okay. Then there's Nygma being paranoid over Gordon suspecting him for killing Kristen Kringle and frames Gordon for the murder of a police officer while also telling that Gordan did kill Galavan, this was also ok. And we get Selina teaching Bruce about the mean streets of Gotham... and this story was also ok... it was just average across the board this week.

Agents Of SHIELD - Parting Shot Plot: After tracking Malick to Russia, Bobby and Hunter become involved in an assassination plot; the team is changed forever as it races to save lives. Rating: 4 out of 5 - Did they just seriously write Bobby and Hunter off the show? Don't get me wrong I really liked the episode, as its told with flash backs for a good portion to see what went down and why are they in custody... but this was an episode that was clearly design to be the last appearances of these characters and I'm suspecting a bait & switch. Granted the previews indicated the team would be changed forever... any, kudos for Agents of Shield for delivering a quality episode this week that has me guessing.

The Flash - Trajectory Plot: When Barry and the team decide to have a night on the town, they encounter a speedster with bad intentions; Iris gets a challenging assignment from her new boss and is caught off guard when their conflict turns to flirtation. Rating: 3 out of 5 - I'd have to say this was an average episode as well... we get a female speedster who was addicted to Velocity 9, and that leads to the realization that Zoom is dying because of the lightning. And we get a probably set up for a new superhero with Jesse, who got injected with the same drug... but at the same time, something felt off about this episode... and unlike with Gotham I can pinpoint here, and it's Iris's boss at the paper, Scott Evans... who is a water down J. Jonah Jameson type that is now serving as Iris's love interest. It was just cringe worthy.

Arrow - Broken Hearts Plot: Brokenhearted, Cupid returns to Star City to destroy lovers on their wedding day, so Oliver and Felicity pose as bait. Rating: 4 out of 5 - We got some solid forward story momentum, Damian Darhk is being put on trail and is in custody (we'll see how long that last), which lead to some great character moments between the Lances (Captain Lance and Laurel) , Cupid's return is used to further the love 'em but can't be with 'em storyline of Oliver and Felicity, that sees Felicity up and leave...

So that wraps things up for this week. Remember Monday is the epic crossover between The Flash and Supergirl! And I'm super stoked for it! Also DC Legends of Tomorrow returns on Thursday!

 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Daredevil'ish Thoughts Part 2

This is covered episodes 7 to 13 of Daredevil season two on Netflix, as well as the season as a whole.



Hello and Welcome to the Basement... and part 2 of Daredevil'ish Thoughts covering the second half of the season... and I'll try to keep this spoiler free but as you saw or read, that will be damn near impossible.

And I'm not really sure what the make of what we saw (or didn't see as my same complaint about the poor lighting still stands)... and I'm not fully sure where to begin to try and make sense of this. Actually the best starting point will have to be with where the main focus was for the first chunk of the season.

Frank Castle... aka The Punisher... we get his trial.... and the subsequent implosion of Nelson & Murdock... and it's treat all as a subplot thanks to the Elektra story line, and I have to say... that's real damn shame. I get that the things that went down with Elektra, The Hand and so-forth are all apart of the Daredevil mythos... but man, did some things get royally screwed here. As I said before, The Punisher by far isn't the most interesting character in the Marvel Universe, but when he is on screen and in particular with Karen Page (whose own character growth is tied to his), it gets and actually got frustrating to see his story arc being treated with less importance. He goes to prison, escapes, there's a manhunt, the DA Reyes and other folks tied to the death of Frank's family is killed, he finds out WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE and has some awesome character moments with Karen who is going through her own character turmoil with Nelson & Murdock imploding... and its all treated as secondary. The Trial alone which should've been the focus of the second half of the season, was over and done within two episodes, Frank's in-prison for all of one episode, which sees Wilson Fisk return and we see what he got up too, The Police are going all out find him for 1/2 an episode (And is only brought up when Karen is on the screen)....this raises the question of why wasn't The Punisher just given his own series if basically they were going to shove him aside like this. The best thing that came out of this was the sit down conversation he had with Karen in a diner where he basically set her straight as it relates to Matt Murdock.

