Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Some Tidbits I Didn't Know, But Should Have

I'm not much of a Peter David fan in general and haven't been keeping up with X-Factor, but I have a couple of friends that will be delighted at this.

I vaguely remember Rictor, and don't recall Shatterstar much at all except that he had a funny line in one of the Cyclops/Jean Grey wedding issues I'd read. But still, it's always good to see a bit more diversity.

And Shatterstar's much cuter now than he was in the 90s anyway.

Also, the pink kryptonite article that they link is pretty neat too. I think I actually missed the last Manhunter issue somehow because I did not know that little Ramsey is/will be gay and a superhero. That's pretty awesome, and I think I'm going to have to go hunting some back issue racks soon.

Also, tangentially, Phyla's new costume is kind of hot.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 37: In Sheep's Clothing

I skipped my recap last week, but I figured this week that I should get back in the swing of things.

Also it's distracting me from my "Oh my god, my HAIR!" freakout that's only registering now. Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad to be alive and with minimal damage, but looking in the mirror is a bit traumatic right now.

Today's episode is "In Sheep's Clothing." And since I already saw the first ten minutes or so before my computer ate my post last week, I also know that it features the most irritating anthropologist in the Galaxy Rangers universe, and my personal fictional nemesis, Audra Miles.

But for the purpose of the recap, I'll pretend I don't know that.
I Hate You Audra Miles

There's something about the themesong that just brightens my day whenever I hear it. It might be the sheer unrepentant 80s-ness of it. Which is understandible as it WAS the 80s. :-)

This episode starts off with a beautiful snow covered landscape. There are two moons, and adorable wolf like creatures lounging about.

My eternal nemesis is sitting with two of them, playing some odd flute type thing. One of the wolves howls along with the music, I'd like to think it's in protest, but I'm probably projecting. To be fair, the flute playing does sound pretty.

Audra monologues that Prairie is a lovely planet, and there are places on Earth like this. I wonder who the hell she's talking to, as the wolves, if sentient, do not seem interested.

She continues by musing that only one moon lights her night sky, and they have two. Um. I'm guessing they know that.

The wolf nearest Audra draws two lines in the snow, which I guess to be "No Kill I" or "Please shut up." Anyway, Audra will be sorry to leave, but she has a great report for BETA on the progress of the Lycans. (Wolf thing.)

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the planet, a small ship lands before what look like a group of cowboys and oxen. Or cow. I have no clue which. I'm a bored suburbanite, and my last and most substantial clash with anything rural left me trying to dig tiny chunks of my car window out of my elbow. Heh.

Anyway, two guys emerge from the ship. One's short and in red, one's bigger and in brown. I get a very Rocky and Muggsy vibe from these two. Anyway, apparently Rocky and Muggsy sold the cowboys Bovo-6 cattle, which are dying. (And in fact we see one ox-cow-thing laying on the ground behind them.)

Anyway, the cattle have to get driven to market, and if word gets out they won't get a "red cent." Which sends my brain on a tangent wondering about the type of currency they have in the Galaxy Ranger universe.

Rocky drawls that this is a new breed which is bound to have a few weak links. Muggsy leans over one grizzled cowboy, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and poking at him with a metal hand, and says how they don't want a panic over this. Rocky jovially says they'll have tests done at the Bovo facility. Somehow I think these two are shady. I can't imagine why I think that though...

The cowboys look forlorn at the dead ox as the gangters fly off.

Bovo's facility is pretty swanky, and inside, there's the prerequsite open circle table of eevil bureaucrats. One is even bald, with a fluffy cat on his lap, and a cigar. No cliche spared!

He asks "Number Five" for a report. The bureaucrats are actually scientists I think, all are wearing blue and white uniforms. Number five has big blocky glasses, he tells cliched evil villain that they've ran tests and the preliminary findings are confirmed. The Bovo-6 is a failure.

Bald evil guy's voice is very Mantenna from He-Man/She-Ra and he nasals an annoyed complaint about how much money they spent in research for a failing result. Um, yeah, bald guy. That's why it's RESEARCH. You're not guaranteed a good result. Apparently the problem is something in Prairie's grassland.

Of course cliched villain wants to change the grassland of the planet. Because that would somehow cost LESS than revamping the research and making a Bovo-7? Or relocating?

I like Galaxy Rangers, but this is approaching Captain Planet villain level of impractical anti-environmentalism.

Anyway, one of the scientists points out it's worse. The entire stock has been contaminated. The cattle are going to die and the meat's been contaminated and there could be an epidemic.

Cliched bad guy wants the test information to disappear, and the part of me that just got through Business Enterprises is rubbing my hands at the impending lawsuit from THAT.

Anyway, Cliched badguy announces that that will be all to Number Five, who stammers and then screams as a trap door opens under him. Seriously, trap doors at a conference table?! Who actually DOES that?! AWESOME!

Cliched badguy tells everyone who isn't plummeting to their deaths that they have to keep the ranchers in the dark until they make their final payment. Cliched badguy also has a plan.

Back at the ranch, the ranchers watch Muggsy and Rocky's ship land. They're accompanied by a third fellow, who's masked, and bodily yanks a rancher toward him. Yeah, that wouldn't make me suspicious. Rocky makes a show of examining the ox-cow and declares that the ox-cow was killed by lycans.

...Lycans are basically wolves. How the hell does that equate to poison deaths? If these ranchers buy that, they're stupider than Audra Miles.

The rancher tussling with the masked guy also thinks it's crazy. His reasoning is that lycans don't attack cattle. Rocky doesn't care. He just tells him to make sure the other ranchers know it's lycans that cause it. Or else. (Muggsy is standing ominously behind the rancher's kid, by the way.)

The Rancher's kid is smart and points out how there were no marks on the ox-cows.

Okay, I like the set-up here. I've always hated blame-the-scapegoat plots when experienced people should damn well understand their environment better. Here though it' clear that Ricardo (the rancher) and Carlos (his son) understand full well that the Lycans didn't do this, but are being threatened. I can buy that. Now I just hope that the others are as intelligent.

Later Carlos, Ricardo and a woman who I'd imagine to be Ricardo's wife are in a cabin watching a news report reporting how in Paynesville, herds of cattle are being decimated by Lycans. Of course Bovo is offering a reward for captured Lycans, dead or alive. Because they're idiots.

Ricardo notes that now they're finding dead cattle with teeth and claw marks and he suspects Bovo is dropping them in during the night.

Okay, I take it back. They're getting cleverer.

Carlos demands that they do something, Ricardo nods.

We cut away to Audra talking to Niko, which granted, is a pretty good idea. She's uncovered enough evidence of what she believes is a scandal. And her friends are in danger.

In Walsh's office, Niko is explaining the situation. Doc is there too, but no Zach or Goose, which means the likely explosion content has drastically reduced. Damnit. Anyway, Niko explains how the Lycans are efficient predators of small game. Doc chimes in that Lycans are intelligent with a complex social structure.

Okay, wait a second. I'm all for protecting the cute woodland creature. But THIS gets Galaxy Ranger protection when something that potentially threatened the entire food source of the galaxy in Mothmoose didn't?!

Was the Mothmoose just not cute enough? Okay, okay, I'll let it go.

Anyway, Bovo's managed to overturn the ecological statutes protecting the lycans. I, for my part, am really impressed by the efficiency of the legislature and judiciary on Prairie, that they're able to do anything that quickly.

Doc points out that bounty hunters are having a field day and the Lycans don't have a chance. Walsh agrees that it's worth looking into. Walsh tells Niko to tell Audra to be careful and to wait for "you two."

Damnit. That's confirmed. No Goose or Zach. You know, I've heard people complain that this show eventually becomes the Gooseman show. Honestly, that couldn't happen soon enough for me. They haven't blown up enough shit in the past few episodes for my taste. At least if Goose is the lead, something will get punched or blown up.

Back on Prairie, someone clad in black appears to be sneaking into the Bovo facility. It's female. Because Audra is an idiot. Lady, you're an ANTHROPOLOGIST. Leave the secret agent stuff to the pros, okay? I mean, what will you help if you get caught? I'll give you a hint, the lycans aren't the ones that would benefit from clawing up your corpse and leaving it for the media to find and drum up MORE anti-lycan sentiment.

Anyway, Audra continue to break into the facility. Jesus Christ, is she wearing a head lamp?!

Bovo has the worst security ever!

Anyway, Audra pulls up something on the computer, helpfully labeled top secret and displaying an image of a double helix. She's all "I knew it!" Then the screen flashes a "security alert."

Seriously, this woman ought to be fired. Anyway, she runs for it. With her HEADLAMP ON. Guards with flashlights notice the insane woman wearing the headlamp and are all "Halt! Identify yourself!" Audra runs. And they follow the light from HER HEAD into a container of leaves.

Actually, I'll give Audra credit, she was clever enough to hide her headlamp there, and close the container, trapping them inside. Doesn't change the idiocy of wearing it to begin with.

Outside, the ranchers gripe about being forced to bring the Bovo cattle to market. From above, Audra is watching them with a camera. She notes that the Ranchers are surrounded by Bovo thugs. Of course, idiot that she is, she's not under any sort of cover. This becomes painfully obvious when Rocky and Muggsy's ship flies over her head close enough that she has to duck. I hope they weren't looking down!

God, I hate you, Audra.

They fly over the ranchers and announce that lycans were spotted in the hills. (To add insult to idiocy, lycans were crouched beside Audra while she eavesdropped.)

The bounty hunters start charging up the hill of course. Audra tells the lycans to run and hide. She runs too, but throws a smoke grenade at them first. Okay, that wasn't bad.

They chase Audra. Because somehow being authorized to hunt Lycans extends to humans? Perhaps she is a bald lycan? Who knows. They do lasso her idiot ass though, and I'm almost cheering for them. God I hate you, Audra.

Anyway, the bounty hunters recognize her as "the pesky trouble-maker from BETA." Of course, she pulls out a "You'll never get away with this." They decide to put her in jail and get a message to "Mr. Rancid." I'm assuming that's cliched evil guy, because he ought to have a cliched evil name as well. Heh.

Back at Bovo, Rocky suggests that Audra's the same person poking around in the facility at night. Cliched villain decides to pay her a visit. Because that's what cliched villains do.

In her jail cell, Audra listens to the Lycans howl. They run up to the door and scratch at it. Inside, the guard gets annoyed at the noise and goes to see what's going on. The Lycans leap onto him and steal his keys.

Okay, Lycans are kind of badass. Anyway, they let Audra out, and she's all "What kept you?" Then she hugs the closest one. She must grow on a being like fungus, because I sure as hell would have left her there.

Outside, Ranger One is landing. FINALLY. Paynesville Tower can't read their signal. They've picked up an escort, which demands they identify themselves.

When will evil companies learn it doesn't pay to harass law enforcement?

Anyway, Niko does so. But the baddies laugh and shoot. Doc and Niko have some banter about the meaning and context of the word "evasive" while they avoid getting shot down.

Seriously, what the hell? How does Bovo expect to get away with this? It's one thing to cover up the cattle plague with blaming Lycans and hide the evidence. But shooting down cops? That's not something you can play innocent away! If you're going to be that blatant, then just sneer at the cowboys and say "fuck off" and shoot any who try to expose you.

Badguys always complicate things.

Anyway, Doc and Niko start to crash. Which seems rude, as I thought Gooseman had the claim on crashing. But they land in snow. Doc comedically tumbles out of the doorway, and wisecracks.

At night, they shiver beside the ship, unable to see anything in the storm. Um, guys? You knew you were going to a winter planet, right? I mean, from what we've seen this isn't unusual weather. WHY did you not pack snow gear?

Oh right, so the lycans can come help them. And indeed, they do. They circle Niko and Doc ominously, but fortunately(?) Audra's arrival breaks the tense moment. She's carrying jackets. How did she know two people were coming? Never mind.

