Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clothes Make The Man


So the raw scans for Naruto chapter 430 have hit the net. Naruto is sporting a sweet jacket that is very similar to the one Minato, the fourth Hokage, wore. Minato was the baddest, most powerful shinobi that ever emerged from Konoha, and since Naruto is his son and he admire's the 4th so much, it's only natural that he'd don a jacket that's similar to the greatest ninja that ever lived. I've always hoped that some day Naruto would wear the jacket, or at least something that's close to it. I guess Kishimoto thought that Naruto should wear it someday as well. Gotta say, Naruto looks like one bad mofo in it.

If you're a bit behind on what's going on in the current Naruto chapters, here's the jist of it: Pein has come to Konoha looking for Naruto and left the leaf village a mere shell of it's former self. God only knows that the body count is and in chapter 429, Pein rocked the village with a huge explosion. Naruo has been training in the land of the toads (he's actually surpassed Jiraiya with his sage training) and they've recieved word (somewhat) that something is wrong in Konoha. So they warp back to the village, Naruto takes a look around and he is not happy. He takes out of the the Peins that attacks Tsunade instantly, no struggle whatsoever. A major fight is about to go down, folks.

Did I mention how awesome Naruto looks in that jacket? I gotta get me one of those.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

DBZ Abridged Returns!

One of my favorite YouTube series (right up there with Marvel/DC: Happy Hour) has returned. I'm of course, talking about Dragon Ball Z Abridged. For those of you that don't know, DBZA is a parody of the popular anime series done by Team Four Star. It follows the plot of DBZ but adds far more humor to the mix than DB and DBZ combined. Actually, I'd go as far as to say it has more humor than a lot of things and regular views would probably agree. I don't think I can ever look at Mr. Popo the same way again after seeing him in DBZA.

Anyway, the 7th episode is now up and it's just as hilarious (if not moreso) as all the other episodes that have come before it. If you haven't seen this series, you'll have a lot of fun catching up. They've even put out their first (of what I hope will be many) music video!



Friday, December 26, 2008

Thoughts On Dragon Ball: Evolution

Yeeeeeeaaaaaaah, so I so saw the trailer for Dragon Ball: Evolution a few weeks ago. I should have made a blog entry about my thoughts on it a lot sooner but I've been busy doing other things.

So what are my impressions on the trailer? Well as far as special effects go, it looks like it'll be pretty sweet. It also looks like there will be some solid martial arts actions in there. The film seems to have some topnotch actors on board as well. I mean, we've got Chow Yun friggin' Fat as Master Roshi. There's some hot babe playing Bulma, and hot babes in movies are always a good thing.

Concerning things outside of special effects and the actors, it looks like they Americanized the heck out of Dragon Ball. I know I'm only going off what I've seen from the trailer, but a live-action DB movie has always made me cringe. Some things just aren't mean to be live-action and for all the good this movie has going for it that I listed above, I just have a feeling this movie will bomb horribly. Of course I could be wrong. After all, I thought Transformers was going to be poo and I ended up enjoying that flim so much that I bought the 2 disc special edition DVD. At least Goku doesn't make my ears bleed when she says the name of his trademark move in the tralier like he does in the Japanese version of the anime.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spectacular Spider-Man Season 2 Episode Descriptions

I'm a few days late and the descriptions are brief, but it was enough to get me stoked for the upcoming season! If you don't want to know what's going down starting in March '09, don't click the link. The descriptions reveal quiet a bit so click/read at your own risk. Now if you don't mind being spoiled, click away! I think we're in for one heck of a ride for season 2, Spidey fans! 'Nuff Said!

Season 2 Episode Descriptions

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Have Some Cowa! It's Good For You!

When one hears Akira Toriyama's name, they more than likely think of Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z because that's his most popular creation. His other works may not be on the same scale as his martial arts master piece, but you should still check 'em out. Really, there hasn't been a manga that I've read by the man that I haven't enjoyed and Cowa! is no exception.