And speaking of Matty.... Why is it that every single Superhereo ends up going to through a screwed up hybrid of the Batman-Spider-Man mindset, as in 'the weight of the world is in my shoulders and no-one understands that the mask is more important than the man' b.s. that turns the character into a freaking idiot? We've seen this recently on The Flash with the Earth-2 stuff and it's a reoccurring theme on Arrow. Hell the only actual character development Matt gets is that he got his famous billy-club.

Now lets talk about the mess with him, Elektra, Stick and The Hand...first up, it's this storyline that leads to the rapid implosion of Nelson & Murdock, as it distracts Matt from the task at hand, putting all the weight (as brief as it was) of the Punisher trial on Foggy, who ends up going to a big law firm as a result, but it's treated as a non-issue the further into the season you go despite being what the season was building towards. Because the real focus on the season was all about Elektra and everything else was secondary, we get flash backs of her past, her relationship with Stick, the fact that she is a living weapon. She is the cause of the budding romance of Matt and Karen to falter, the cause of the end of Nelson & Murdock (not to mention a huge reason why the trial of Frank Castle ends up being a non-issue, she's the macguffin used to eliminate a key witness). Now I know she has closer ties to Daredevil than The Punisher does, hell they made sure Elektra was a huge part of the Ben Affleck movie but her presence forced so many rapid changes to the status-quo on the show that I wasn't exactly moved when the character died. Now I know I wouldn't have minded it so much if her story line was the whole season, because the effects caused by her presence from a character standpoint really have no time to breath to feel the weight. Not to mention that her story line basically ends up having nothing to do the with The Punisher story line in no way beyond her presence screwing up the trail.

Damn....

Okay... If I had to describe this season in one word it would be 'crowded', and I think this would've been better served if the focus was kept on Frank Castle, turning the season into about the trial for a longer period of time, his escape from Prison with the investigation of the cartel that's bringing in drugs in large shipments to Hell's Kitchen, as it does tie in directly to events from Season 1. Elektra could've been introduced with a slow build up to tease things for the 3rd season, where the implosion of Nelson & Murdock could've taken place, with her pulling Matt away from his actual job. Not to mention the obvious tie-in with The Punisher and Wilson 'Kingpin' Fisk is very much underplayed.

Grading the season on the whole.... I'd give it a C-.... they had great ideas, but having two very different story lines that had zero to do with the each other other than the one derailing the other just because you want to use more than one Marvel Universe character was an idea that weakened the season as a whole.

Of course you don't have to take my word for it, check Daredevil Season 2 out for yourself on Netflix.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 1 - Nostalgia Trip

This week's Nostalgia Trip: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 1, for the YouTube version, scroll down <('-'<) (>'-')>

Back in 1997, the first prominent reboot occurred for a lot of folks... that being of Buffy The Vampire Slayer... changing it from the comedy about a valley girl facing Vampires that made the film a cult favorite... to a dark, semi-whining show about a valley girl facing Vampires and other evils that made the TV show a cult favorite...

The show hold a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes... and that's why has me thinking, particularly since the show will be having its 20th Anniversary next year, wondering if the first season of the show actually holds up. So over the course of the last few weeks I've gone back and re-watched the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer that aired in early 1997.

Right off the bat with episode 1, 'Welcome to the Helmouth' the Status quo is established of Buffy coming to her new school after 'burning down' her previous school's gym because it was full of Vampires (explained away as asbestos), something that would not really be explained until until prequel comic that 'adapted' Joss Whedon's intention for the 1992 movie.

We are introduced to the supporting cast of characters (her mother Joyce, Cordella, Xander, Willow and her watcher Rupert, along with Angel), learn about Hellmouth and the dangers that she'll be facing in her new town, plus met the Big Bad, the Master...

Sadly, it wasn't Anthorny Ainley or even Eric Roberts as The Master... Doctor Who fans you are welcome for that reference.

Over the course of the 13 episode season, you get your standard monster of the week plots tied into 'High School' drama, and it certainly works. The story told over the course of the season, much like a mini-series, everything building towards the confrontation between Buffy and the Master with the 'fate of the world' at stake.

Thing is though... the show feels incredibly dated in both its story telling and style, it feels very 90s... which is fair since this season aired in 1997... and it's hard not to see beyond it at times, because there's a sorta grunge feel about the attire, and locations see... and at times the show can be seen as very 'brown' with the color scheme at time...