Anyway, she gives them the coats and has the lycans bring sleds. Audra tells them she'll fill them in back at camp.

Camp is actually a fairly nice igloo shaped tent. Inside, the rangers and Audra drink tea, while the lycans lounge about. Audra briefs them about the lycans-as-scapegoat thing, while Doc has some fun hijinx with an affectionate lycan.

Niko notes that the idea of having Lycans as coats have made people forget about cattle, and I would be okay with that notion except that we're eleven minutes into a twenty minute episode and this is the first anyone's mentioned a COAT. Seriously writers, I love you, but you really got to introduce these threads earlier! We knew bounty hunters wanted to kill lycans, but that's not the same. Niko's comment is out of nowhere!

Audra notes that the ranchers know SOMETHING's going on but she's interrupted by howling outside. Audra's all "They're trying to tell us something." Thank you, Ms. Lockhart, shall we fetch Timmy now?

But of course, this is just set up for Niko to do her badge-tap. She does and mind melds with Misty-the-wolf, who shows her patrol units. Audra's been expecting them, so she scatters.

Um, shouldn't the lycans have had a better way of signalling her then? One that didn't require a mind-meld?

Never mind. I hate you, Audra.

Anyway, they run, just as the bounty hunters appear on snow mobiles and blow up the tent. Audra leads them to a large yellow craft and is all "Ever pilot one?" Doc's all "I've never seen one?" I'm all "Um, how the hell would that not be seen by an overhead flyer?!"

Niko identifies it as an ice-sailer, which can go over 200 mph if the winds are right. Hmm. Hey, Niko uses customary measurements too! I remember I was watching for that.

So right now the set up is: Zach and Niko: customary, Shane: metric, and I haven't noticed Doc using measurements yet.

I really like this detail, and I don't 100% know why. :-)

Anyway, Doc and Niko push the sailer to start it, and then climb aboard. It easily skims over ice. The bounty hunters try to follow of course, but the ice breaks under their heavy snow mobiles.

Not all have sunk though, and a few manage to skim along the ice after them and shoot.

Rocky and Muggsy fly above and suggest use of the thermal rockets to turn the ice back into water. Which seems like bad luck for the bounty hunters, but also for them. Doc yells, and Audra notes that the ice is breaking up. Doc is all "That's what I said!"

Fortunately, the ice sailer can float, and heads into a larger body of water. For some reason Rocky and Muggsy declare them to be finished. Soon we see why, when Audra tells them they're heading for Bovo Falls. She didn't tell them earlier because she didn't want to ruin their day. I hate you and your jovial flippancy, Audra. Doc looks ill. And they go over.

Rocky and Muggsy are satisfied. But they're also dumb, because the falls are part of the factory. And of course Doc, Audra and Niko were able to jump free and catch onto some convenient scaffolding.

They're in a drainage conduit, which they can follow into the heart of the facility. Doc is displeased, and Audra snaps "At least we're alive." Doc doesn't have that, and retorts that he's not celebrating. I love Doc and his understandable irritation. Next Audra episode, I vote she gets paired with Goose. Maybe he'll blow her up.

Anyway, they soon hear an ominous chittering. Rats! They stampede past. Everyone is disgusted, and Audra calls them Bovo Water Slime, which strikes me as very judgmental for an anthropologist. Niko wonders what they're running from, Doc thinks they know something that "we" don't.

Finally Doc finds a pipe leading up. A ventilator shaft tied to the climate control systems. They climb up and find one of those grates convenient for eavesdropping. I'd complain, but it's a genre staple. Anyway, they overhear Rocky and Muggsy report about the heroes going over the falls. Rancid is pleased, because the abrupt disappearance of law enforcement never leads to more law enforcement or anything. But tomorrow they'll get the Ranchers' final payment for the plague-cows. And he'll be able to pay off the conglomerate. Muggsy of course uses the dreaded "C-word" while talking about the cattle.

Rancid announces that the Ranchers failed, not the cattle. They laugh and leave. Doc, Niko and Audra jump down. Audra tells them that the Ranchers mustn't bring the cattle to market. Doc and Niko will remain behind to access the computers, while Audra will find a way out. She's confident that she can do it again, even without a stupid headlamp, and runs off.

Doc uses his tweakers to find Bovo-6 info and transfers it to the CDU. Then they run for it. Why Niko had to be along for this, I don't know, but okay. Unfortunately, as they leave, they're stopped by Rancid and his men who promptly disarm them. He recognizes Doc's CDU and takes it. Then he orders them taken to the cryogenics lab and frozen.

see, this is why you should have brought Goose. Mostly for my personal amusement.

Rancid's cryo chamber appears to be a platform above a pool. Rancid monologues that it's filled with Liquid Borium, and their end isn't auspicious, but it'll be quick. Doc and Niko are dragged to the edge.

Niko shouts that the stockyards will discover the truth and that it's Bovo's doing. Rancid tells her the stockyards will discover the Ranchers were feeding them untested grain. Um. How exactly do you think you'll prove that when this series shows the capacity to scan DNA?

I don't think Rancid is very smart.

Anyway, Doc and Niko are about to be frozen when an alarm goes off and one of the mercenaries announces that something's up.

And in fact there is! It's a Bovo-6 stampede! Led by Audra and the Ranchers! They storm the main gate. Niko uses the distraction of her guards to break free, as does Doc, and even knocks two of the guards INTO the melted borium. Ouch. Doc grabs a fallen guard's gun, while Rancid runs for it.

Rancid gets met by his goons in the hall. Rocky and Muggsy report cows in the corridor. Rancid yells at them to shut up and get his ship ready.

Meanwhile, Niko and Doc crouch on the platform as the guards below shoot up at them. Then they return fire, with banter, but little success.

Fortunately, and I say that with no question mark this time, Audra and the Ranchers burst in. Doc and Niko take the opportunity to chase Rancid, who is about to board his ship...only to be ambushed by the Lycans. They growl menacingly while Niko extorts a confession out of him.

Um, Niko honey, I don't think the confession'll hold up in court. Fortunately, you should have enough physical evidence, but still...

Anyway, she arrests him.

Later, everyone's happy. The Lycans are helping the Ranchers herd cattle, and Audra is irritatingly smug about it. I hate you, Audra.


Okay, this was another episode in a row that I thought was fun, but really needed an editor's hand.

I like the show for not needing to explain everything all the time, which they did well in this episode. But at the same time, you can't just bring plot/motivation threads halfway through and not follow them up! Niko's dialogue shouldn't be the first time we hear about Lycan coats, if that's such a big distraction. There should have been some throwaway comment before then setting it up, or something. Maybe the news report could have dropped a line about the valuable pelts. SOMETHING.

And Rancid really was pretty much an amalgamation of bad guy cliches. Granted, few Rangers villains are SUBTLE, but they tend to have more style.

I dug the trapdoor though.

Rancid's motivation and logic didn't really make sense either. Usually I can make some sense of the villain's rationale, but Rancid was an idiot.

Audra was much more tolerable in this episode. She even had moments of competence! Too bad she also had moments of utter idiocy (the factory, spying on an enemy that she knows has aerial capabilities without cover) but she lacked most of the smugness she had in Mistwalker. Probably because she actually respects Niko as a fellow scholar/scientist. I've known a few academics like that.

So, yeah, decent episode. I want Zach and Shane back soon though.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Recs, Plz.

Today is Sunday. I have nothing to blog. :-) I hate when this happens.

But well, I'm getting a few days off work apparently, so I'm going to be bored off my ass. So if you could recommend me some books/movies/games that you really like and just make you feel GOOD when you read, watch, play, and tell me why, that'd be great!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Non-Comic, My Eventful Day

(Warning: this post contains details of a car accident.)

So anyway, if any of you folk have been reading my twitter, you'll know that I had a fairly eventful day yesterday.

I discovered the joy of being a generally inexperienced driver in the rain on one of upstate NY's pretty steep hills. Long story short, I'm pretty much ok. The car is not.

I live in Syracuse over the summer, but I work in Utica, and yesterday, I ended up asked to drop by to pick up some papers in Munnsville. I mentioned once, I think, how when I was a kid in Utica, I used to think that the world was bowl-shaped and very small. Munnsville certainly felt like being on the bowl's rim. Even without being able to see down into the valley I could feel how high I was. I didn't know you could feel sea-level before yesterday.

So yeah, I picked up the papers and programmed my mom's GPS to find the way back to Utica. (I find out later, of course, that it picked a not so good route. But at the time, I didn't have any way of knowing that.) I was going down one good-sized hill, lost control of the car, started veering left, over-compensated right, and ended up rolling/flipping into the ditch. (My folks ended up going with the claims adjustor to see the wreckage of the car at the garage, and then the place where I took my dive. Apparently, the way I flipped the car was pretty spectacular.)

I didn't get my life flashing before my eyes or anything poetic like that. All I really had time to think was "Oh fuck-fuck-fuck!" and possibly shriek. I felt like I went upside-down at one point, and evidence would seem to agree with me, as I managed to scrape my head on the ceiling.

Thank god for seat belts. :-)

After that, I was in the car, sideways. Driver's side window gone, and pretty darn close to the ground. I couldn't get the doors open, and I'm pretty sure I freaked out a bit at that point. The road was empty and I didn't know when ANYONE would pass by.

So I looked for my phone, which I'd used briefly before to say "Wow, Munnsville is very high" to my father. Couldn't find it. Found my glasses eventually (they'd flown off), then immediately found my phone which had been under the parking break the whole time I was panicking.

By this time, someone had actually seen the wreck (which I'm told looked pretty spectacular :-)) and came down to talk to me. He called 911 while I called my folks and my work, and tried to get the now-completely-crystallized windshield out. Didn't quite work, but then help came.

It took ten minutes to extract me. A paramedic somehow got in the car behind me and got this tarp thing over my head while they broke the windshield and then cut away the roof of the car to let me out. There were a LOT of people outside too. Firemen, paramedics, and even the sheriff! (I guess because it's a rural area.)

So yeah, then I get an ambulance ride, lots of questions, and the Sheriff (who was young and cute. :-)) agreed to take my documents in to my work for me.

I kind of wish I'd been there, because that sounds dramatic. I'd grabbed the envelope and slid it out the window before they cut off the roof and so I know that the envelope had quite a bit of my blood, and a few strands of hair, on it. So a uniformed guy came in with a blood covered envelope for my boss.

She called not long after that just to be SURE I was okay and said I "went above and beyond". Heh.

The hospital bit was long but pretty uneventful. X-rays and the like. I scraped the hell out of my left elbow, and as mentioned previously, pretty much scalped myself on the ceiling. They let me out of the hospital at about 12:30, which isn't too bad considering the whole thing happened at 9:15-9:30 ish.

Unfortunately, I've got a nice bald spot now, and hair fell out in my very careful shower. Which is pretty annoying. I'll need to get a hat of some kind.

Oddly the elbow hurts more than my skinned head. Not sure why. But I can tell you that head wounds do indeed bleed something awful. I really liked that shirt! I got to go home in two hospital gowns.

So yeah, that's how it totalled. Me: okay. Car/clothes/hair: pretty fucked. My parents are kind of traumatized, and I got some good pain killers. I'm grateful for the empty road now, since I didn't actually hit anything or hurt anyone. I'm embarrassed though and going to be facing a safer driving lecture in a few days. (My parents are holding off until I feel better. Heh.)

(As an added dose of lucky, my computer, which I bring to work, had been in its bag, wedged between passenger seat and dashboard. It stayed pretty much in place and did NOT become a projectile toward my head. I'm typing on the computer now, and everything's working fine.)

I'll tell you one thing though, I will never again mock New York's draconian seatbelt law. I had a great uncle who was a passenger in a car that flipped like that, and somehow he ended up crushed under it. Me, I just need some hats and a good deal of neosporin. Biggest difference was the seatbelt.

