Archive for On Comics

A lot can happen in three months…

What can happen in three months, you ask? Well…

You can start selling tickets to a huge charity event
You can make a stupid video for said charity event
You can get engaged
You can set a wedding date and start planning like mad
You can help an AWESOME company with their SXSW booth
You can buy your first comic book
You can start a new tabletop RPG campaign
You can join a new DnD campaign
You can find your next video game obsession

But you most certainly CANNOT blog with regularity. It is forbidden.

My First MMORPG: Marvel Heroes

In my long history of playing games, I’ve never seriously played an MMORPG. Sure, I played Phantasy Star Online to death on my GameCube, and flirted with Blue Burst when it was in free open beta. Yeah, I played a tiny bit of SWTOR during a free weekend. And, of course, I (along with MANY people I know) had a brief bout of MapleStory obsession.

But that’s the extent of my MMO experience. I’ve never touched WoW. Never played EverQuest or Guild Wars. Nothing. But all of that will change soon with Marvel Heroes.


(To make everything squeaky clean with the developer, Gazillion, this is the part where I make it clear that I’m just rehashing publicly available information and there’s no closed beta NDA breaking going on here)

I don’t remember when/where I first heard about Marvel Heroes, but I DO know that I first got a chance to play it at PAX last year and loved it from the start. It feels like the lovechild of one of the old Ultimate Alliance games and a loot-based RPG like Diablo or Torchlight. You play as an existing Marvel hero (instead of creating your own character) and utilize different item drops to make them your own. Initially, you choose from a set of starter heroes (Daredevil, Storm, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, or Thing) but you can find/buy other heroes in the game.

hulk_hawkeye_1920x1080The different characters are like different classes in other MMORPGS, each with a few different power trees and such. That ensures that even in a clan full of Wolverines, no two are exactly alike. Loot is literally EVERYWHERE, much like the games I mentioned above, and consists of things like ability boosting items, full costumes, and maybe even entire characters.

I can’t speak much to the actual gameplay, but Massively did a good write-up.

boss_venom_1920x1080While the game is totally free-to-play, they have to make money somehow. Currently they’re doing so via a Founders Program which allows you to purchase extra heroes and costumes ahead of release. I feel like the game is worth $60 (like most console titles on release), so I’ll be buying one of the premium packs before the game launches.

So, yeah, this is going to be a time suck for me going forward. I’m hoping that more people I know will jump in on the action and that this game can be something I play for quite a while. The game is supposed to launch sometime in “Spring 2013”, but I’m hoping to put together a good group to play with before the game actually launches. If it looks like this might be your cup of tea, let me know and we’ll plan to play!


Good lord that was amazing. That may be the best movie I have ever seen. Really. I’ll write more, review-wise, next weekend.

So what comes next? We know that Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 are coming in 2013. Captain America 2 and Avengers 2 are supposed to be in 2014. There are also talks of Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, War Machine, Black Widow, and more movies in development. I have very very strong and detailed theories as to what will happen over the next few sequels/announced movies, but I won’t share those until much later to avoid any spoilers. For now, I’ll just leave tidbits that don’t spoil anything:

Iron Man 3: Not sure. Extremis? Demon in a Bottle? Something that really cuts to the core of Stark.
Thor 2: Beta Ray Bill. Nuff said.
Cap 2: Winter Soldier by way of HYDRA lead by Baron Zemo.

Now, let’s talk about other things I think Marvel should do after an incredible movie like this:

Obviously, I think Marvel needs to capitalize on the success they’ve had with The Avengers and the shared cinematic universe. One thing they can do is produce more movies in said universe (duh) but another is to do some shorter productions. They’ve started this a bit with the One Shots, but I’m thinking things like web series, TV mini-series, and other such content. Basically, longer than what they’ve done, but shorter than a feature-length movie. I think some of the minor characters would be perfect for this. In particular, I’d love a Howling Commandos mini-series, or one for War Machine.

Next, Marvel should create a shared animated universe much like the cinematic one. Structure it around the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series and do a spin-off or two. I have my doubts that we’ll ever see the long-rumored Ant Man movie, so why not make an Ant Man and Wasp spin-off series? They’re by far the most entertaining characters on the show. Since this universe is very close to the cinematic one (Watch the Avengers series, its REALLY close) it could allow for more stories to be told than the movies are able to do.

Another short-term thing Marvel should get on is reviving the Ultimate Alliance series. Make a third game, but make it GOOD. Find a developer and make this a AAA title. While they’re at it, they should make sure that the Marvel Heroic RPG stays alive and kicking as well. Tabletop may not be a huge market, but its full of dedicated people who love to spend money.

And now for the long-term play: Start getting the licenses back for other Marvel properties. Priority One should be the Fantastic Four. Without Reed Richards, a lot of things are off-limits as far as the greater Marvel universe is concerned.

Even with the death of print comics on the horizon (Not comics as a whole though. Digital is still a thing. Print media WILL die though.) Marvel has shown it knows how to do business and make people happy. Or at least they know how to make me happy.

Now if only DC could get their shit together and do something good with their properties…