However that's minor, the theme song certainly holds up, the character relationships are established well... though the lead character of Buffy is down-right unlikable at times, there is enough here for the season to stand on its own because its self-contained, since this easily could've just been the only season for the show, everything has a direction and a point, which is a strong advantage of having a 13-episode season, there is plenty of time for character growth, silliness... but nothing feels wasted.

Now of course these are all my opinion, you can make your own judgements, for either nostalgia sake or for checking it out for the first time. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 1 is of course available on DVD, or check your favorite streaming service for availability.

In fact, since I have the DVD set, I can review it a bit, comes in a nice solid sleeve, folding out for a nice display image from the back, and is a standard 3-Disc set and comes with a little booklet. Because Whedon is a bit of a pratt, the original pilot is not included but you can find that online. In fact I'll include it below for you to watch.



And I think that will wrap everything up here! Catch ya next time.

YouTube Version:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

First Impressions: Jesus Christ RPG

Let me say right off the bat that I'm not the most religious person out there... and that I've seen a lot of off the wall video game concepts... from things like the Binding of Issac to Conker's Bad Fur Day, from Shaq Fu to Grand Theft Auto, from NCIS to Lego Batman... like comic books, if you can imagine something, it can be done in the realm of games being created...

Which brings me... 'Jesus Christ RPG'...

Developed and Published by Wholeton Games, and released for Free on Steam just in time for Easter here in 2016... 'Jesus Christ RPG' is perhaps the most surreal concept I've ever seen...

In short... it's Pokemon mixed with elements The Bible... okay that's silly... more like Final Fantasy meets The Bible.

Yeah that is as surreal as it sounds... as you level up 'Our Savior' he learns how to do his miracles (turn water to wine, heal the sick, etc, etc).... and you battle 'demons' while finding your apostles... and also recruiting your part (consisting of Simon Peter, Mary Magdalene and Judus who joins you no matter if you like it or not)

The game is done on a turn base system, much like many other RPGs, you input your commands when it's your turn, there is some thinking involved to realize how to use everyone's abilities.

Controls are simple, you use the keyboard.... the arrow keys to navigate, enter to select menu options, the ESC key to bring up your inventory, save, status screens... and space bar to interact with objects and people.

However it's the surreal nature of the game that makes it worth playing, there is an actual in-joke about the language (namely that they didn't speak English back in Biblical times), and Mary being apparently an overly common name.

Since the game is free is worth checking out.

#StandWithBrussels

Alright... those that know me personally know that I hate talking about anything serious... hell just look at my YouTube channel, my blog postings... or if you know where too look the fan fiction I have written and co-written over the course of the past 12 years... I'm not exactly the most serious person out there... hell I was actually preparing to do something regarding Buffy The Vampire Slayer for tomorrow when I just happened to look at the news... so I have to be serious

Earlier today...Brussels, the capital of Belgium was the victim of a terrorist attack that has seen 30 people killed and over 200 injured... and ISIS is taking credit for it...

To say this sickens me is an understatement... it pisses me right the hell of that people like ISIS exist... . And I have to ask: Why? What's the damn point? You want people to live in fear of you? You want people to hate you and to continue a cycle of death and destruction that has been going on for way too damn long? What the hell is your deal?

Hell... what types of pieces of filth brag about killing innocent men, women and children? You know what, I don't want to know what their deal is.... because there is no way anyone could justify those actions.

And let me add that I refuse to live in fear of ISIS and groups like them? Why? Because all they are, in reality, is just the most vile, disgusting stereotype of Muslims and people from the Middle East region... hell of the human race that has ever existed.

To all those in Brussels that were affected by today's tragic events, I stand with you, Hopefully the arse-wipes who did these deeds will be brought to justice sooner rather than later...

The Warriors - Basement Matinee

This week's movie... The Warriors...



There are some movies... that when you hear about them, they sound awesome and makes you want to see them... then there are ones when you hear about them... they forever remain on the 'eh I'll see it later' list

For example the plot of this week's film... The Warriors...

Just going by how the plot is listed on IMDB... In 1979 a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down to kill them.