So yeah, that was my day. All things considered, I was tremendously lucky. (Though I'm sad about missing my favorite cousin's graduation from High School today. It's probably for the best, as right now, I suspect I look hideous enough to frighten small children.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm Always Late For These Things

I just saw Rich's post with the Sherlock Holmes posters. (I'm perpetually ignorant of pop-culture news myself. Rich always knows the good stuff before me. :-))

I really like them actually. Robert Downey Jr. doesn't much LOOK like my mental image of Holmes, but I have confidence that like Iron Man, RDJ is oddly a perfect fit for the role.

Jude Law though totally looks like my mental image of Watson. So many movie versions seem to forget that Watson's the ladies' man of the two and definitely ought to be the more conventionally attractive one.

I have seen the trailer before and really liked it, (RDJ is a much better Holmes in motion than in the still poster) but I'm irrationally annoyed by the music. It's too standard summer blockbuster for me. I'd have prefered something that sounded a bit more plausibly Victorian.

But I'm still thinking this'll be a fun movie. :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Favorite Bit from This Week's Comics

Actually got my comics on time this week and had to post my favorite bit from the Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men Utopia book.


"Shut up!"


"Always suspected that's what people wanted to do when I started lecturing them..."

I love it when writers remember that Scott actually does have a sense of humor.

Also, well, it's Cyclops getting whalloped in the head with a brick mid-lecture! That could never not be funny!

Though I realize that sometime in my long hiatus from X-comics, someone really upgraded those unstable molecules. That's one hardcore mask.

Or Scott's just had enough head wounds/brain damage by now that he's got that Homer Simpson internal helmet thing going on. As a lesser man would not be so coherent after taking a brick to the skull.

I'd like to see Hal Jordan do that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This is neat!

I've never really had the attention span for any of the Sims games, but I have to admit, I'm kind of tempted for Sims 3. Mostly because of this.

If you've never seen it, it's a blog chronicling the adventures of two homeless Sims characters in Sims 3. It's adorable. And sad. And dreadfully addicting.

Maybe I should give the Sims another shot. It looks like it could be a lot of fun to play.

And also, I don't have enough ways to waste my free time. :-P

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Post Today

I would post, but I have Chrono Trigger on the Nintendo DS. So um. Busy with nostalgia, time travel, dinosaurs and improbable evolution.

See you tomorrow! :-)

(Also, novocaine sucks. :-P)

Monday, June 22, 2009


Well, since an ill-timed reboot ate the recap I was writing, I decided instead to take a break this week and post about this.

I'm looking forward to a Nomad mini-series. I was wondering what they'd do with the name now that Jack Monroe kicked it, and it's kind of fitting to hand it off to yet-another-Not!Bucky! character. And well, let's face it, Bucky's got a much better codename waiting for after he finally gives the shield back to its proper owner.

Besides, I like Rikki. She's cute, has a neat design, and a fairly comprehensible backstory...for a Marvel character anyway. :-P And she brings a nifty new dynamic to the table.

And I'm all for having a few more competent teenage girl characters running around. Especially when they have cute chemistry with Patriot.

Really, though, I'm mostly just looking forward to seeing her kick the crap out of Sin. Is that bad?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Crossover Fight I want to see

It's Father's Day and I'm lounging about being lazy and being tormented by a puppy.

Life is good. :-)

I'm still on my cave-man/dinosaur kick and it occurs to me that for all the Marvel and DC crossovers I've seen, I'm never seen the crossover fight that would make my day:

Kazar vs. Vandal Savage.

I just think it'd be entertaining. I cheerfully admit I don't know enough about either character to know who'd win (Vandal Savage would seem to have the edge in the modern world, at least) but I'd have fun reading it anyway.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I have the urge to read something improbable with dinosaurs. Preferably in outer space. Or with people wearing loin cloths. I must dive through my book collection later, and see what I can dig up.

Sometimes I suspect I have weird tastes. Heh.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I get irrationally annoyed by...:

People who claim that "I Dream of Jeannie" is more sexist/less feminist than "Bewitched."

I mean, granted, neither show is particularly enlightened. But I've always liked IDoJ much better. She might CALL him Master, but she pretty much does her own thing anyway, and doesn't let him get away with being mean to her.

Also, Major Nelson never wanted Jeanie to stop being a genie. He just wanted to keep his damn career.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Okay, I know a lot of folk might not like this news but truthfully, I'm really excited. I remember a lot of folks complaining about how so many characters have been killed off in major events lately (I admit, it didn't seem like more than Zero Hour to me, but I've only been a superhero comic fan for about four years now) but now it seems like there was a reason!

Or maybe not and it's all pulled out of collective asses anyway. But I'm still really intrigued by this. Especially since there are people whose deaths I'd completely forgotten about like Phantom Lady in there.

My own personal prediction is that this somehow ends with mass resurrections. Because it's comics and most of these folk will be back anyway as soon as someone in charge feels like it, so why not do it in once big epic grandiose swoop!

Or they all die. But it still seems very exciting to me.

I'm kind of hoping this means the return for Neptune Perkins. Granted, getting chomped in half by the Shark at the beginning of Infinite Crisis WAS a sufficiently ignoble and undignified death, but I kind of miss having a character alive that I could hate RATIONALLY* with every fiber of my being.

*In as much as it can be rational to hate a two-dimensional character.

Besides, Dick Grayson's actually getting tolerable and Gambit hasn't shown up in the X-comics I've been reading (except Legacy) so I need someone to vent hate on. It helps keep me positive.

(Also, with Wes Dodds specifically mentioned, I'm hoping this means Sandy will get an actual fucking plot again. I might still be bitter about the Red Tornado thing. Heh.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Favorite Cover:

You know what comic book cover I really really like?

Cable #6.

favorite cover

I admit, I don't have a lot of interest in Cable's Lone Wolf and Cub storyline (though the art is really neat. I'm hoping there'll be a TPB and I can catch up that way.) But I totally bought this comic from the recent-back-issue rack JUST for that cover.

It's so pretty! And I am very amused by how Cable's literally twice Cyclops's size. And the baby. The baby is very cute.

I just really really like this cover. :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Black Lantern I Don't Want to See

Okay, so it occurs to me that as Blackest Night approaches, I've seen a lot of awesome speculation on some folks who should come back as Black Lanterns. They're all good ideas and sound like they'll be a lot of fun.

So anyway, instead of doing that (as my predictions almost never come true anyway. :-)) I thought I'd try the opposite.

Basically, what character would you LEAST want to see as a Black Lantern?

Caveat, they probably ought to be dead.

For me, the zombie I'd least want to see is Kari Limbo. If you don't know who that is, she was a very irritating psychic who managed to combine very stereotypical "gypsy" traits with tendancy to swoon and make overdramatic pronouncements. She dated Guy, pre-damage, and then when he was believed dead but really in the process of brain-damaging, almost married Hal.

I've even blogged about her once.

The greatest gift Beau Smith ever gave us, after busty female Guy Gardner, was to blow her the fuck up.

Granted, there might be storyline potential there, but that's one character that I would be very irritated to see as a Black Lantern.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 36: The Scarecrow's Revenge

Another week, another recap. :-) Today's episode is "Scarecrow's Revenge."

Sounds intriguing. I found the first Scarecrow entertaining enough, I guess. I liked the end, and I liked the Triton-as-horror-heroine plot. I was less happy with the mild Niko-as-damsel-in-distress element though. This episode will hopefully have more good crack and less annoyingness. :-)

Niko's more fun when she's kicking people in the head.

Mysticism, Mythology, and Shane Gooseman Charging a Crowd while Riding a Monster

We start this episode with a familiar little blue planet framed by four moons. It's a testament to how long it's taken me to go through this series that I no longer remember what the planet's called.

Then again, my brain is a sieve on the best of days.

Oh hey, it's Tarkon! I'd totally forgotten that Tarkon is the planet with the four moons. I'm going to forget that again, but for the moment, I know. I know this because a fellow in a stagecoach just said it.

Thank you, convenient bit player!

Or maybe not a bit player, as this old guy is saying something about how soon he'll have his revenge. He glows briefly and becomes the scarecrow.

Actually, that reminds me of something that bothered me from Heart of Tarkon. I'd assumed that in the Scarecrow, the villain had taken that guise because it was convenient. There was a real scarecrow in the field, so he took its clothes and then was pleased by the nickname.

But in the image of him on Tarkon, he still looked like a scarecrow! It seems like quite the coincidence that he was already inclined toward the dress style. Oh well. It's not like he couldn't have taken other clothes if they suited him, I suppose.

Anyway, the stagecoach enters the quiet village. The Scarecrow is once more in the guise of the old man and goes to the back. He opens it causing stairs to drop, which is pretty swanky, and revealing some sort of pipe organ.

The music gets all carnival-ish, and villagers are starting to look intrigued. He calls them over with a "Come one, come all!"

Between this and Wild Bill, I kind of wonder what the writers of this show had against traveling entertainers.

The Scarecrow is playing snake-oil salesman and advertising how to live forever. To demonstrate, he throws his hands up and starts glowing, then zaps the crowd draining their life force.

Why was that necessary? I mean, I guess it's good to gather everyone in the center of town, but it seems like there's a much less complicated way of doing it. I mean, the pipe organ is there, why?

Still the Scarecrow is appropriately creepy, so I approve.

The stagecoach leaves the ominously flashing village, where the only indicator that a mass murder did not just take place is that we can faintly see a few figures standing upright. That may not mean anything though, as they all seem to be blue and petrified.

Maya and a couple of other sprightly folk come charging over a hill, riding weird mounts that look like a weird cross between a stegosaurus and a cow. They enter the now petrified town and Maya notes that it's the third village that's been "ravaged" like this. Another fellow wonders if it's the Queen's Slaver Lords.

Yeesh, not everything bad is the Queen, ya know. Maya isn't jumping to conclusions and only states that there's something evil at work.

I hope Goose and Zozo are in this episode. I really want to see them blow the Scarecrow up.

Maya and her group ride to where some Sherwood Forest reject is sitting on a stump, holding a spear. He seems to be dozing. Yeesh. Maya needs better guards. Anyway, Maya heads to a tent, or more specifically to the communication array sitting beneath. She intends to call the Galaxy Rangers.

Wise notion! I approve of how this series doesn't have its heroes stubbornly refuse help in a misguided attempt to prove independence and self-sufficiency and end up proving the opposite. It's something I notice a lot in other series, especially for female characters that the writers are so desparately trying to convince us are strong women. Since they end up needing help anyway, or there wouldn't be a show, they just end up looking stupid.

Here though, the writers recognize that strong characters can still ask for professional help.

The Sherwood Forest reject protests that she doesn't have the permission of King Spartos. Considering how they saved his kingdom last time, that king better shut the fuck up. Maya merely points out that she wouldn't go against tradition and her father if there weren't PEOPLE WHO ARE NOW FUCKING STATUES.

I'm using "fucking" as an adjective, not a verb, just to be clear.

Maya's a good leader. Much too good for these idiots. We should relocate her to Kiwi. Give her an army of tiny badass farmers.

Sherwood presses the button and our view switches to BETA mountain, where we're hearing Sherwood's message. The tech identifies it as being from the rebels at Tarkon, and that Princess Maya needs help with an invasion.

I guess it goes to show that one party with a few Galaxy Rangers and a defeated Queen can't automatically fix a planet. I like that. I still think the king's a moron though.

Anyway, Walsh and Q-Ball are listening. It's a very unflattering camera shot for Walsh though. His middle-aged spread is pretty apparent. Which is a detail I like actually. Walsh proclaims that if the Queen "or anyone else" is invading Tarkon, they have to know about it.

I love the "or anyone else" since it makes it sound like Tarkon's getting invaded every other week. Which, considering the general, the Queen, and now the Scarecrow...might be true. Q-Ball points out that Goose and Niko are closest.

