What is Next for DC Movies?

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DC/Warner Bros is having a hard time moving forward with its super hero movies.  They don’t want to let Marvel/Disney soak up all the profits, but at the same time they have no clear vision on what to do, and like all geeks on the internet I am going to give them my unsolicited advice.

Disney when they bought Marvel they also bought got Kevin Feige.  He is the man with the plan as far as the roll out for Marvel based films.  DC has no such person.  They were hoping the Christopher Nolen would be that person after the success of his Batman movies, but after The Man of Steel comes out he is putting dudes in tights behind him.

DC is longing to do a Justice League movie, but unlike Marvel they have not been following a path to get them there, and establishing their characters, and Batman is at the end of his trilogy, so he will need to be rebooted, or at least recast, so they are hoping that Superman does well in his next outing so they can base the League around him.  I think this is a horrible idea.  They should be proactive.  They should do a Justice League movie with some of the lesser known Heroes in their catalog.

They have tons of people to choose from.  Cyclops, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter, a new Green Lantern, and of course Princess Diana of Themyscira herself Wonder Woman.  I think they could make a great JLA movie with Wonder Woman as the lead.  DC has done a great job with the new Wonder Woman comics, and she is a fun character, and what is best is that Marvel doesn’t have a great female hero out now to counter her.  They could even start the League with her warning the world about some awesome classic monsters attacking the human world and her enlisting some help to deal with them.  I think they could also bring in the Green Arrow from the TV show.  He is doing a good job, and would be a fun crossover.  Plus they would have at least one established hero.

Whatever DC does they should not be sitting back and praying that The Man of Steel does well to build around him.  Superman is a hard hero to pull off, and if it does not do well then they are years behind schedule and Marvel will have had five super hero movies out by then.

DC needs to buck up and take a risk on their lesser known cast and let them bring home the bacon for once.  Wonder Woman for the head of the Justice League. I am breaking glass ceilings everywhere.

Judge Dredd is on the Case! #2

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You should probably read my review of Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01 before reading this review, not that their are any spoilers, but because of the progression of the character.

Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02 is split up between to main stories, Judge Dredd’s journey over the cursed earth to deliver a medicine to cure a plague ravaging Mega City 2, and Judge Dredd leading the rebellion against the crazy Chief Judge Cal (short for Caligula).

The first story is great, and provides a lot of background in to the reasons for the Mega Cities.  The Cursed Earth is the irradiated landmass between the Mega Cities left after the nuclear war, and it is inhabited by crazy hillbillies, mutants, murderess crazy army robots, and a few dinosaurs left over from the cloned dinosaur park (the comic came out in 1977 and the book Jurassic Park came out in 1990, just saying).  It is great to see why everyone lives in the walled cities, but there are still some good people living in the wasteland and Dredd does his best to make the Cursed Earth a better place on the drive through.

The rebellion against Judge Cal is good, but gets a little long in the tooth towards the end.  Judge Cal takes over and is crazy and the people of Mega City 1 are paying the price, and only Judge Dredd and a few other loyal Judges can stop the mad man.

Unlike the first Complete Case Files, Judge Dredd is much more defined in this book.  He is more stoic with a dry sense of humor, and he upholds the law above all else.  The comedic relief Walter the Robot is not in this book as much considering Judge Dredd as a series has started to take a much more serious tone.  Not that it is all hard core action and carnage, there are still some laughs to be had but the humor is a little darker.

I liked this book much more then the first one, and I am sure that I will be buying more in the future.  Judge Dredd is a cool character and being able read through his history is has been fun.

Don’t pull the Wool over your eyes

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The Wool Omnibus is a collection of self published short stories by Hugh Howey.  Even though there are five stories in the book they all follow the same story line, so it really is one book but split up so he could make more money on the Amazon self publishing store.  Don’t hold that against him though it is a great book.  I was tipped off about this book by Daniel Robison, and since he and I usually have the same taste I decided to give it a shot, and at $5.99 for the Kindle edition why not.

