Comic Review: Generations: The Thunder #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

While Marvel wraps up their current event, Secret Empire, they are already laying the groundwork for their next event, Marvel Legacy, that will apparently smash together classic characters and their more recent legacy counterparts into a new status quo. This starts with the Generations one-shots, where the current and classic versions of several of Marvel’s most recognisable characters team up for a short adventure. My first foray into this is The Thunder, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Mahmud Asrar, with colours by Jordie Bellaire and letters from VC’s Joe Sabino.

“The Vanishing Point – An instant apart! A moment beyond! Loosed from the shackles of past, present and future – a place where time has no meaning! But where true insight can be gained! Make your choice! Select your destination! This journey is a gift…”

The Thunder, you may be able to guess, is a Thor-centric comic starring The Mighty Thor Jane Foster, who is the current wielder of Mjolnir and Goddess of Thunder, and The Unworthy Thor, who is the Odinson without the hammer. But not the current Odinson (recently star of a comic called The Unworthy Thor), instead this is Thor before he could ever wield Mjolnir but is still called Thor. It’s confusing.

Odin chastises his son for trying to lift such a dangerous weapon again, and summons him to greet some guests in the great halls of Asgard. But Thor, answering prayers from a group of Vikings set on invading Egypt, speeds off on goat-back to aide his faithful. There he finds Apocalypse, and has quite the fight on his hands. Until a time-displaced Jane Foster arrives to help out. After a little confusion, the pair waste little time in bringing the thunder.

Jason Aaron has been writing Thor (both Odinson and Jane Foster) for a while now, and continues to surprise, especially in how much variation he brings to the various levels of youthful arrogance the Odinson has over the millennia. And the pair are both reminded of what is key to any Thor, and that is humanity. The Thunder is incredibly fun, which is what these Generations books should be aiming for. As for the mystery of why Jane Foster was thrust back in time, or those final pages with Odin? I think we will find out in Legacy, and perhaps what The Vanishing Point is at the end of Secret Empire. At least this year’s event isn’t overrunning and hanging over the ongoing state of the Marvel Universe quite so much as last year’s Civil War II.

Key to Aaron’s enormous success to date with writing Thor comics is being paired up with artists who deliver on his vision and make the gods of thunder seem real. Mahmud Asrar draws jaw-dropping action worthy of those who have come before, and the splash pages are gorgeous to behold. Jodie Bellaire as usual brings colours in that only make the art better, with the lightning almost jumping off the page.

I have no idea where Legacy or the Marvel Universe is currently headed, but if it as fun as The Thunder then I can’t wait.

Score: 9 Ugly Men out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 63 – Sand Magneto

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat the cast of Thor: Ragnarok and the latest re-jigging happening in the DC cinematic universe, while Gary gets attacked by his cat again and Adam complains about losing TV shows he likes.

We had two main talking points this week (you lucky people!). First up, we give our thoughts on the pilot episode of Preacher that aired this week. We talk about it from around 16-24 minutes. It’s pretty light on spoilers, but if you’re particularly trying to avoid them then skip this bit!

Our second main talking point was X-Men: Apocalypse, with Adam chatting to the Total Reroll DM Ian about this latest instalment in Fox’s X-Men movie universe. We talk about it from 24-52 minutes and again it isn’t spoiler heavy but there are a few things that may come up so  you have been warned!

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The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 44 – I Want to Be Fummus

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about Hugh Jackman suiting up as Wolverine one last time, Apocalypse looking like Ivan Ooze, The Killing Joke and Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity again, while Gary gets a listener’s name wrong and Adam chastises him for it even though he got it wrong first and was the one reading out the feedback. Sorry Mike!

This week’s main talking point was Marvel’s Ant-Man. We go in to what we liked about the film (with spoilers so beware!) and some listener feedback too!

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If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

Video Game Review – Fallout Shelter (iOS)

Nath sometimes reviews games. This is one of those reviews.