Hmm, I was really hoping for a full team episode. But on the other hand, both my shipper tendancies and my love for gratuitous violence may still be appeased, so I'm not too upset. :-)

On their ship, Goose and Niko receive their investigation orders. Niko tells Goose that Tarkon is beautiful. Goose thinks it's trouble and exposits for those of us with ba memories (read: me) that "that hotshot Princess Maya" has her hands full with her secret high-tech rebel army and keeping them hidden from the low-tech authority figures.

He sounds quite amused actually, when he calls her a hotshot.

Anyway, they jump, reach Tarkon, and land in a nice forest clearing, where Maya and her Merry Men (the archer and the short old guy from Heart of Tarkon) are waiting. Maya greets them and introduces her lackeys as "trusted aides" Bogue and Tevox.

Maya practically purrs Goose's name and is all "I didn't expect YOU'D come in person to answer my call." She quickly greets Niko too, with a friendly handshake. Maya tells them they need to mount up and ride.

Shane is either appalled or turned-on by the sight of the mounts. He says "What the hey are those things?!" Which makes me laugh because, well, it's one of those moments that really emphasize that you're watching a kid's show. There's no way he "really" said "hey." Shane runs over. Niko makes a more non-committal "huh" sound.

Maya identifies them as Tarkonian Veebee. Shane doesn't appreciate the smell, but he and Niko don't seem to have trouble riding, so all's good. Maya warns them that they have to be careful who sees them, if her father knows there are Galaxy Rangers on Tarkon, there could be a diplomatic incident.

Jesus Christ, why has he not been deposed already?!

Heh, an interesting moment when Goose quips something about being taken home to meet the folks. The "camera" is on Niko's face the whole time. She doesn't seem upset, but she's definitely not smiling. Granted, the playful banter's pretty sickening, but Shane's young and unsocialized so I approve of him broadening his horizons.

Niko probably ought to stake her claim soon though.

Heh, Maya does ask how Doc is though. Goose is all "Doc, who?" Heh.

Anyway, they ride into the petrified village. Niko does her mind-tap and glimpses the Scarecrow. She becomes paralyzed in place. Goose quickly jumps off and runs to her, pulling her off of the statue. Niko quickly informs them that this is something a great deal older and "more evil" than slaver lords. She thinks it's familiar.

Well, really Niko, how many psychotic scarecrows do you MEET anyway?

Arrow-guy's dog starts barking wildly. He's picked up a scent toward "the Haunted Land". Scary!

Maya tells Niko that the Haunted Land has always been a place of mystery. What is it with Tarkonians and mystical mysterious places. Don't any of you people explore your damn planet?

Niko points out that she's been in there and they have to be there. In very very clumsy expositional dialogue, Niko talks about the computer inside the mountain (which Maya chimes in as "the Heart of Tarkon") and she reminds MAYA that her staff is tapped into it.

Ick. Usually Galaxy Rangers is very good about not having the characters clumsily reiterate what they're supposed to already know. Here though, it's like "Hey, Kalinara. That is the address to that website where you blog about comics and other things."

What's really irksome about it is that Shane, who wasn't on the mission, is RIGHT THERE. So if they REALLY feel the need to remind us, they could have Maya and Niko explain the situation to him.

We do find out that Maya's staff is what led her on the journey. Arrow-guy clumsily asks if they're going to break the taboo and go into the Haunted Land. Maya believes that superstition and taboo stifle the growth on their planet.

Meanwhile, on some other road, the stagecoach continues to travel. The Scarecrow is also heading to the Haunted Lands and already feels the power. There's ominous lightning in the distance.

The Scarecrow stops at another village insisting that he needs enough power to destroy "the Sleeper" and does his carnival spiel again. It seems to be the same stock footage from before actually. He petrifies them.

Suddenly, Maya's staff decides to talk, warning Maya that the Scarecrow is in the valley and draining the life force. "Soon he will wake the sleeper."

Maya has two pertinent questions: "Who is he?" And "Who is the Sleeper?" Good questions, both. The staff doesn't answer. Shane, an optimist at heart, says that at least they know there's no time to lose. They head toward the village, where the Scarecrow is making everyone glow and...

Holy hell, Goose just ran his mount thing INTO the crowd, pushing people out of the way! Hah! That's one way to disrupt a ritual!

God, I missed your rampant destructive violence, Shane Gooseman. Don't go away again!

Anyway HE recognizes the Scarecrow on sight. The Scarecrow shouts "This time you'll lose!" and pulls out a weapon. Um, technically, the Scarecrow pretty much won the last round. Seeing as how he ended up undefeated, possessing some poor schmoe on Granna. Unless he really wanted Triton THAT much...

He blasts Shane off his mount as the others come racing up. Arrow-guy lives up to the moniker I gave him by shooting, but the Scarecrow is able to block them. The crowd, consisting of idiots, are still standing around the stagecoach. RUN, you morons!

The Scarecrow jumps down and starts running, even as the little old guy starts shooting too. Little old guy though shoots like I do, and instead nicks the ORGAN. The Scarecrow hops onto the mount and breaks it free, claiming he needs no more disguises.

So the complicated wagon and organ...

There really ought to be an easier way...

Anyway, the wagon and organ start to glow and in fact explode. While the Scarecrow laughs and shouts they're too late.

Niko helps Shane up all "We've tangled with the Scarecrow before! You know how powerful he is!"

Oh my god, seriously, what's with the crappy exposition, show?! Is this a new writer?

Anyway, Niko's got her hand on Shane's bicep, which I approve of, and urges caution. Maya comes up all "Isn't caution just another word for cowardice."

Um. No actually. Buy a dictionary.

Niko quickly lets go of Shane and waves her hand, "If you believe that, you're a fool." Maya looks angry.

Um. Maya. These people DID save your kingdom's ass before, and your ass twice. The tension seems a bit forced. But I do like that they're fighting over tactics, rather than Shane.

They're off, but interrupted by a balloon with a megaphone. It's a patrol. Um. Aren't those guys supposed to be LOW tech? Because that balloon thing seems pretty swanky to me. It demands that they put down weapons and prepare to identify themselves. They're entering into a forbidden area, yadda.

Maya's all "They must not find the Rangers!" Which, um, they're right above you and you don't have cover. Wouldn't they see you?

Maya orders them to prepare for battle. Arrow-guy shoots the megaphone out of the leader's hand. I love you, arrow-guy. Of course, the purple alien fellows in the balloon raise crossbows.

I'm kind of bothered as to how the "bad" Xenophobic, techphobic side has clearly alien members, while the enlightened rebels are all human. It doesn't make sense, unless we assume that the purple guys are natives of Tarkon. That could be true, but I'm still leery of the "ugly/alien/other=bad"/"pretty/familiar/human=good" dichotomy.

Anyway, after the initial bolts miss, the balloon lands and the troops jump out.

Okay, dumb question, but how does a fight help? Shane and Niko aren't in disguise. Surely one'll mention the uniform later.

Shane and Niko are tackled. He kicks his opponent off and is about to pull out an energy weapon, but Maya stops him. Niko is about to be strangled, but Maya knocks the badguy off with her staff.

Hmm, I'm annoyed at Niko's sudden loss of badassery. The feminist in me is appeased that at least it's MAYA saving her ass there instead of Shane, but she better get to do something badass later to make up for that.

Maya keeps insisting that they must not know they're here. But somehow the whole STARK WHITE AND BLUE uniforms are LESS conspicuous than energy weapons?

This is a fun episode, but it doesn't make much sense. They mount up and run for cover from the balloon.

Fortunately, a rebel airship comes in to engage the badguys. Conveniently the rebels are all humans. Which really, really bothers me.

Also, okay, I can buy the technologically advanced rebels having airships, but why the fuck do the luddites have them too? And how? The rest of the Tarkon technology we've seen is not AIRSHIP level!

We've seen a largely pre-industrial society with advanced science-fictiony relics. But steampunk-esque airship doesn't fit EITHER group! This doesn't make sense!

Finally the rebels are smart enough to POP the balloon with their arrows. And then they leave. Despite the need for haste, Maya does NOT ask them for a ride or anything.

They enter into a rocky area, with the sky darkening and run across a giant monster which they identify as "a berserker." It reaches out and grabs Shane.

Yay! This might be a nonsensical episode, but I sense violence in the wings.

Goose strugles to free himself and orders everyone else to stay where they are. Arrow-guy isn't listening and draws an arrow. Niko insists he stop, he might hit Goose.

Shane's got this in hand anyway. He taps his badge, becomes metallic, and seems to be glowing pink flames. Either the heat from the flames, or homophobia, causes the monster to yelp and drop him. Goose then pulls out his blaster and shoots the monster in the head. I love you, Goose.

The rebels are all watching silently. Yes, boys (and Maya) that is how a badass works.

They make their way to the Heart of Tarkon. Niko suddenly grabs her head, sensing something near.

Apparently the Scarecrow is NOT heading for the Heart. They are confused, but I'm actually really thrilled about this. I think it's a common thing in lazy narrative to keep using a gimmick. In this case, of course the villain from a previous episode would be after this awesome thing from another previous episode!

But he's not! He's got a DIFFERENT goal! Yay!

Niko realizes he's not making for the computer, but something else on top.

Indeed, the Scarecrow is climbing atop. He intends to wake the Sleeper up and fight. Presumably this fight will drain the energy from the Heart.

For some reason, the good guys are simply riding their mounts up the sloping trail of the mountain. Which makes you wonder why the Scarecrow felt the need to climb, since they're suddenly very close behind him. Oh well.

The Scarecrow's hands start glowing and he zaps the ground, shouting for his ancient enemy to awaken.

The Scarecrow calls himself the "Ravager of Worlds." Which is good to know!

Oh, I see now. They could only ride part way. Now they're climbing.

Slowly, an image forms of a faceless giant humanoid man. It actually looks like one of Goose's usual alternate shapes actually.

Suddenly, the old guy who had been the Scarecrow's disguise and is also, Niko tells me though I'd completely forgotten, the old Shaman from Heart of Tarkon, appears. He proclaims himself the Guardian of the place now and commands him to stop. The Sleeper must not be awakened.

The Scarecrow doesn't like being denied and zaps the old man. This pisses off Maya, who charges toward him and is promptly zapped and mind controlled.

See, this is what Niko meant by CAUTION. Of course, Niko ignores her own advice and comes running out to help Maya. Naturally this leads to the Scarecrow ordering Maya to get rid of Niko. Yay, catfight!

Maya knocks Niko down, as Shane shoots at the Scarecrow (who is unaffected) and has to dodge a return volt.

Ahh, there we go. Niko's regained her badassery, as she sends a charging Maya flying, with a kick. Niko doesn't want to hurt Maya, but when Maya charges her, she's more than willing to defend herself.

Meanwhile Shane's zapped a bit and does his badge tap thing, glowing even as the Scarecrow is on him.

The ground beneath them starts to crumble and weird red appendages peek out. That can't be good. The Shaman calls on the Heart to help them, while we see that the appendages are actually the sleeper's fingertips.

Hmm, am I the only one disturbed by the fact that they're keeping that guy in there unconscious? I mean, is he there voluntarily? Is he a prisoner? What?

There's glowingness, and the Heart of Tarkon announces itself. The Sleeper's still waking up though, which distracts the Scarecrow from his fight. He runs over. Maya also stops charging, as the Scarecrow cackles.

The Shaman is all "No, the Sleeper must never be let loose again!" But nope, it's waking up. It reaches up a giant hand and announces that it knows the Scarecrow and that he's a part of its first given memory.

According to the Sleeper, they're "things left over from the Ancient Wars." He says something about how the Scarecrow wants to fight the "last of the Tarkon War Beings" on this "innocent planet."

This would imply at least that this planet isn't the original Tarkon. I'm intrigued.

Dude. The moons have started glowing and are blasting energy sraight at Earth. It zaps the Sleeper's hand, which is then pulled beneath the rock. The Sleeper is glowing now and announces that there will be no fighting.