The book is about a group of people living in a silo, and the world outside is destroyed, so they are doing their best to survive in this giant tin can.  As you can guess people start wonder why they are in a silo and what is really outside, which is expressly forbidden.

Hugh Howey does a great job with this story.  It is fast paced and well written, though since it is self published there are some awkward sentences and misspellings, but still good work.  He has a talent for writing believable characters, and he has built a cool universe to play in.  He has written a prequel series “Wool Legacy” which judging by the reviews I will need to read soon as well.

If you haven’t guessed by now I think you should read this book, and if you don’t want to pay the $5.99, the first “book” in the series is free, and then you can decide to buy the rest later, which I am sure you will.

First Run in Shadowrun!

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A few of my buddies, Andy, Shawn, Daniel, and I, got together to play the table-top RPG Shadowrun.  For those that don’t know what a table-top RPG is, think D&D or geeks; actually both.  So pretty much it is a bunch guys getting together, rolling dice, checking off spreadsheets, and following/creating a story with characters that they have created for this game.  If your thinking that sounds awesome, it was.  If your thinking, wow nerd overload, then this probably isn’t for you.

Shadowrun takes place in the near future, but the twist is that at the end of the Mayan calender that magic as released in to the world, so now it is full of, Elves, Dwarves, and what-have-you.  Also the future is now run by Mega Corporations that use governments as their pawns (so that part is pretty spot on), and ‘Runners’ are their mercenaries that carry out missions for them. So we as the players take the roles of these runners.

Shadowrun was a little daunting at first, due to the sheer amount of customization you can do with your character.  Every gun, item of clothing, in game knowledge, skills, and pretty much everything else can be tweaked, but once I got the basic stats down it became a little easier.  We also took awhile just to figure out how to play the game, like hit an opponent, and how much damage you do and or take, and since the rule book is 348 pages long, you can see why it took awhile to get it all down. To be fair to the book, there are a lot of examples and short stories in it, so it is not all rules.

But once it got going it was a lot of fun, and like most of these games the reason for that is mostly due to the company you are with.  Having a good time will pizza and pop, and little trash talking.  I hope we get to play again soon.

Judge Dredd is on the Case! #1

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I just finished up with, Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files 01, and it was very fun read.  Unlike a lot of big trade paper backs, which follow a major story of some kind, this book just contains all the comics from the first two years of Judge Dredd’s publication, so there are a lot of one off stories.  In looking up Judge Dredd on the old internet, I found that the reason for the one offs was that 2000AD, the comic publisher behind Dredd, didn’t really think he would last, and the Judge himself would be a one off character. Obviously a little search on Amazon, and looking at the sheer amount of Dredd comics to be had, they were wrong.  Now all that being said there are some multi-issue stories in this book.  There are the Robot Wars started by the human slaying robot “Call Me Kenneth”, learning about Dredd’s brother and thus Dredd’s past and origin story,  Dredd working on the Moon City, Luna 1, and to end up a story about an insane car.  But even these stories are short by modern comic book standards.

There is a lot of world building in this first book.  At first it describes Mega City 1, Dredd’s jurisdiction, as kind of a post atomic war paradise.  Where these Judges that can hand out sentences on site keep everyone safe and mostly happy, but that soon changes and Mega City 1 is described as a place were crime is out of control and the Judges are the only way to deal with it.  The book starts out with a sillier tone, but gradually gets more serious. Also in start of the book we find out that the death penalty has been outlawed, but in the last Dredd story we find that it is allowed; if not encouraged.

The book also has some running comic relief with Walter the robot.  He is Dredd’s biggest fan and probably closest thing to a friend, and he waits on Dredd hand and foot when the Judge allows it.  He must have had his own mini comic in the back of Dredd’s books because at the end of this anthology they include a bunch of mini stories about this very loyal and bumbling robot.

So for Dredd fans I think this is must read.  If not then probably skip it.  If you are looking to get in to Dredd some of the later books where Dredd is more established and developed is probably a better place to start.