Sorry for not posting a review for quite a while, there have been a few things like work, moving house and not generally having any time for playing games. Closest I got was to playing an app version of Stranger’s Wrath (pretty decent port, but controls need reviewing). However, now that I have moved and work has taken a break for a bit, I have managed to find some more time for playing games. I still need to get hold of Arkham Knight and I need to play the latest Witcher game but in the mean time I managed to borrow an iPad and play Fallout Shelter.

I imagine most of you are looking forward to Fallout 4. Until that comes out, we’ve got this handy little game to play. You start off choosing the number of a vault you want to become the overseer of; I chose 616 (the correct number of the beast according to QI) and you are thrown into a little tutorial. It tells you the basics, for example on how to build rooms in the vault, assigning people to specific jobs and sending people out to the wasteland.

It’s basically the Sims but Fallout-style. You’ve got to keep your dwellers happy by making sure the power, food and water is all up to the relevant levels. If you keep expanding the vault with more rooms and dwellers, you can unlock further rooms and make your vault more useful for the dwellers. In Vault 616 I managed to unlock the science lab, med bay, storage room and galaxy radio, amongst many others.

But of course you can’t build more rooms without acquiring caps. You can do this in a few ways, the most common way is to rush rooms for resources. Basically high risk, high reward. Before you start rushing the rooms, you are given a percentage of failure and this will increase if you rush the room constantly. If you succeed, you gain caps and the resources quicker. If you fail, 1 of 2 things can happen, first the room is set on fire and dwellers have to put the fire out or radroaches infest the room and the dwellers have to dispose of them. If this happens, you will have to start over again before you can gain the resource or caps. Pretty annoying but lets hope we are feeling lucky.

The other ways are done by sending your dwellers to the wasteland in order to get caps, however the longer they are out there, the more likely they will get attacked, irradiated or killed. You can revive them for a price, but its very expensive so be careful. The last way is completing objectives set by the game. You can earn easy caps by forcing the dwellers to copulate, setting fire to rooms and collecting resources.

All in all it is a very good game, however I did learn something. If you leave the game on standby for the day, events will take place in the background. That is fine, means you can actually get on with your day, whilst babies turn into dwellers within the game. If you leave it for longer though, things can go badly. I went away for a few days and my vault was in a mess. All my resources had gone, people were unhappy and my explorers were dead. I tried rushing resources, but we got attacked by larger radroaches and ended up losing about 10 dwellers. I decided that Vault 616 was no longer so I deleted and started again.

Enter Vault 777 (Nicholas Angel’s badge number from Hot Fuzz) and I decided to plan this vault better. So far so good, no one is dead, resources are in good order and the dwellers are all happy. I do feel that this game will tie me over until Fallout 4 is released, but there are many other games coming out later this year that I need to get hold of. I would give this game 8 out 10 radroach attacks. A decent game that will keep you entertained. It’s currently only out on iOS, but an Android release is due out in the next month or so.

Nath

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 40 – An Oddly Specific Request

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about the Fallout 4 reveal trailer, Konami going ‘mobile first’, Rise of the Tomb Raider and a Jack-Bauer-lite 24, while Gary talks about his apocalypse boner, and Adam makes a clumsy attempt to talk about feminism and sounds like an idiot in the process.

The main talking point this week was Mad Max: Fury Road, with minor spoilers included. We talk about how much we enjoyed it, the development hell leading up to it and the refreshing gender balance brought to the film (and the morons that complained about it being ‘feminist propaganda’). If you haven’t seen it, make sure you check it out!

Also this – http://feministmadmax.tumblr.com/


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If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

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Indie Comics Review – The Revival #1 (Hound Comics)

Our pal Kit sometimes write for the site! This is one of those times.

 

*This is the first review from a spotlight we’re going to be doing on Hound Comics, a private publishing company with their own ongoing comic series and web series. We’re going to be reviewing first issues of some of their comic series over the next few weeks. You can buy issue #1 of ‘The Revival’ here.*

 

“It’s been five years since the war began. Three since the war ended. And longer than anyone can remember since anyone had a decent cup of coffee.” – The Revival describing my idea of hell.