Well, it's good to know he's not a prisoner. I'm still confused though. In a good way. :-)

The moons glow again, zapping the Scarecrow, whose own power is used to send him back to the "Dimension of Souls." The Sleeper then reclines and disappears, and the mountain seals itself.

Niko staggers and has a vision of the Scarecrow laughing and saying he'll be back. When Shane asks what's wrong, she says she was in some kind of psychic backwash. Meanwhile, Maya's eyes stop glowing and she seems to regain control of herself.

In the village, the people are all unpetrified, while the Shaman gives Maya her staff back, and tells her that the Heart of Tarkon must sleep and return this place to silence.

Maya, taking a lesson from all this, tells the Shaman that she wants to learn more about the Heart of Tarkon. The Shaman obnoxiously intones that perhaps in time she may learn its secrets, but her duty is to serve and protect her king and people. By being a rebel, I guess.

Back at the ship, she thanks the Rangers. She hugs Goose and shakes Niko's hand. They exchange farewells but Maya can't quite resist a final flirtatious moment and grips his wrists. Niko looks amused, more than anything else. Then they're gone.

In the ship, Niko asks if Goose could like a girl like Maya. He drawls that he's too busy saving the universe, and besides, he likes brunettes. She is not displeased, even though I thought she was more auburn, myself. And the episode ends.


I think this episode was not as well written as "the Scarecrow" or "Heart of Tarkon" but it was a lot more fun.

That said, it really could have used a few more steps in the drafting/editing process, I think.

The dialogue was the biggest problem. The exposition was just sloppy and this is a show that's usually very good about that. There seemed to be a lot of plot holes and logical falacies too, which I bitched about already.

The ending was a bit deus ex machina, but the truth is, I don't mind that kind of thing occasionally. A big part of Science Fiction is wonder, after all, so there's room for the occasional marvelous intervention.

The world-building's interesting, but it kind of seems to me that Tarkon's changed a lot in five episodes. Granted, the Tarkon we saw in Heart of Tarkon was mostly in the crown city, but it seems like if the rebel vs. king stuff were this bad or prominent, Maya wouldn't still have been living at the castle.

Though, things could have exploded just after, still seems like a very quick transformation.

I really enjoyed the Heart of Tarkon and Sleeper stuff. I'm confused as all hell, mind you, and I have no idea what it MEANS. But that's not a bad thing, in this case. I'll be intrigued to see what the series does with it further.

There were parts I really liked too, in the episode. I liked how the Scarecrow was never after the Heart, like they all expected, and in general I thought the character stuff was pretty good.

I thought the Niko/Shane stuff was a bit more overt than usual, but I liked how it was used. Also the Maya-flirtation for that matter. It was exercised in lighter moments, but once the plot got underway, it was sidelined until the end.

I really liked that when Niko and Maya did clash, it was about tactics: caution vs cowardice. There might have been some unspoken subtext there, but the real crux of the argument wasn't about the guy.

We learn something new about Niko's powers that I don't think was ever officially established. Namely that it doesn't seem as though she has "visions" per se (though I still call them that.) I'd always thought she saw exactly what we see when they do the zoom-in effect, but now I'm not so sure. She didn't recognize the Scarecrow and looking back, I think there were other incidents where what she related to the others was much less obvious or detailed than the version we see.

I'm also wondering if Shane's powers aren't improving or something. It really looked like, when he was picked up by the monster, he activated his badge without suffering damage first. Though I suppose the monster could have been squeezing hard. I'll have to watch to see if it's true.

Also, it occurred to me that in story, there might be a good reason for Zach's absence. The last episode he was in was Stargate. So it's very possible that he's gone for medical reasons. I like having possible explanations.

Okay, so in summation: fun, could use a proofreader, but nifty mythology.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Okay, Why?

Okay, someone please enlighten me. After reading some solicits I have but one question.

Who the heck really cares about Red Tornado?

And by Red Tornado, I mean the android, not the cool old lady with the frying pan.

I mean, okay, I'm sure someone likes him, but REALLY? WHY does he get a comic again?

And I'm generally a fan of angsty robots!

I get the Magog thing, as at least the good Lance Corporal is INTERESTING, but why the heck does Red Tornado get a comic book.

Mostly, of course, I'm resentful that MY favorite doesn't EVER get one, despite having respectable Golden Age origins, a meaningful legacy inheritance, cool powers and a nifty costume. (Even if I miss the skin-tight bondage-esque green.) Hmph. :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm taking a break from blogging, go me! On the plus side, I finally got my grades back and I get to keep my scholarship! This makes me very happy because a) I didn't think it would happen and b) Law school is fucking expensive.

So yeah, I'm happy and celebrating and thus taking a break from blogging. Yay!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Damning With Faint Praise

In the comments to Diamondrock's most recent post I ended up making some lame quip about how I think "most rational member of the Batclan" is like "Smartest Green Lantern" in that it might be true, but doesn't tend to SAY that much, ya know?

Kind of like "most patient of the Flashes", "least angsty of the X-Men", "least self-absorbed Avenger" and so on and so forth.

Since I don't have a post today, I'm inviting you to join in with me in making your own "damning with faint praise" comparison. It's fun!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Yay, Futurama returns!

I admit it. I'm happy. I love Futurama and have watched many episodes too many times. The one with Leela's parents still makes me cry at the end. Shut up.

I still won't watch the episode with the dog. I don't care if "Lars" means that the dog had a happy life with (a) Fry anyway. I'm still not watching it.

But other than THAT episode, I love the series. So I'm happy.

I should also get around to watching the last two movies. Eventually.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Miscellaneous Thoughts

This really makes me want to go out and replace my poor dead game system, because it looks like that much fun.

Especially since my friend at work lent me the first Thunderbolt TPB and has promised to lend me the second when he gets it back from a friend of his. From what he said, it sounds hilarious.

Though, that reminds me...are there ANY good psychologists/psychiatrists in either DC or Marvel?

Well, aside from Doc Samson at least. Or Emma Frost who seems to act like one occasionally. Does she actually have a degree/license?

(Of course, considering the whole seducing her patient thing, the operative question should probably be if she actually HAD a license. Heh.)

I'm just wondering. It seems most psychologists are evil, which is a shame because there are a lot of characters who could really benefit from psychological help.

...maybe they can send Guy Gardner back to school. He'd be an awesome psychologist. :-)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Batgirl Promo

I have to admit, I'm intrigued by the Batgirl promo. I don't really have any theories about it, though I hope Rich is right. The promo images definitely don't suit Cassandra (which IS somewhat disappointing) but they seem awfully "young" to be Babs to me.

Also, while I understand that a lot of people enjoyed Barbara as Batgirl, I really do think it's a step down. Regardless of Barbara's ability to walk, she's definitely moved beyond the identity. (I wouldn't mind seeing her as BatWOMAN mind, though I do like Kate Kane.) Besides, now that Dick's Batman, it would be very off to have her as BatGIRL. Call me picky, but there's no way, in my opinion, that she should ever have even an apparently subordinate identity to him.

The idea makes me irrationally tetchy.

I never much cared for Stephanie Brown (she always seemed only barely competent to me, even when Chuck Dixon was writing her) but her as Batgirl to Tim's Red Robin could be pretty interesting. Especially considering her close friendship to Cassandra. There's a lot of potential in that idea.

I suppose I'll just have to wait and see. :-)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 35: Natural Balance

It's the end of the weekend, and thus, I have another recap! Yay!

Today's episode is "Natural Balance" which is another episode that in all honesty I know nothing about. I hope the Rangers show up in this one, preferably all of them, or I'm going to start feeling a bit cheated.

Unsubtle Environmentalism Meets Exploding Pinecones, I'm not displeased...

Hmm, comedic music as the title screen comes up. That's rarely a good sign. We begin with a zoom in on a dark planet, with one decent sized satellite. On closer look, weird pterodactyl type things are flying in the sky. That's a positive sign!

On the ground, an unbearably cute dog-like thing is walking toward a suspiciously twitching bush.

Actually, the dog appears distracted by a weird white insect, bird thing and lunges at it. Aw, the vicious circle of life.

The dog's murderous impulses are curtailed however, when the bushes start sprouting pink lights. The insect-bird lands on the dog's tail, and all the other plants also start sporting pink lights too. That can't be good.

And indeed, it isn't, for as the cute dog thing laps at the river (a bad idea when bushes start sprouting weird lights), it is promptly ambushed by two giant bugs which zap it.

Meanwhile, Ranger One is flying through the pterodactils. And...damnit. It's piloted by Doc and Niko. Fuck. I like Doc and Niko, but, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, their solo episodes can be a little dull.

At least if Shane's there, something will blow the fuck up. :-)

Doc asks Niko how they're going to find Mistwalker, and Niko says that she's going to find them.

Crap. I like the Mistwalker as a character, but her episode wasn't the most interesting. Also, it had the Worst. Anthropologist. Ever. in it.

If Audra Miles shows up, I'm out of here.

Oh fuck. This episode doesn't have Zach or Goose. It does however have Buzzwang, the Kiwi Kids, and Little Zach and Jessica.

Can't I skip this episode? Please? Episodes like this make me forget that this actually IS my favorite animated cartoon ever. Oh well, I'll suck it up.

Shouldn't Zach OR Zizaw have issues with their kids constantly accompanying Rangers on missions that inevitably become dangerous? Granted, Zizaw's a Kiwi and thus insanely badass, but surely Zach should have a problem?!

I do think Buzzwang's "Sir-Ma'am!" flub is pretty funny while talking to Niko, but one would hope in the future that female military officers are common enough that there wouldn't be confusion on how to refer to them. But I guess since this WAS made in the 80s, I'll led it go. :-)

Meanwhile, Sweetie hugs Buzzwang, and Zozo compliments him on being a natural with the kids. Buzzwang takes the compliment literally and protests that he's made from rare synthetic alloys or something like that. Whatever, man. In my book, you're made of obnoxiousness.

Jessica picks up Misty-Fenokee on her terminal and points it out as "the home of the Mistwalker!" The Kiwi kids all rush over wanting to see. As mentioned last episode, Bud's indeed gotten big! Also, the new little kiwi gets a name as well. He's "Little Jo."

Zozo gives the lecture, claiming that Misty-Fenokee is a system in perfect natural balance. They might benefit from citronelle, in my opinion. Buzzwang thinks it sounds like a nightmare, since the plants eat metal.

Hmm. Please?

Though much as I like the idea, why are they bringing Buzzwang again?

Ranger One lands, and the Kiwi kids unbuckle themselves innocently, as though they weren't racing about the ship like lunatics. Little Zach thinks the planet is perfect for their school science credit.

Okay, does that seem unfair to anyone else? I mean surely not all the kids at their school have parents with connections enough to have an AMBASSADOR take their kids to a nature planet for a field trip. Hmph.

Zozo notes that the samples he's going to gather will make Kiwi history. Yay, an actual legitimate reason to be there!

Niko and Doc meet the group at the door. And Doc says "Last one out is a Mutant Plago!" I love you, Doc.

They all get on speeders. Zozo, Niko and Doc all get their own. Privilege of rank, I'd reckon. Little Zach and Jessica share a cycle, while Buzzwang is stuck with the kids.

You know, while I approve of bad things happening to Buzzwang, I'm kind of skeptical about the rationale behind using him as a babysitter. As in, I wouldn't trust him with a house plant. Maybe Zozo secretly hates his niece/nephews?

Meanwhile, Ranger One is enveloped in some kind of weird shield, courtesy of Q-Ball, which block it from insects. That's useful! I like that the characters did indeed learn from the last time they were here! Niko is still bemused by the idea of machine-eating insects, while Buzzwang cringes in the background, as he's circled by the things.

Niko reminds the idiotic robot that his electronics attract them and tells him to mute his frequency. Which works, but still. Why bring him at all? It just seems mean! And I say that as someone who wants him dead!