Cowa! isn't really anything new to me. I read the first three chapters a few years back via internet manga scans. I read in an issue of Shonen Jump that the manga was going to be getting an official translated release. I've had my copy for a few months now but I didn't get around to reading the thing until a few weeks ago and I just finished it.

Spanning only a single volume, Cowa! tells the story of monster Paifu and his fellow ghoul's adventure in retrieving a vacine for Monster Flu, a virus that could make all of the monsters in their hometown extinct. Maruyama, an unpleasant human begrudingly helps the monster kids on their quest. Choosing solitude over friendship, Maruyama has to depend on the help from Paifu and his friends and in the end, he's a done a near complete 180.

Yes, Cowa! is a tale of adventure and friendship. This is touted as a kid's book, but I honestly think adults will dig it, too. If you're in the mood for a one-shot manga and like Akira Toriyama's work, Cowa! is highly recommended.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Bush/Shoe Hilarity

I love the internet.

Does Bush Have a Spider-Sense?

Those of you that keep up on world events (or even those of you who don't) have no doubt heard that President Bush was assaulted by an Iraq report who threw a size 10 shoe at him. The thing that really surprised me after seeing the video is not a shoe was thrown at our president. No, what really caught my attention was how fast he moved to dodge that size 10. Seriously, I don't think I have ever seen any old person move so fast.

For those of you keeping score, Spider-Man has an unusual ability that lets him sense danger just before it strikes, giving him time to react. This is known as his spider-sense. Bush's reaction makes me wonder if he, too, possess such an ability. I think he should be studied by the world's top scientists.

Only gaming freaks will get this one.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kraven's Last Hunt

The image to the left is the cover for Web of Spider-Man #32, penciled by Mike Zeck (well, it's a painted version). It was part of the six part story, Kraven's Last Hunt that was published way back in 1987. The cover is widely considered one of the greatest covers in Spider-Man history. What's it doing in my blog? Well, aside from looking sweet as it always done, I've just finished reading my trade paper back of J.M. DeMatties masterpeice, Kraven's Last Hunt. You just knew I hadda say something about this.

I've a confession to make first: this weekened marked the first time I've read all of Kraven's Last Hunt. I own the two issues of Spectacular Spider-Man that make up this story, which I picked up more than ten years ago. Until this weekend, that was all I'd ever read of this story, but even then, I thought those two issues were great. Reading them again with the rest of the story was naturally, a whole lot better than my first mini encoutner with this story years ago.

This may make me the odd man out, but I've alays liked Kraven inspite of his somewhat campy nature. Many readers didn't give a rat's butt about him until he was offed in this epic story. As much as I've enjoyed previous tales with Kraven, I cannot aruge that this (along with Kraven's First Hunt from the '96 Senssational Spider-Man Annual) is the best that the hunter has even been written.

Kraven is a man who has long past his prime. He's defeated and tamed every animal in the animal kingdom. But one foe has always prooved his better and Kraven's repeated defeats have been hanging over his head like an unpaid bill. This elusive prey is not an animal, but a man. Spider-Man.

One of my favorite lines in this story is spoken from Kraven and it's one that has stuck with me since I read it a few days ago:

"Oh I see now; I understand in a way I never could before. This costumed adventurer called Spider-Man is just that: a man"

When Kraven set out on what would be his final hunt, two things frustrated him.

1. His numerous defeats by Spider-Man
2. He didn't think anyone had nobility or honor anymore.

By "killing" Spider-Man, taking his placing and proving himself superior to the web-slinger, and then meeting with Spidey after he crawled his way back up from the grave (which is a griping scene. Really, words fail to convey it.), he sees that Spider-Man is the second half of his name, not the first like he previously thought. Kraven went into this thing thinking that because of all the things Spider-Man did he more insect like. When he meets with Spider-Man again, he realizes that Spider-Man, despite everything he can do is a man. In Kraven's own twisted way, he was ability to restore his honor by taking Spidey's place and he found honor and decency in Spider-Man when the web-head refused to fight Vermin for his own amusement. In many ways, this story is more about Kraven than it is about Spidey. Sure, there are some great moments with Spidey (which I'll get to in a bit), but this story really gets into Kraven's head more any any other tale. Again, this is the best he has ever been written.

