Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Velvet Web / Doctor Who FCBD 2016 - Tales From The TARDIS

Hello and Welcome To The Basement... 

And Tales From The TARDIS!

Today, being the first Saturday in May, was Free Comic Book Day... and one of the free comics, published by Titan Comics is a of course Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day 2016... and it features four stories featuring all four of the post-War Doctor's... in four mini-stories... with only the first one really standing out to me at the moment being, Robo Rampage, a semi-sequel to the fourth Doctor story ' Robot'. All four stories have different writers and artist working on them, so they each stand out from each other to give you a feel for how their other Doctor Who comics go.

Some other  Davros was on Britain's Got Talent singing 'Love Shack'....  wish I could find some footage of that... and good news Big Finish will continue to make Doctor Who Audio adventures at least up until 2025...

So with that... let's get to part two of The Keys Of Marinus, The Velvet Web...

We open right where we left off, The Doctor, Susan and Ian are searching for Barbara and they come across a set of doors. Of course when they open it, an alarm goes off and their is a bright light... but when the situation calms, our heroes find Barbara, having her every need and want attended too as if she was Cleopathra. She explains that after she was transported, she panicked, ripped her dial off and scratching herself in the process to explain why there was blood. on it. I like this, explaining the cliff hanger with a logical (more or less) reason as to why Barbara's dial was on the ground with blood on it.

Anyway, one of the locals, Altos arrives to explain that our heroes have arrived in Morphoton, an advanced and pacific society.... basically it's Des Moines. The Doctor and Ian are skeptical at first, but are won over in short other by the hospitality the Morphotons show them. However something is a miss, as our heroes sleep, a slave girl places a small disc on their heads... but the one on Barbara falls off when she turns her head. When the disc lands on the floor, it's so loud it wakes her up, which means Barbara is a very light sleeper.

As she sits up the Morphoton's hypnotic pulse calls the mesmeron (didn't he fight Gamera?) starts to flash lights and makes sounds, driving Barbara a bit mad (or causes her pain) and she passes out. Turns out that Morphoton is under the control of a money backside ugly looking thing which communications through its life support equipment, and uses hypnosis to control the entire population of the city, making it seem like they are living in a technologically advice and peaceful society... when it fact they are living in dirt and squalor.

Which raises the question of don't Ian, Susan and The Doctor toss and turn in their sleep? Cause Barbara turning her head slightly caused the disk to fall off her forehead, and she wakes up she sees the truth, which greatly disturbs them. In a funny bit, Susan wanted a new dress, but she's wearing rags.

Anyway, Barbara causes such a scene that she is taken away, but she escapes and stumbles into the dungeons of the city, meeting Sabetha, the slave girl who placed the discs on our heroes heads. Barbara, through logical deduction that involves a few leaps, figures out that Sabetha is Arbitan's daughter and that she is wearing one of the keys of Marinus as a necklace.  This entire exercise showed just how strong a character Barbara was, that despite the plot convenience of the disk fall off while she slept, she can survive on her own. Barbara tries to break Sabetha of the brain washing, however Altos arrives to stop her. Thanks to Sabetha knocking him out, Barbara is able to escape...

She eventually comes across Ian, but it does not take her long to realize that he is now under the control of the creatures controlling the city... who declare that Sabetha will be punished with Susan taking her place, I wan would be used as slave labor and the Doctor will work in a lab... but first Ian is ordered to kill Barbara... and he actually starts to throttle her!. I'm not kidding 20 minutes into the episode, Ian is trying to choke out Barbara, who breaks free by swatting his arms away... this being the 1960s, I guess they couldn't show her kicking him in the crotch.

Barbara continues to kick arse by smashing the life control machines for the creatures, killing them nearly instantly, which frees the inhabitants of the city who have their memories return... and they celebrate by burning the city to the ground.

In the aftermath, The Doctor learns that Altros was another agent of Arbitan, and he and Sabetha join our heroes on the quest for the keys of Marinus. With a large group, it's decided that the best way to proceed is to split up, The Doctor goes off to Millennius to find the final key, while the others head off to find the next key. Susan is the first to transport... and out episodes ends with her nearly being deafen by the loud screeching sounds!  

This episode...well was really fast passed, and probably would've been a two part story, It's a simple tale of our heroes arrive, there's conflict and resolution all within 1/2 an hour. The spotlight being placed on Barbara is really cool, as she basically carried this episode and it's done in a way that does not insult the audience... unlike say things associated with Paul Feig are... but I digress....

Anyway, next week is part three of The Keys to Marinus, The Screaming Jungle... till then, ya'll have a good one folks!

Free Comic Book Day, Fernando Jimenez & Stormwatch Comics

Hello and welcome to the basement...

Today of course was the first Saturday in May, which means at nearly every comic book shop known, it's FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! WHOO-HOO!

Unfortunately, with my luck, again on a day I'm out and about was raining, which made my choice of heading to Stormwatch Comics (located at 449 N Route 73 in West Berlin, New Jersey) very easy to select as my destination for my excursion this week.