Buzzwang agrees with me and suggests he wait with the ship, but Zozo kiboshes it, claiming he needs Buzzwang's databanks. I think Zozo is just a sadist. Buzzwang narrowly escapes being grabbed by vines, and I hate to say it, but I really do think he's being the least assholish member of this expedition right now. Niko tosses him a "spare parts pack" that Q-Ball made for him. That's not very reassuring.

Zozo pulls out a map and notes that they're heading due north into the "most spectacular forest you've ever seen!" His eyes look crazy.

They move out. Doc enjoys some fancy hover-cycle riding. They stop just outside the forest, where they catch sight of a trail ahead, and proceed on foot. (Little Jo is riding on Doc's shoulders. It's pretty freakin' cute. Heh.)

Doc is smarter than Buzzwang (shocking, I know), for when Niko expresses concern, he mentions that he muted the speeders' frequencies. Meanwhile, Sweetie and Bud get Zozo to tell them about Mistwalker. Zozo explains that she's the guardian of the forest. He gives the usual spiel about future harmony, and says that like the Kiwi, Mistwalker uses knowledge of nature (and a few magic tricks of her own).

She does not, however, KICK PEOPLE INTO FIRE.


The kids are excited. Doc sounds slightly skeptical and asks where the "fabled Mistwalker" is, but they're interrupted by the discovery of "Mangle trees." That...doesn't sound good. Zozo wants to get a pod. The kids are already in the tree when they declare that they'll help. Little Zach, channeling his father, tells them to look out.

Zozo, being unafraid by the possibility of his kin plummeting to their deaths, merely points out that mangle fruit apparently possesses magic powers. The kids want him to make magic, but instead, we get the sound of a woodwind instrument. It's the Mistwalker!

Zozo meanwhile is demuring that it doesn't work for him, but the Mistwalker, who being high in a nearby tree is out of sight, causes a few seeds to drop around him, which then sprout vines and tangle him up.

Yeesh, everyone's an asshole in this episode. It is funny though. :-) Zozo notices the Mistwalker first, and she hops down next to an awed Buzzwang. She's happy to see Zozo and Niko.

I'm not sure when she would have met Niko, but I'll chock that off to Niko's badass archeology skills. Chick has connections. :-)

Zozo thanks the Mistwalker on behalf of the Kiwi vegetable labs, while the kids, including Little Zach and Jessica, come to meet her. She gives Jessica a weird flute thing. Which is nice, on one hand, but on the other, kind of sucks for Little Zach or the Kiwi kids. Hmph.

Don't you know not to give presents to only one kid, Mistwalker?

Jessica's apparently a better flute player than her father, since a flock of green birds flutter over and land on the kiwi kids' delighted heads. Zozo continues with his Ambassadorial spiel, and we get more repetition of Misty-Fenokee's "perfect natural balance."

Hmm, I can't tell if they're trying to make a point or not.

Mistwalker tells Zozo that the balance is changing. Zozo is horrified and asks how. Mistwalker tells him that her people are worried since well, imbalance kinda equals death. Okay, but that doesn't answer Zozo's question.

Zozo is less single-minded than me though and simply asks how they can help. Mistwalker tells them just to be careful and take only what the forest gives and stay close to the path.

A bird lands on Mistwalker's shoulder and she tells them that she must leave now. And indeed she does, vanishing in a flock of birds. The kids are awed, but Zozo is more interested in taking samples. Doc and Niko are worried though.

They venture forward through trees that seem to be moving slightly that and look like they have faces. And just as I type that, one of them opens their eyes. Creepy!

Niko whispers that she thinks they're being watched, even as an open-eyed tree appears to be moving behind Bud. He notices, and it winks at him. Aw. Bud, however, goes running, terrified, to his sister.

An understandable reaction, all things considered. The tree looks a little hurt though. Zozo points out one of the trees (with its eyes closed and covered by hand-like branches) and calls it a "Meeping Mania Tree." Or something like that.

Doc thinks that the trees "aren't at all well." And pulls out his little tweaker case. Sweetie wants to know why the tree they're looking at is "hiding." Zozo jumps up and grabs the branch-arm, wanting to know what's wrong and says he's a member of the "Kiwi garden league."

Um, no offense Zozo, but I don't really think that's the way to go about consoling a scared tree.

Once more, however, Zozo proves he knows more than me, as the tree suddenly bursts out crying. It grabs Zozo's ears and lifts him up wailing that the forest is falling apart. Zozo calls for Niko, as the trees weep, and eventually manages to knock his way free. The tree mopes at them to leave it alone, and Zozo obliges, running for it.

The others follow, but Zozo's far ahead, and when he stops he's startled to find himself alone. He fiddles with the communicator while the bushes start glowing pink in front of him.

A tiny insect appears, having chewed the heck out of his communicator, and he tosses the darn thing in disgust. Then the insects advance on him, all blasting out pink rays. Zozo screams as he gets blasted.

The others walk more sedately through the forest, calling Zozo's name, when Niko notes a follower. It's one of the trees, who she calls "Willow." Willow isn't feeling like himself. Niko uses her implant to scan and then turns to Doc, telling him there's a strong sense of evil around. Doc notes they should find Zozo.

As they reconvene, Little Zach, a buzzkill like his father, points out that they're very far from the path and reminds them of what Mistwalker said. And in fact, some more ill-tempered trees appear, wanting to know why they're there. Buzzwang tells them that they'd just lost their path, but the tree dismisses that as "the old Hansel and Gretel lie." Heh.

Niko urges them to let them pass. But they declare this part off-limits. Buzzwang tries to insult them, but is grabbed by the tree. He tries to identify himself as a Galaxy Ranger, while the Kiwi kids kick at the tree's "foot."

Niko apparently has a WWSGD (What Would Shane Gooseman Do?) moment and pulls out her big gun, demanding they drop the robot. Well, no, I'm sorry, if it were a WWSGD moment, she'd have shot and THEN demanded they let him go. Too bad. The trees knock her gun from her hands.

A flaming arrow interrupts the tree as it's about to eat Buzzwang. It drops him as all the trees panic. It's the Mistwalker!

Buzzwang is okay, but his frequency muting is broken. Meanwhile, Niko realizes from her scanner that the trees have all mutated.

As have Zozo and the dog, who is not looking nearly so cute. Also, their eyes are glowing bright pink. The Kiwi Kids are delighted and leap on their uncle.

Niko, noticing the weird robotic way Zozo is talking, wants to run a trace. As she says this, she's already tapped her badge and is glowing. Zozo recoils, insisting he's fine. Doc says that they'll keep an eye on him, but suggests going back to the speeders. Meanwhile, Buzzwang's spare parts pack has been left behind. That can't be good.

The speeders have been rapped up in vines. Doc doesn't notice the eerie pink glow and says "So much for Q-Ball's magic." He starts pulling vines free, while Little Zach says that they have to repair the cycles.

Thank you, Little Zach. You state the obvious so superbly.

Meanwhile the Mistwalker approaches, wanting to talk to Niko. She tells her that they are very near great danger and that the balance is broken. Doc tells her to go ahead, as they'll get the cycles clear. Mistwalker and Niko leave, while Doc has pathfinder check the circuits.

Buzzwang is also fairly miserable as he is now wrapped in vines and being gnawed on by bugs. He Nightwings that he's done for and they should go on without him. Little Zach says that's nonsense, but when he asks about the spare parts pod, they all realize that it's lost.

Zozo and the dog creep slowly toward Doc. They are of course accompanied by an army of bugs which blast him.

I have to admit, glowy-eyed Zozo leading an army of bugs is a fairly badass image. Heh.

The army then starts advancing on the kids. Little Zach shouts at the others to run saying he'll hold them off, and in the single most improbably awesome moment of the episode picks up a MUSHROOM.

Little Zach squeezes the mushroom which makes a flatulent sound then emits pink gas which causes Zozo to sneeze. Zozo sneezes just like my cat. Heh.

The kids run off telling Buzzwang that they'll be back for him.

Meanwhile, Mistwalker tells Niko that she's found the trouble. One of the evil giant insects emerges from the grass to Niko's dismay. Mistwalker goes to some weird plant and dumps a white liquid from it onto the ground. This causes the insects (more of them followed the first) to stick into place. Mistwalker grabs Niko's arm and they run.

Niko gasps out a "What's happening here?!" and Mistwalker leads her to a weird electronic device being run by Lazarus Slade! That explains it.

Sadly, there's no awesome music with him. I feel cheated.

The kids run toward the Mistwalker's cute bird friends which are apparently smarter than they seem, as they drop Buzzwang's spare part pack at Little Zach and Jessica's feet. Little Zach doesn't hesitate, he just grabs it and they run off.

With his parts, Buzzwang is looking better, and Little Zach holds up a tuning fork which will keep the bugs away. Now they have to find Doc and the others!

Meanwhile, Mistwalker and Niko have been herded before Lazarus Slade. He seems satisfied and mad scientists, "More bio-genetic material."

Which really doesn't seem a terribly in character way for Slade to react to seeing a Galaxy Ranger. And no music? Hm.

Actually, no, THERE's the music. Heh. He refers to their genetic material as "the rare Galaxy Ranger variety and the much overrated Mistwalker variety." Hmph. Well, fuck you too, Slade.

Niko snaps that he's destroying her planet, but he announces that it's for a good cause since he's launching an invasion of Earth.

Niko's definition of "good cause" is vastly different from Slade's and she wants to know what he'd done. He says that with his new "Batch 22" his invader virus is unstoppable.

I thought Slade was a TECH genius, not a biochemist! Oh well, a polymath is a polymath, I suppose.

He shows them how the giant ants drink the batch and then spray the forest. He then dramatically introduces his "new test subject" which is Zozo, carrying small containers. Uh oh. Zozo announces that soon Earth will be an "automatic colony." While Niko tries to reason with Zozo, Slade announces that he's taken raw nature and improved it.

His glorious mutations will control the world!

Except, if the way the music changes is any indication, I think he might be speaking too soon. Indeed, the cute green bird flock is coming toward them, while Mistwalker raises her hands in the air and emits a fluting noise. The birds dive into the trees and emerge carrying some weird pinecone type thing, which they then drop onto the ground and explode! Hardcore!

The kids see that and decide to help, climbing one of the trees that grow said pinecones and start divebombing the bugs.

Slade orders his brainwashees to get them, but even as he speaks a tiny insect emerges from his electronic monocle. The warfare continues.

The bugs surround the Mistwalker en masse, but the Mistwalker is prepared. She pulls out some sort of whistle thing, which causes the bugs to hesitate. Then she begins some weird dance which causes the bugs to turn on each other.

As Buzzwang, tuning fork in hand, tells the Kiwi Kids to come down this instant, the giant bugs start advancing on Slade, who runs into his ship.

Doc and Zozo emerge, eyes still glowing. Zozo has Niko's big gun in his hand. Of course, the kids come running. Niko is faster though, as she kicks the gun from Zozo's hand and then punches Doc. Then she makes an amusing "Ow" noise as she rubs her hand afterwards. The kids then tackle Zozo and urge him to wake up while Niko and Buzz run into the ship.

Slade is starting to take off, muttering about how he'll instead work on some nice safe space technology. But unfortunately for him, he doesn't have Q-Ball's gadget, and the vines burst through the panels and wrap around him. Niko and Buzzwang enter and announce that he's under arrest.

Outside, Doc and Zozo are snapping out of it. Doc in particular looks like he's not feeling good. Niko's got a good right hook. Niko suggests "Doctor Slade" give them the antidote or become ant food (the bugs actually look a bit more cricket like to me, but I'm really bad with insects.) That's a nasty threat, Niko! I approve!

Slade eventually believes her and provides the antidote, which they will feed to the ants and have them spray the forest.

Back at Ranger One, they wave goodbye to Mistwalker. The dog is at her feet, once more obscenely cute and none the worse for wear. They blast off.

On Ranger One, Doc and Niko exchange words about bringing Slade in, and Niko gives a shout out to me, even though I was perhaps two or three at the time, by saying "Let's hope they hold him for a while." Heh, fat chance.