Doesn't really sound all that interesting does it? Well for me, it certainly wasn't a priority on my 'must watch' list... sure I knew about the the phrase 'Warriors Come Out And Plaaa-ay' bit, it was engraved in pop culture... and the 'Can you dig it, Sucka' basically kept pro-wrestler Booker T popular and made him a Hall of Famer.

Also this film does tie into something I talked about a few weeks ago, as the Chief on the game show 'Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego' was played by Lynn Thigpin, who was also in this film.

But I digress...

I recently sat down to watch The Warriors... and I'll admit, it's decent... not great by any means... but its certainly enjoyable. While mostly taking place at night, it is shot very well and it does capture the seedy, corrupt dangerous nature of New York. I get why viewers find themselves rooting for the Warriors to make it 'home', cause it was a frame up gig, and you want to see the crew survive when everyone from rival gangs to the police is out to get them. The action sequences are well staged, and the film has a form of down and dirty, gritty style that we don't see much in films today, which are can be a bit too 'polished' and clean for their own good.

That said... the film has its problems... I don't get the gimmick nature of the various street gangs... which is saying something considering the over the top gimmicks of the various gangs in Saints Row III is what makes that game so fun to replay... and the acting is a bit... stiff... hell, for a lot of the cast, this was their film, so don't get my wrong in thinking I'm calling their performances bad, cause some would go onto to give better performances.

Then there area of course some of the head-scratching moments. For example the 'pride' of The Warriors keeping 'colors' instead of simply taking them off to head through The Orphan's turf is puzzling... and that's followed by Mercy joining with the Warriors when she was the one who helped provoked the confrontation. But hey, it's clearly a 'long night' and strange things happen as our 'heroes' get separated, some get captured, they get attacked... and through it all... then end up coming out on top, particularly when the truth of them being set up is revealed. It's also a surprisingly slow paced film, in that with it's 90+ minute run time, it's over 'too soon'... as a subplot between the characters of Swan and Mercy goes seemingly nowhere.

Which makes this where I should mention that this movie is adaption of a book from 1965 and also is the inspiration for the 2005 smash-hit video game from Rockstar Games, for those wanting more to go with the film. But I'm trying to stay on topic here...

So... what's my recommendation for this film from 1979? Well... it's certainly worth checking out at least once, because you will see why it has become a cult-classic. It's been released on DVD and Blu-Ray over the years, or, check your favorite streaming service that features movies.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lets Play Star Trek Online - Alliances

With what happened in last week's episode, the Vaadwaur are now an even bigger threat than the Alliance has first thought... and we don't exactly have enough ships from the Alpha Quadrant on the front line to really handle the situation. So the plan is to make alliances with those races in the Delta Quadrant to try and put up a united front against the parasite infested snake-heads.



To say this is a long mission.. is a bit of an understatement... the good news is the travel aspect is cut down, as you warp from one system to another, so it's not like a system patrol bundle, where you have to go to each location via the sector map. However like the system patrols, you do get to choose which order you want to do them in after taking care of your own assignment first, because lets face it, your captain is the most competent.

So, let's do the break down... After meeting with Tuvok and other Voyager alumni on the ship the caused pretty much all the problems we're facing, it's off to the Turei system. Upon arriving, the Science Office (Satra in my case) notices something on sensors, giving you a first sign indicator to be ready for a fight. You meet with the Turei and they are happy with being allied with the Voth... even though they aren't exactly in a rush to come to their aid, or even help secure the Turei's homeworld. The Vaadwaur show up, combat happens, with the Turei Ambassador wondering where the Voth are, and that's where you talk the Turei into becoming allies with you. The key here is to promise ships to defend to Turei home world on a permanent basis.

From here... it's basically player's choice

I recommend replicating 100 Tereform Units first and heading to the Bremark System to help Ensign Kim (Like hell he's a Captain) negotiate with the Kazon... this part of the mission basically is a big reference to the Kazon being obsessed with Voyager and of course revealing what happened to Seska's baby. Seksa for those who may not know, was a Cardassian spy among the Maquis portion of Voyager's crew who went rouge and joined up with the Kazon. Having the 100 Teraform units helps gets some of the Kazon on your side, and makes the battle that takes place here much easier.