For future reference...
So let me talk about my first little misstep that worked out rather fortunate for me: because so many FCBD events in the area were starting at 10 AM in the morning, I left thinking that, cause it takes an hour to get to West Berlin, so I ended up arriving an hour early, and was the first customer to arrive.

Mr. Jimenez's sketching Spidey for me!

I say customer, because when I got there the extremely talented Fernando Jimenez (Facebook: was there waiting so that he could set up his table. I met him briefly last month at Camden Comic Con, and while I wasn't able to get anything from his table then, I made sure to get some items this time around, picking up one of his sketchbooks, a limited print he did of Deadpool, and since he was doing free sketches for those who purchased his items, he did a nice head-shot of Spider-Man for me.

You know they had Star Trek The Mirror Universe Saga...
 Now onto Stormwatch Comics itself, located right on RT 73 in West Berlin, it's nice little comics shop, perfect to visit on days with not large crowds cause it made some maneuvering a bit tight (I'm short and wide) with everyone hovering around going through the free comic book table and long boxes, as well as discounted toys, statues, trade collections and discounted comics. The staff was really friendly (based on my limited interaction with them) and everything ran smoothly. Prices are pretty fair for a lot of stuff they have out. though I couldn't tell if certain things (in particular trades) were still being sold for their original retail sticker value or marked down.

Nice selection for FCBD comics!
Now I got 10 Free Comics (5 from the Table, 5 from the Free Longboxes).... but the real haul came from the stuff that was discounted, as Stormwatch had 25% off for Toys, Gavems, Trade Paperbacks & Hardcovers... and 50% off of priced comics! Believe me I could've spent all day (spent two hours) going through the long boxes, but managed to find just on casual browsing some pre-Crisis era Action Comics, Howard the Duck #19, a few Wonder Women comics and more.

That Deadpool print I ended up getting as well... :D

Oh and there were door prizes, done with a 'first correct answer style', of obvious but tricky Comic Book Trivia... I actually managed to answer the first question right (What was Felicia Hardy's superhero alter-ego... it's of course the Black Cat) and got a 'mystery box' for a Disney Zootopia figure.
Folks going through the long box bins to find their 5 free comics
 So all in all, I was very impressed with how things are done at Stormwatch and I look forward to swinging by there again down the road.

A successful day at Stormwatch Comics!
 For More on Stormwatch Comics visit:

For More On Fernando Jimenez visit:

Oh... I bet you're wondering exactly what I picked up?

Fernando Jimenez Sketchbook #2
Howard The Duck #19
Wonder Woman #251
Wonder Woman #258
The New Teen Titans #39
What If... #22
Superman / The TRS-80 Computer Whiz Kids: 'Victory By Computer'
The Teen Titans: #48
Action Comics #438
Action Comics #446
World Without A Superman (Trade Collection) - First printing

From The  Free Long Box Table
True Believers: Age of Apocalypse #1
Marvel Age Spider-Man # 20
Sergio Aragones Groo vs Conan #1
Superman Wonder Woman #13
Supergirl (New 52) #36

Free Comic Book Day Special Issues
Suicide Squad #1
Bongo Comics: Free For All 2016
Street Fighter V #1
Marvel: Free Comic Book Day 2016 - Steve Rogers Captain America
Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day 2016

BlazBlue Thoughts: Fun while getting stomped!

Hello and Welcome To The Basement... 

I am not the biggest support of online fighting games, I like MMOs like Star Trek Online, DC Universe Online, Star Wars The Old Republic with players teaming up to try and do a mission against the AI just fine... but fighting games... that's a different bred...

Let's face it, losing sucks, and while I get the rage quit deal, I've been guilty of it myself, sure I can hold my own against the computer opponents just fine on default settings and can sneak out a few wins here and there on harder settings... but when going up against another human player, I get quickly reminded at how far out of my league I am.

Is it because my reflexes are too slow? That I don't play enough?

Well the answer is that, some players take to some style of games better than others. I prefer adventure games with puzzles for the most part, and struggle with more action focused games, first person shooters and the like, because I grew up playing games that worked the mind over for a different style of gameplay. Don't get me wrong, I love playing all types of games, but I know where my strengths are, but trying something else out of the comfort zone is something I also enjoy.

Which brings me back to playing against other human opponents in something like BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend... I know fully well that going up against other players means I know I'm going to be on the losing end... 99.9999999999999% of the time, so that means my focus is on trying to see how long I can last against skilled opponents, to see what I can stumble upon that might make their wins more difficult...

So with that in mind... by having a different mindset going into a match, the fun I'm having is a lot more in wondering how frustrated I can make the opponent in preventing from having a perfect round, or hitting their distortion finishes...

Because if I can't win... I might as well have some fun while I'm losing in glorious fashion! 

11/13/2019 Grandia Highlights

Night 3 of Grandia is in the books as we made it to Luc Village. We'll return to this game on Monday, becaues of course Thursdays are fo...