Apparently Mistwalker gave Zozo a lot of samples, though Buzzwang suggests that next time he should have Mistwalker mail them. I hate to agree with Buzzwang, but...yeah.

Jessica is cheered about the possibility of A-plus work, which still smacks of unfairness to me. Hmph.


This episode wasn't as much fun as Mothmoose for me (no gratuitous Kiwi badassery) but did have actual Rangers in it, so that's a definite plus.

As Doc and Niko episodes go, this one wasn't as slow as most. Especially after Zozo got mutated.

And I enjoy seeing Niko be badass, so that's always a plus. And even Buzzwang wasn't that annoying to me this time. Because really, it was kind of mean to bring a ROBOT to a planet that eats technology.

It's like bringing Shane Gooseman to a pacifist rally. It's just cruel!

Finally, I wish Zach would stop abusing his position and using his co-workers as a free baby-sitting service. I like Little Zach and Jessica, but really now.

Same with Zizaw too.

I suppose that explains why Goose isn't there. No one in their right mind would trust their kids with him, heh.

The preachiness of the episode was a bit much, and the storytelling wasn't particularly subtle, but it had exploding pinecones, so I can't be too upset.

Also, no Audra Miller. That's the best part of all!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Non-Comic, Personal Update

I hate Summer lethargy. I am completely without a blog post (again) and also am frantically checking my school website for my grades, so my brain is even less engaged than usual.

I did finally get around to beating Neverwinter Nights (or at least the official campaigns) so I did get something done. Nothing worthwhile, but well, there's that. :-)

My job is awesome. A bit different from last year's job, but still fun! It's weird being in my old childhood hometown too. Mostly the hills. I spent the last eleven years (minus the one I spent studying in Japan) in glacier-bait lower peninsula Michigan, most of which has never even HEARD the word "hill." In Utica however, everything's just slightly inclining or declining, and when I look out to the horizon, I'm reminded of when I was four years old and quite certain that the world was very small and bowl-shaped.

I also was convinced that the school loud-speaker was a magic box and the distant street-light I could see from my bedroom window was a "funny-looking moon." I was a weird kid.

Anyway, it's kind of neat. I've also discovered that people in upstate New York are on average much safer and saner drivers than in Michigan. I don't risk my life when I drive on the highways here. On the other hand, people in New York don't seem to comprehend "speed limits." Wearing a seat-belt, THAT's a law. If you break it, you get pulled over. Speed limits though are suggestions.

So yeah, it's neat. Weird, but neat. I'm enjoying myself. :-)

Saturday, June 06, 2009


If you could make a movie out of any comic book character/product, what would you choose. And why?

I think personally, for all that I'm very fond of Green Lantern (especially Guy), Captain America, and all that, the movie that I'd most want to see, is probably Captain Atom.

I'm not sure why really, except I tend to think the backstory is fairly easy to understand, we have special effects now, I like anything with kids-almost-the-same-age-as-their-parents, evil military supervisors, and leftover Firestorm villains who are hot Quebecois terrorists.

It'd be a good popcorn movie. Probably wouldn't do too well, but I could be the next Uwe Boll and just make movies guaranteed to be crap. I could do that!

So what about you? What movie would you make?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Something I never thought I'd say...

Wow, Jonah Hex is kind of hot.

I didn't even know they were making a movie. I'm pleasantly surprised!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Bizarre Thought

Okay, so I've been trying to catch up with all this Messiah Complex/Messiah War stuff, and something occurred to me.

If Hope really is a reincarnated Jean Grey, then that old Summers family tree joke has actually come true.

Scott Summers really has become his own grandfather (in-law)!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Okay, now they're teasing us.

It's positively sickening how much I'm looking forward to all these Marvel movies. I figure eventually they'll screw them up like the X-Men movies, but I'm still obscenely enthusiastic.

And besides, even if it does turn out awful, I'll have fun kvetching about it here. :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


You know, what show I don't get? Dollhouse. I mean, I liked Firefly well enough, was okay with Buffy and Angel, and adored Astonishing X-Men, but the one episode I saw of Dollhouse just did not work for me.

Granted, I've heard it gets much much better, but I just can't bring myself to care enough to watch it.

However, I know some of you guys are fans of the series and since you've usually got fairly good taste (usually. :-)) I'm curious to know what you like about it, and see if that might intrigue me enough to get me to watch further.

So please, fill me in?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 34: Mothmoose

It's the weekend, so I get to do another Galaxy Ranger Recap.

Unfortunately, the episode in question is "Mothmoose" which I haven't seen, but is one of those I've been warned about.

I've got the distinct feeling that this will hurt.

Actually...I really enjoyed this episode.

This episode starts on a very pretty planet with mountains and fields and trees. Lots of color. A strange fuzzy looking insect creature buzzes happily through a lush jungle. It encounters a pretty flower, but is frightened away by the entrance of a group of Kiwi in safari garb.

They actually look fairly sinister as Kiwi go. It might be the machete. Some of the group are riding on big elephant-like mammals. The riders appear not to be Kiwi. And a metallic voice announces that they've been spending weeks looking for oil in the Kiwi jungle.

Oh dear, I hope this isn't going to be heavy handed environmentalism.

One of the riders is a giant blue blob. He's bitching about mosquitos. His name is Gelatinous. I think perhaps he's the same guy from the Showtime, but I'm too lazy to check. The apparent leader is a white haired, bearded fellow.

Why don't the Kiwi get to ride? Unfair!

Anyway, the red robot, Ernie, also from Showtime, identifies the bearded guy as Krebb. He looks different to me from that episode, but maybe it's just my mind playing tricks on me.

Krebb is about to wax eloquently on how rich they'll be when he hears a strange noise. It seems to be some sort of weird trumpeting. The lead Kiwi with the machete announces that they're nearing a "sacred and special" place. Krebb is reasonably enthused. Apparently few Kiwi have seen what he's about to see.

Dude, Machete-carrying Kiwi is really freaking me out. I mean, it's a Kiwi, the tiny psychos of the GR universe. With a MACHETE. Jesus!

Anyway, Krebb, Machete-guy and his lackeys emerge from the trees to see a long suspension bridge leading to a nifty looking stone-and tower structure. Krebb is suitably impressed and is equally intrigued by the strange sound. Apparently it's the domain of the "Dreaded Mothmoose of Kirwin." Krebb decides he has to see this thing.

Machete tells him that no one can disturb the mothmoose. Um. Machete. You're clearly badass even among the Kiwi, but this IS a guy who tried to force your ambassador to be a circus performer. Why did you even take him here? You had to know this was going to go badly.

On closer examination, the "tower" actually looks more like a smoke stack. Anyway, Machete tells him it's a "magical and wondrous" place. Yeah, this won't go well. Apparently, the moose is making the music. Ernie the Android is skeptical, but Krebb is more intrigued by the bridge. He wants to know what it is.

Machete tells him curtly that they don't cross that. Which, I have to be honest, seems silly to me. It's clearly a man (or kiwi) made bridge. But then, sacred rites don't have to make sense to be respected. Too bad Machete decided to show this to Krebb. Oops. Krebb decides he doesn't care about oil, he wants to check out the moose.

Another kiwi identifies the particular song of the moose as "the song of the harvest." Machete explains to a bored-looking Krebb that this means if they disturb the Mothmoose, they'll endanger the entire galaxy. Gelatinous mopes "Enough with the stupid Kiwi superstition." Well...grow bones!

Sorry, that was speciesist of me. Krebb thinks Gelatinous has no imagination and demands to see the Mothmoose. Machete stands in front of the bridge and says he can't enter without special permission from the Kiwi Council. Krebb says he has the permission for the oil trip. Um, I don't think that's the same thing.

Anyway, Krebb charges his weird rhino things forward and pushes poor Machete out of the way to storm across a suspension bridge, that come to think on it is rather wide considering that Kiwi presumably made it. They even manage to knock some boards loose as they cross. The Kiwi are pissed.

You know, considering how scary those little bastards can be, Krebb's either a very brave man or a very stupid one. My vote is for stupid.

Anyway, Krebb stands before the smokestack looking thing while a moose with butterfly wings (Really!) flies through the air. It looks like something out of Rainbow Brite, if Rainbow Brite were on (more) crack. Okay.

Krebb is amazed. Ernie calls it a One Moose Band. Krebb yells to bring the traps. Oh WONDERFUL.

Ernie taps a button and a weird metal sphere takes off into the air and accosts the Mothmoose, trapping it in a net. The kiwi are making their way across the bridge and yelling at it to hold on. Oddly, they're just walking. Dudes. You could at least walk a little fucking faster. The Mothmoose is brought to the ground. And Krebb orders them to ready their escape.

This apparently involves hot air balloons coming out of a rhino things.

Okay, this episode is starting to look up.

Hee. The balloon just DROPPED the poor rhino thing as it gets higher. That's MEAN. And hilarious. The sphere attaches to the side of balloon and they're off.

Now we're on Tortuna. I like Tortuna. Mostly because I can recognize that dome on sight. Unlike every other planet. We get the usual Tortuna beat as Krebb and his men stand before Brappo, who does not seem to be worse for wear after his Po Mutant Doll adventure.

If I were Goose, I'd feel a bit gypped.

Brappo is intrigued and asks who they are. Krebb identifies himself and announces that he has an act for him. Brappo is skeptical. But they're selling the mothmoose fairly enthusiastically, and Brappo is intrigued enough to come look.

The mothmoose is hovering in the air, chains keeping it in place, looking very forlorn. It's giving off that weird noise though. Brappo is delighted by the small pink flower that's sprouted in front of the mothmoose as flowers don't grow on Tortuna. Especially not indoors.

The moose continues to sing and a giant mushroom sprouts beneath Brappo, lifting him into the air. He is delighted and hires Krebb.

On BETA, Zozo is presenting the situation to a group of various important alien and human folk. A familiar looking female blond Andorian (I suspect she's the one from Showtime) and Senator Wheiner are on view screens. Zozo is accompanied by another, shorter, Kiwi.

I like the thought that Zozo might be like the kiwi's version of a pro basketball player. Anyway, they know the Mothmoose is on Tortuna. OH! The slightly shorter Kiwi is his brother, who's name I have utterly forgotten! I remember you! He wants a rescue mission. Troops, Battlecruisers.

Wheiner scoffs at the idea of sending troops just because of a stolen animal, but Zozo's brother explains that the Mothmoose is the "bringer of the harvest." Revered and cherished by the Kiwi. Zozo elaborates that the Mothmoose's power causes the fruits and vegetables to ripen and without it, the Kirwin will have the biggest crop failure in history.

But don't you guys have plants that grow on planets without weird Rainbow Brite rejects?

A Basooti (teddy bear guy) agrees that it's indeed a wonderous creature. But the guy who looks like a walking piece of celery next to him is skeptical of the creature.

Zozo's brother shouts "Yes, you stupid parsley monster, that's exactly what I expect you to believe." and charges him. Oh my god. I love you so much that I'm actually going to stop being lazy and check my recaps for your name.

Zizaw. That's your name! Awesome. I love you, Zizaw.

Hee. Seriously. I don't know why, but that made my day. I'm totally going to call people "stupid parsley monsters" from now on.

He does stop short from actually hitting him, but still. Awesome. The Basooti mentions that this mission requires their most fearless protectors. And we cut away to Walsh telling Zozo and Zizaw (or Ziza) that they have to follow priorities. He taps a button, and an image of the galaxy lights up with many red lights. Each one of them representing a request for the Galaxy Rangers.

But, dude. Don't the Kiwi feed pretty much EVERYONE? Granted, a "magic moose" seems unlikely, but considering that I'm not a farmer and these people are the most badass farmers ever, I'll believe them when they say they need something. Especially if they are feeding me!

Always, practical Zozo asks where the Mothmoose comes in. Walsh tells him "Crisis number 8." Zozo is crestfallen. Zizaw is pissed.