I have never really give much thought to being burried alive, but this story makes it unfathomably frightening. Spidey making his way back to the surface was one of my favorite scenes in this story. His motivation for leaving the pit? Mary Jane. She was his reason for leaving that dark and lonely place. And MJ was emotionally tortured almost as much as her husband was. For two weeks Peters was six feet under. Two. Weeks. She wasn't sure if Peter was either dead or crazy until the moment they were reunited.

In the end, I cannot say enough great things about this story. It's excellent. It's magnificent. You have to read it. It's a ridulously easy TPB to find because Marvel has been reprinting it every few years.

It's interesting that KLH has been an evolving story since it was first plotted by DeMatties before it was published. It started as a Wonder Man story, then became a Batman story, and finally, a Spider-Man story. Read the introduction at the beginning of the book for the whole story straight from the man himself.

Spider-Girl's Creator's Speak

Spider-Girl creator's Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz were guests on the Crawl Space podcast back in
November. They talked about why Spider-Girl has been around for 10 years, and even took calls from the fans. The pod cast is broken up into two parts. If you're a fan of Peter Parker's offspring, check 'em out.

Part 1

Part 2

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Second Great Depression?

I'm no expert in economics, but it doesn't take a degree to see the sorry shape that America's economy is in. Normally I don't blog about this kinda thing, but this has been weighing on my mind for the last few days, so I've decided to get it out in the open here.

The United States of America is the richest country in the world, yet it's in the saddest shape it's ever been in since the Great Depression, the worst financial crisis to ever hit the USA and that was more than 60 years ago. Thousands of jobs are being axed left and right, a good chunk of the American people's money was used to bail Wall Street out of the mess that they got themselves into, and the auto industry is so close to going down the toilet, yet it's essential that it survives for the good of the economy, but that will take another bail out. Guess who's paying for that? I'll give ya a hint, it ain't the rich folks.

What am I trying to say? We're getting screwed. Completely and utterly screwed. We're struggling just to make what should be the easiest of bills to pay, but it isn't easy. You're fortunate enough just to have a job but depending on what line of work you're in, you may be one of the many who has been blasted by hour cuts. And even if you aren't, this crisis is by no means a cakewalk for you. We are all being affected by this in some form or another.

The emotional stress that is brought with this disaster is unreal. I don't watch much news or TV for that matter, but when it is on, I always hear how things are getting worse. You can't turn on the tube without hearing how much further this thing is making us sink. It's depressing to hear about, and it's depressing to think about.

But I don't want to be all gloom and doom in this blog post. In fact, I honestly believe that we will get out of this mess someday, but it's gonna take time. The economy didn't get this way overnight and it won't be fixed overnight.

My advice to anyone reading this?

Pray. I've always been a believer in the power of prayer. I believe some people that never prayed before may be doing it now. That's how hard-hitting this situation is.

Take your mind of off it. Read a book, watch a movie, play a game, listen to some music, whatever. Dwelling on this crisis and worrying certainly won't make things any better. Just live your life the best you can. As I've already said, I do believe we'll make it through this. Eventually.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dubs vs Subs

Oh no, I didn't. I did not just bring up the immortal argument of dubs vs. subs. Wait, is that what it says up? There? Yup, it is. Looks like I did bring it up. Despite what you might think, I don't actually participate in this argument very often, if at all. I prefer to watch my anime in dubbed form and leave it at that, but I'm well aware that many people stick to subs. However, many sub fans often bash even the best of dubs and for ludicrous reasons. But I didn't bring up this topic to rant. I'm going to let someone else do that because they've done a superb job.

Gantz Spoof FanDUB

This video brings up excellent points, ones I've never seen mentioned whenever the topic of dubs vs. subs is brought up. It's also downright hilarious.