Next jump over the Prybyl system to help The Doctor (the hologram not the Time Lord) with the Sontarians... I mean the Hierarchy... basically, you just have to impress them with your ability to launch as many different bridge officer abilities as possible against a super-strong holographic target. Pretty straight forward.

Following this, I say head to the Neles system, where Neelix is trying to recruit the Hazari, but they have some demands. We already have the Benthans on our side, but the Hazari wants some prisoners released, some warrants suspended and the right to pursue bounties in three systems. The Benthans offer a compromise, which the Hazari accept saying if you don't ask for everything you may end up with nothing instead of something. This is primarily a ruse to get a Hazari spy within the Benthans ship, but with only one bit of light combat.

Finally, it's the Russan System to get the Octanti... and if your character is a liberated Borg, you're not exactly going to get a friendly response. See the Octanti hate the Borg, and don't believe the liberated Borg aren't a danger... things don't get better when Seven arrives to warn a recently liberated Borg ship is infected with a virus the Octanti created...but here's the 'pick the obvious' choice, HAIL THE BORG CUBE, doing that lead to the Octani leader seeing that his brother who became a Borg is now free. Damage the Borg cube enough so the virus can be eliminated and the Octanti are on your side.

Man... this ended up being more of a walk through, but because this mission effects things going forward, making sure everything is done right is important. Plus it shows off how awesome your captain is.  

Daredevil'ish Thoughts - Part 1

Thoughts Regarding Daredevil Season 2 Episodes 1 to 6



Hello and welcome to The Basement...

While many have binged watch all 13 episodes of Daredevil Season 2, I am going at a much slower pace... as the time this video, and it's corresponding blog , was produced after viewing episode 6 of this season, meaning I have seven episodes to go. I will keep this as spoiler free as possible.

Right off the bat, let me say the lighting is still absurdly bad to the point I have to watch the show with the lights on, just to see any damn thing when it's set at night or in a dark location. And I've watch it on my phone, TV and PC, and basically it's a poorly lit show. That's my major complaint, it carries over from last season, but let's hit do the run down of the things that are obviously talking points for the first six episodes

Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, is a one man army, gunning down gangs, punishing them for what they did to him and his family... and it appears that the DA Samantha Reyes (who appeared on Jessica Jones), is out to get Frank, and our heroes Matt 'Daredevil' Murdock, Foggy Nelson and Karen Page are caught in the middle... of stopping Castle from his murderous campaign and playing nice with the DA... plus there's the added complication of Elektra, a love from Matt's past, arriving to draw him into her issues that she has going on.

Damn... keeping this spoiler free is going to be tougher than I thought...

Anyway!

From the first six episodes, it appears that this season is being broken down into the chapters, episodes 1-4 deal with Daredevil and The Punisher at odds, in particular with methodology in dealing with crime... and we get a lot, I mean a LOT of plot exposition... I would say it's overly talky when Matt and Frank are face to face, but since they have make the Punisher a 3-Diemensioanl character, there's only one way to do it, as he does get some actual character development, particularly when he interacts with Karen. As mentioned earlier Reyes, the DA, has it out for Frank, and there is a lot of mentions of the cartel and, in less than subtle fashion it's implied that she is quite dirty (in the political sense)

Once the apparent issues with The Punisher are 'resolved', things switch gears as Elektra is introduced at the end of episode 4, with episode 5 having flash backs, and her basically luring Matt into her world, with him trying to stay out of it (which he fails too). Basically Elektra knows Matt is Daredevil, and knowing what he can do means she sees him as an ally (UN-willingly mind you) in dealing with a Yakuza styled organization. While I have an idea of how this is going to fit with The Punisher side of the story, the obvious bit from the start is that Matt is going to have a dual-loyalty problem, which is heavily indicated in episode 6, when it's clear he's really needed to be with Frank, Foggy and Karen when a... ah crap... so much for keeping this spoiler free. Basically Frank is captured thanks to Daredevil and ends up pleading not guilty and Reyes is fast tracking his trial to give our heroes 'no chance' when Matt is off with Elektra.