Time for our first review of a Hound Comics comic! This time I’ll be getting my teeth into The Revival: The Red Age, written and drawn by Tom Kyzivat. Why did I pick this one? To be honest I just saw the title and thought it sounded cool. For my review I’ll use the following criteria:

  • The Concept,
  • The Plot
  • The Characters,
  • The Artwork.

What we will be getting into, as you may imagine from the quote is a post-apocalyptic world where a rag tag bunch of soldiers of circumstance struggle for survival. Also, there’s no more good coffee. Hell, I wouldn’t last a day without my regular caffeine fix, I’d be screwed!

The Concept: As I’ve already said this is a post-apocalyptic set up, there’s been some kind of large scale war (global I assume?) that’s left the world blighted and any survivors just scraping by. The first page describes Patriarch, some kind of mysterious authoritative figure who it seems people listened to. Patriarch is now dead. This concept itself doesn’t get picked up too much more during this first comic, which I like, it adds an air of mystery to whatever’s happened to this world and leaves you wanting more.

The first page also sets up a bit of a magic vs technology deal for this world, which I imagine may play out a little like Saga. As I love Saga, this is a good thing. Again, this isn’t picked up too much during this first issue, but it does help set your expectations and add a little flavour to the world.

As for the characters it’s the scrappy crew doing their best to get by in a desolate world. Their dynamic very much feels like Firefly, which I’m very sure provided some inspiration for this.

For a concept score. 8.5/10.

The Plot: As with many comic book the first few pages are spent introducing first the world, and second the lead characters. This is done well I think, the world is shown from the perspective of the main character (Red) which both fleshes her out and sets up the world itself. Once you get a feel for who’s who the team set out on a raiding mission to pick up supplies. You discover bits of the world as they go, you’re introduced to ‘Cabbage Heads’ – a clone army of The Engine, the hopelessness of the world – delivered quite naturally throughout the comic book. The exposition is generally done well, a lot is put across to the reader without being too in your face or ‘here is why things are like this’.

The story itself is pretty simple for a single issue, which is natural for a first comic, it leaves you wanting to know more about the big questions and gives you time to get to know the characters.

Plot score then, it’s a solid start. 8/10.

The Characters: There’s quite a few you’re introduced too this issue so many of them don’t get too much more development than their clear archetype. Even so you do get at least a little time to get a feel for who each of them are.

Red – Our captain and main character. You get to know her pretty well over the first few pages while she describes the world. She seems to be serious in all that she does and apparently has a taste for coffee (worth at least an extra point for me!). She could go either way, with an interesting back story and some decent challenges to come along she could end up an excellent character, though there is a risk she could end up the boring one if she isn’t explored properly. For Red I’d say 8/10.

Tater – the Engineer who probably features the least in the comic. He’s a background character for the first issue but seems to be a bit older than the rest, providing a bit of a father figure to the crew it seems. He’s off to a solid enough start, but there’s much more to go here, so for Tater I’m thinking 6.5/10.

Woods – the Scout. I very much like his design, he’s been given a unique way of talking and I think a lot of personality is packed into both his appearance and his actions. He’ll likely be the butt monkey for jokes and stuff going forward but that’s often needed in these sorts of stories. 8/10.

The Pessimist – her Lieutenant. For starters he’s a bear, bears are cool. He’s the muscle and serious one of the group. He has a cool design but like many of his archetype his stoic nature means we don’t know him too well yet. Still, he gets bonus points for being a bear. So 8/10.

Finally we have Rainbow – the demolitions expert, T&A, fourth wall-breaker and comic relief of the group. She does provide some much needed colour to the comic and it’s the sort of story where having a character who knows how to smile does make a positive impact. Unfortunately I felt it was done a bit too heavy handedly at times. Good in theory but maybe dial Rainbow down a little next time. 7/10

Character score – For an overall average: 7.5/10.

The Artwork: Overall the art very much gets the tone right, the world is bleak and browny-red, the characters look good, Rainbow does add some much needed colour (and enjoys doing it!). I also really like how the Cabbage Heads speak in bar codes. Unfortunately, the faces do look a little off at times I feel. Red’s nose just kinda bugs me…

Still, the art is solid overall. I’d say Art Score – 7/10.