Zozo, walking the halls of BETA, meet up with the Kiwi kids who are RIDING on Commander Nagata. Zozo salutes him and asks what he can do for him. Nagata shouts that this is the very last time he babysits for Ambassador Zizaw.

Hee, Zizaw is the best ambassador ever. It's kind of like how I keep wishing they'd send Guy Gardner on more diplomatic missions in the Green Lantern Corps. Because it's hilarious. Sweetie angelically tells Zozo that they're having fun.

Apparently Kiwi reproduce fast, because there's a THIRD kid, even younger than Bud, with beige hair and oddly crooked ears. Nagata leaves.

In the cafeteria, Zach Jr., Waldo, and Buzzwang are eating. Well, Buzzwang is chugging machine oil.

Aw, come on. This episode was actually going really well! Granted, the Mothmoose itself is kind of dumb, but there are Kiwi, Zizaw being awesome, nifty tidbits about Galaxy Ranger procedure, a glimpse into the political machine of BETA...

And now Buzzwang. Way to fucking ruin my evening. Buzzwang Nightwings about how Q-Ball has him monitoring assignments and he can't wait for something exciting.

You've pretty much screwed up anything you've been involved in Buzzwang. Shut the fuck up. Little Zach is bored too. School vacation sucks, apparently. He wants to blast into space.

Zozo, downcast, joins them. Waldo, as the other half of the old married couple that they are, calls him an "old beaner" and says he looks like the end of the universe. Zozo says that they're going to run out of food in weeks and he has to wait seven missions for the Rangers to get involved.

Seriously, what the fuck kind of prioritizing is that? Walsh seems like the kind of workaholic that can survive on air, but JESUS. Food is one of the IMPORTANT NECESSITIES OF LIFE!

Little Zach and Buzzwang exchange glances, and then Buzzwang is all "Spill it, Kiwi!" Um. Dude. As a ranger, shouldn't you address an AMBASSADOR with more respect? I hate you, Buzzwang.

Now Waldo, Zozo, Little Zach, Buzzwang, and the Kiwi kids are surrounding Walsh's desk. Waldo points out that Kirwin will be in chaos until the mothmoose is recovered and urges him to let them try their plan. Walsh understands how important it is to them (to THEM? It's the FOOD SUPPLY of the UNIVERSE!) and has cleared authorization.

Probably he just sees a great opportunity to be rid of the most annoying thing on BETA. But still, the fucked up priorities really do bother me.

And what the fuck is up with sending Little Zach? I'm pretty sure that they can't send him anywhere without Zach-the-elder's permission!

Even as I type that though, Walsh is being a voice of sanity and insisting no Little Zach and no Kiwi Kids on the mission. Little Zach is upset, but Waldo instantly agrees. Zozo thanks Walsh and they look for Zizaw to give the news. But he is gone.

Nope! He is on Tortuna, in a green cloak and with a big gun. He throws back his hood to reveal a Rambo-esque headband. I know it should be funny, but I'm remembering a certain Scarecrow + fire scene and honestly...I'm a little nervous.

Anyway, he demands the Mothmoose. One tortuna resident, a big fellow with a tail, comes looming over him. He laughs at the Kiwi and says he eats his type for breakfast. The others stand and laugh, and Zizaw...

Flattens and starts blasting. Jesus! Zizaw is kind of awesome. And the plus side to being a tiny Kiwi, aside from the general badassery and insta-19 or 20 dexterity stat? You make a very small target when flattened to the ground. He easily rolls out of the way of the enemy blasts and shoots a good number of them down. He also aims at parts of the ceiling and pillar to send rubble crashing on the enemies.

Shane Gooseman would be proud of you, Zizaw.

Eventually one of the bad guys blasts near his feet and knocks him down, while tailed guy picks him up by the scruff of his robe. He holds a laser in front of Zizaw's face and asks if he has any last words.

I was kind of hoping he'd say "My brother kicks people into fire" but he does not. Instead, Zizaw says that he thinks it's only fair to warn him that he has a black belt in Kiwi-fu.

They have their own martial art? Awesome.

The badguy is less than impressed, but I am. Especially as the Galaxy Ranger theme music starts pulsing in the background, as Zizaw swings himself forward and kicks at the guy's stomach. Or groin. Either way, he's dropped. He darts through tail-man's legs toward two other unsavory looking fellows. Then, as tail-man chases behind him, Zizaw kung-fus him into the others, grabbing the laser weapon in the process.


Zizaw is now KNEELING on the guy's CHEST, with the LASER an inch from his face, as he demands to know where the Mothmoose is.

I love you, Zizaw. <3

Anyway, tail guy explains that Wild Bill has it locked up tight and it won't be there until showtime. Zizaw recognizes the name, as well he should. Zizaw snaps that he better be telling the truth, or he'll be back. Tail man is all "Yes sir, I am sir." God. I love Zizaw.

You may be close to beating out Shane Gooseman as my favorite violence dealing character, Zizaw.

A robot dressed like a waitress who I remember vaguely from a previous episode floats over all "That's one tough Kiwi." Yes. Yes, he is. <3

Ranger One is in space heading for Tortuna. Waldo and Zozo are piloting while Buzzwang expresses regret for Little Zach. Needless, as it turns out, as Little Zach was stowing away in the compartment between Waldo and Zozo's seats. Waldo is all "Oh, no. We'll have to go back." Buzzwang, not happy with being the sole cause for an impending lawsuit against BETA argues that Little Zach is no kid. Then tells him to tell his age.

Actually, I'll give Buzzwang credit, his "FOURTEEN? You're FOURTEEN? We'll have to go back!" did make me laugh. Even worse, there's giggling from another compartment. Zozo walks over, calmly opens it, freeing the Kiwi things, and dryly tells Little Zach that he can take care of the other stowaways, who leap on everyone.

On Tortuna, Brappo thinks the Mothmoose (which he calls the "Antgoose") doesn't sound good and that everyone's coming to see it. Krebb attempts to be reassuring.

Our Legion of Substitute Heroes are standing in the crowd outside the theatre wearing Pendulant noses. Apparently there's a plan, but we don't know what it is. (Waldo is wearing a suit, while Buzzwang has on sunglasses and a mustache. But his badge is prominently displayed anyway and he's clearly a robot. God, I hate you, Buzzwang.)

Anyway, Sweetie notices another weird looking Pendulant, and of course it's Zizaw. Zozo unmasks him, while Waldo moans that the plan is ridiculous.

Yes, but really, between them, I'm pretty sure Zozo and Zizaw could take everyone in this place. If they want to have fun pretending to be Pendulants, I'd let them. It's the same reason Shane Gooseman gets to wear that stupid neckscarf.

What does the three foot tall Kiwi that could totally own your ass wear? Anything he wants to.

Buzzwang agrees with Waldo, which immediately makes Waldo wrong in my opinion, while Zizaw announces that the moose goes on in five minutes and is all "Troops! Move out!"

Hey! It's Leon the two-headed guy! He's at one of the tables, looking at a fish in the center. Weird centerpieces, but okay. Leon's one head notes that the other wanted to do its laundry, the other head notes that it's his laundry too.

Actually, apparently the left head is Leon and the right is Neon. Or something. I don't care that much. Was good seeing him though.

Anyway, the lights dim, and Wild Bill ringmasters "Ladies and Gentlemen and everything in between" and presents the Mothmoose of Kirwin. Everyone applauds.

Suddenly, the entire group storms on stage and Zozo shouts that first there'll be a musical number from the Kiwi 6!

Okay, Buzzwang aside, I may actually love this episode. Sorry guys, I really do have terrible taste.

They push him offstage and begin playing. Huh. Apparently while Buzzwang is a waste of space otherwise, he plays a mean baseline on a keyboard-guitar thing. While Little Zach has apparently been learning how to mix. The kiwi kids have top hats and canes, while Zozo himself is wearing sunglasses.


The house band starts playing along too, while Zozo starts (badly) rapping. Dear lord. They're gloriously terrible. But the crowd is enjoying it. Krebb is about to storm out there, but Brappo stops him, delighted with the opening act.

Backstage, Ernie and Gelatinous are guarding the Mothmoose, while Waldo and Zizaw creep behind them. Ernie charges them, and Zizaw takes Zozo's place in the patented judo-throw, ring-zap combo. Then Gelatinous dives toward Zizaw, who ducks. It flies over Zizaw's head to land on Ernie. He is also zapped, and melts around it.

Back on stage, the others are still doing their gloriously awful rap. Buzzwang even breakdances, straight into a centerpiece fish tank, where he's bitten in the ass by an electric fish. God, I hate you, Buzzwang.

Still, the robot can breakdance. And then breaks. I'm impressed.

Then Zozo introduces the "treasured Mothmoose of Kirwin." Which is actually Waldo in disguise with a jetpack. Waldo pulls out a weapon and arrests him. Awesome.

Now they're running for the ship of course, the kids carrying pieces of a still rapping Buzzwang, and Zozo leading the Mothmoose. Brappo commands them to stop, and when they won't, orders them blasted. But that's when Zizaw swings in and knocks him the fuck over, standing on his back all commando style. Brappo's guards lift their weapons, but Zizaw just grabs said weapons and tosses them, and the mercenaries into the air.

Oh my god, I love you, Zizaw. Most badass farmer ever.

Unfortunately, the reinforcements tackle him, but as usual in the Galaxy Rangers, the rescuee has a role to play in his own rescue, as he trumpets and causes a tree to sprout beneath them. Zizaw gets free and climbs on the Mothmoose, and everyone gets aboard Ranger One.

The Mothmoose is returned to the smokestack rock and takes off to fly and encourage happy plant growth. Machete and other Kiwi are thrilled to see that. And then Buzzwang starts the song up again. He's also backwards, but Little Zach apologizes for that profusely. Q-Ball will fix him later.

The Kiwi spokesman tells Waldo that they can ask for anything as a reward, and Waldo is all "Fine, take the babies back!"


I'm probably going to lose a lot of points saying this but... that was actually kind of awesome.

Granted, I can see why people who have TASTE would dislike the episode, but well, let's face it, as much as I appreciate the higher qualities of this show such as surprisingly complex plots and intriguing characters, I'm really watching for the violence and ridiculous insanity.

I'm a comic book fan with very very questionable taste. Sorry.

Barring the sad absence of the Galaxy Rangers themselves, I couldn't be happier with this episode. Even Buzzwang couldn't ruin it!

Okay, granted, the story did have one big, glaring problem, which is that there is NO WAY any sane person or group would ever consider a potential threat to the largest Galactic food supply to be a priority eight mission.

Even if you don't believe that the Mothmoose is necessary for Kirwin's ecosystem, the fact that the farmers BELIEVE it does should be enough, since the morale of the guys FEEDING THE UNIVERSE is fairly important to a good harvest.

I get that they needed a reason for the main characters not to be there, but I would have been much happier if Walsh had just said something like "We'd send the Rangers, but they're currently trapped in some villain's prison somewhere. We expect them back in about a week."

Aside from that though, I enjoyed the episode. I liked seeing a bit more about Kirwin (even if the Mothmoose doesn't make a lot of sense) and getting a bit more information about how the Galaxy Rangers themselves work. (Such as the fact that they ARE in such high demand and not every request can be filled.)

I always love seeing the Kiwi be badass. Because in any other show, they'd just be cute comic relief. They'd be Snarf, constantly caught in the badguys' nets and needing to be rescued. Here, the Kiwi get to do the rescuing more often than not. And despite their size and agrarian professions, they actually do make formidable enemies.

I seriously would not want to face an army of Kiwi!

And I really like how they manage to showcase the advantages to being tiny in terms of fighting. Zizaw, on the ground, is fucking hard to hit!

And Buzzwang's incompetence remained largely in the background, thank god.

I'll agree that this was a pretty mindless episode, but I think it's fairly far from being one of the worst. It was fun! :-)