So, both story lines are compelling... but obviously not as good a season one with The Kingpin's rise and fall, but I'm going half way through the season. I think every character is very well defined, and the interactions come across to me as natural. If there are negatives with the story telling, it probably is at least up to the point I watched is the implied juggling act Matt is going to be doing heading into episode 7.

But I'll give my thoughts on that when I watch the remainder of the season.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

JLA Titans - Comics From The Basement:

This week's review... the 'JLA Titans' Mini Series... AKA The Technis Imperative



Hello and welcome to Comics From The Basement... and I'm breaking one of my own rules...

I am a fan of Atop The Fourth Wall... hell the reason I got serious about my YouTube channel is because of that web show.... and while as I figuring things out, one thing I told myself was that I would go out of my way to AVOID going over comics Linkara did...

However... we're in March... and I was re-watching Linkara's March of The Titans specials from 2013... and where he explain why this particular story is his favorite, the one that got him into comics, the one that for all intents and purposes is the standard for which he judges other comics.

That being JLA Titans: The Technis Imperative

Now for those of you who may not know... this mini-series (cause I have the individual issues because I wasn't going to pay $25 for the trade collection), is considered by many to be the crowning achievement as far as The Teen Titans are concerned, at least in terms of the comics, the entire first issue basically sees every member of the Titan being captured, with mini-bios informing the readers of who they are and their allegiance, so no reader would be left out in the cold not knowing who these characters are. It's also notable for being a Superhero vs Superhero story that actually delivers, in that both sides are right... but we'll get that do that in the break down.

And I've re-ordered the way I did the break down this week.

Writer: Devin Grayson who is critically acclaimed, working on Batman Chronicles, Catwoman,the Titans series which followed this mini-series, Nightwing Batman: Gotham Knights and that's just DC... she is incredible. I'm hard press to find something from her that is remotely underwhelming. The story work and dialog in the mini-series is very engaging

Artist: Phil Jimenez, he's also credited as a 'co-plotter'... He's done work on Wonder Woman, Infinite Crisis, The Amazing Spider-Man, New X-Men and Teen Titans. He is not everyone cup of tea, but I can safely say that JLA-Titans is a major high point for him, with the amount of characters and details needed to pull it off.

Plot: About time we get to the plot... well this will involve a bit of backstory... a long time ago, Cyborg left earth an alien race call the Technis, actually becoming completely connected with it, lost himself in the process... and now he has returned to Earth as apart of a Technis facility, where he unknowingly kidnaps former Teen Titans because of his desire to be with friends and what he considers family. At the same time, these actions put the Earth at risk as the Technis construct attached itself to the moon and attacks on it by the Justice League end up causing a pull on the moon which leads to destruction on the planet below. The key thing is that Cyborg is caught in the middle, the Titans wanting to save him since that may save the day while the JLA is willing to destroy him for the 'greater good' cause that will save the day. It's battle of the old 'The Needs of The Many Out Weight The Needs Of The Few',

Positives: There are ton... but the biggest is being that it's a great introduction to the Titans, giving some of their history while establishing a director for them going forward (in this case, this mini series led to a new monthly series for the group). It basically keeps things well balance as you can see both sides point of view on how to handle the crisis at hand... it's a story of friendship and family vs the greater good. Also the individual covers are awesome

Negatives: Well I had to stretch for this... but...there are a couple of negatives here... but I'd have to say the out of no where inclusion of Catwoman... and also the fact that while we get to see Captain Marvel Jr take on Superman... Batman doesn't lift a finger to do anything other than preach to Nightwing.

Weirdness: One of the final panels in issue #3... has the love interests that Nightwing had clearly talking about him... what's weird is that Mirage deceived Nightwing into having sex with her while pretending to be Starfire... kind of puts a different spin on things when one knows that bit of history.

Recommendation: Oh it's a great read, I highly encourage folks to check it out. I know for a fact comixology.com has all three issues available for digital readers, mycomicsship.com has the issues and the trade available... but you're better off ordering the single issues, as they are a lot cheaper.

Now next week... we're going back to Space... The Final Frontier

Saturday Night Highlights: Broforce, Paladins & Streets of Rage 2

Here are highlights from my November 18, 2017 playing Broforce, Paladins & Streets of Rage 2 Support This Channel By Shopping  At...