Final Verdict

I enjoyed this comic. This is a good start to a series and leaves you wanting to know more. There are some minor character points I think need ironing out, but hopefully that’ll come with time/character development. There are some great ideas here and it’s worth checking out! The average is 7.75/10. I’ll bump that to 8!

Final Score – 8 Decent cups of coffee out of 10

 

Kit

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – A Shower of Bastards

Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

It’s been a while since my last meandering, unfocussed rant hasn’t it? I had the idea for one vaguely themed on what I’ll release the vitriol tap onto a couple of months ago, but when I found the the opportunity to write it didn’t seem timely enough, and more elegant and intelligent things had already been said on the subject. That absolutely is not to say that what I’m about to embark upon will be elegant or intelligent, far from it in fact. It does not mean it isn’t something worth discussing. I’m going to be talking about The Walking Dead TV show, and will make reference to the comic series too, but nothing will be serious spoiler territory.

Two weeks ago The Walking Dead ended with the introduction of Aaron, a representative from a community known as Alexandria, who approached Maggie and Sasha and asked to talk to their leader Rick. In the following episode, Aaron leads Rick and his crazy gang of survivors to the Alexandria stronghold. There are trust issues. as per usual in TWD, and somehow the group gets split up. Team Daryl hook up with Eric, Aaron’s partner in the field and also actual partner, who has been injured. When Team Rick meet back up with them, Aaron is overjoyed to see Eric alive, rushing over to embrace and kiss him. As people who are fond of each other tend to do.

Cue pointless controversy.

The reactions I’ve seen from people across the internet, in particular knee jerk reactions on Twitter, have been egregious to say the least. I would hope that all those that had a problem with Aaron and Eric sharing a kiss are in the minority, but over 13 million viewers of the episode in the US alone, those that took to their keyboards and phones to voice their disgust must represent a minority of a size that I’m not particularly comfortable with. That size being more than zero. Fucking hell people, it is 2015. If we feel the need to complain about two adults showing that they love each other in a basic way, in a story set in a US state where same-sex marriage is actually legal, then there is a serious problem here. Not to mention the fact that this story is set during the fucking zombie apocalypse, civilisation has crumbled around everyone as they struggle to survive, avoid the shuffling dead and rebuild the world. But dudes kissing dudes? Nah bro. Not cool. Why the hell should anyone be allowed to glimpse a single moment of happiness in such a terrible world, regardless of their sexual orientation?

I’ll quote a few of the responses I’ve seen, and address them with the fury with which they deserve. I was slightly heartened to see that some of these people have received a summary dressing down by ‘non-arseholes’, and some have either deleted the original message or their accounts all together. Defences used by those that haven’t revolve around it only being an opinion, or a right to free speech. “Get this faggot ass shit off the walking dead” doesn’t sound like much of an opinion to me, it sounds like hate speech. Blatant and painful discrimination in my book doesn’t really factor in as an opinion, and with how indelible and permanent the internet is it baffles me that people don’t keep this shit to themselves. As for freedom of speech, everyone absolutely should have the freedom to express themselves and opinions, as long as they are happy to have whatever shit they’ve said heavily scrutinised by others exercising their right to free speech by calling them out for being a cunt. I don’t believe that the internet should be censored or heavily policed, and I think people should only be prosecuted for what they say on the internet if they are genuine threats of whatever form they may be, like rape or death threats, doxxing or terrorism. Saying awful shit merely identifies you as part of the dregs of society that hopefully one day will just fuck off, but will probably stick around inexplicably like cancer or the concept of inequality.

Lets start with an oldie but a goodie. “I’m not a homophobic but that gay couple just ruined The Walking Dead“. If you have to start any sentence with ‘I’m not a (blank) but…’, news flash – you are that thing. In the same way that someone will always preface something vaguely insulting or offensive with “no offense, but…”. So putting aside that the start of the statement is basically the same as admitting that the person is a “homophobic”, the rest of the message isn’t exactly brimming with reason or perspective. No single thing can ruin The Walking Dead. Season 2 nearly ruined The Walking Dead. The weird peaks and troughs of quality sometimes threaten The Walking Dead, until they pull some ridiculously good episode out of the bag like the recent ‘What Happened and What’s Going On’. Two men kissing each other can not and will not ruin a whole TV show. The show was staying true to the source material, but even if it wasn’t and had just introduced two brand new gay characters, who the fuck cares? They weren’t forced on the viewer, it wasn’t forwarding some imagined pro-gay liberal agenda, there were just two characters who cared for each other, were happy to see each other and expressed that as any loving couple would. It wasn’t over the top or graphic. It just was. If that is all it takes to ruin a show for you, I feel very sorry for you. But I still want you to fuck off.

With the insane popularity of The Walking Dead, the viewership it pulls in is huge and way more than I would have ever expected. I’m always glad when something inherently nerdy, part of the culture I love, does well and more people are exposed to whatever it is. I like our nerd culture to be inclusive, accepting of everyone’s interest whether they just watch a show about a comic book, or use that show as a diving board into a larger world of comics, games, sci-fi and fantasy. But I have no interest in anyone that discriminates or spouts hateful shit like this.

Next up is “I don’t like that the walking dead got faggot shit on here now. Is Nothing Sacred !???” I get that someone was upset by seeing something they don’t like. If it bothers you so much, stop watching. But don’t throw stuff like “faggot shit” on the internet. It is so fucking unnecessary. Also, what is supposed to be “Sacred” in a TV show that is set during a zombie apocalypse? Everyone is completely godless, barely surviving day to day and certainly not giving a single shit about anyone else’s sexual orientation. Even the preacher struggles with his faith.  But even the shambling corpses, the bad guys who try to kill our heroes, or even when the good guys flat out murder people that may or may not be a threat, they still all manage to display more basic fucking humanity and tolerance than the dicks that watch the show.

Possibly my favourite two messages cover basically the same line of idiocy, so I’ll finish up with them. “I have been watching the walking dead for years with my kids, then with no warning u throw gays in there, I’m disappointed” and “I don’t discriminate against gay people. Plenty of my co-workers are gay. I just rather not have young children exposed to that BS on TV“. The Walking Dead is an 18-rated show in the UK. In America it is rated TV-MA, meaning not suitable for anyone under 17 years old. Watching the show with your kids seems insane to me, but I’d probably end up doing the same. So if you decide to allow your kids to watch an intensely violent and graphic TV show, disregarding age-rating advice (which I feel is your choice) and exposing them to more adult themes at an earlier age, you have no fucking right to complain about whatever kids are “exposed to”. And what is that? The 21st century? Is it such a bad thing that kids see this as a totally normal thing, so they don’t perpetuate your backward-ass thinking into the next generation? Take some responsibility and keep your prejudices away from your kids, maybe they’ll be lucky and turn out nothing like you. And what sort of warning were you expecting? WARNING! SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY OCCURS IN THE REAL WORLD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

Needless to say, The Walking Dead didn’t end. This week’s episode continued without the show being ruined, the world didn’t end (any more than it already has) and the viewers didn’t drop off like they said they would. I don’t really know why I continue to be shocked by how some people react to anything even slightly outside of their world view. All I know is that there are so many better reasons to hate people than their sexual orientation, their race, their gender or religious leanings. Like the fact that they have a terrible personality. Or they are a homophobe. But I’ll bring this incredibly unfocused rant to a close. A rant that can basically be summed up by ‘thing happens, people over react, man can’t understand over reaction and swears about people’.

Rick beard

And anyway, the biggest controversy in The Walking Dead this season should be the fact that Rick shaved off his beard this week. A travesty. AMC, you just ruined The Walking Dead. You have just lost millions of viewers.

 

What I’m playing – Rogue Legacy (PS4), Transistor (PS4)

What I’m reading (Books) – The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

What I’m reading (Comics) – Gotham Central: Book One by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka & Michael Lark

What I’m listening to – Transgender Dysmorphia Blues by Against Me!, Time and Trauma by 36 Crazyfists

What I’m watching – Tokyo Ghoul & Better Call Saul