Friday, February 27, 2009

Farewell, Hinata?

Each week we get spoilers for the latest manga chapters of Naruto. One of the spoilers for this week was that Hinata was killed by Pain. Of course many thought this was fake, myself included. Surly the author wouldn't kill of my favorite female character in Naruto. Well, the truth hurts and it seems that's exactly what he did.

Naruto has had a crush on Sakura since his days in the ninja academy. She was the only girl he had eyes for and she couldn't see him for dust and at the start of the series, she treated him like crap. Why anyone would still be interested in a girl like that is beyond me. Hinata has had a crush on Naruto for the longest time and I'd always wondered if and when she'd admit her feelings to his face. Well she finally did. And she didn't just tell Naruto that she likes him. Hinata told Naruto that she loves him. Naruto is clearly stunned by her words. After this revalation, she is killed off panel right in front of Naruto.

I wanted to scream out "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" when I found out this once thought fake spoiler was true. Though I am (perhaps foolishly) hopeful that Hinata is still alive. I mean, characters in this series have survived fatal injuries when they should have kicked the bucket.

Hinata looked glorious in this chapter. Her speech she gave and her confession to Naruto were very heart-felt. He finds out that Hinata has loved him all this time and she's taken away from him in the blink of an eye. I think the last time I was this bummed when an anime manga character died was Maes Hues in Full Metal Alchemist. Again, that is assuming if she's dead. I really hope Kishimoto is screwing with us here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Turtle Power!

If you were a child of the '80s, you were probably into the kickin' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They had a sweet cartoon, comics, action figures, and sweet video games. These days, I'm still a TMNT fan. I've said all that so I could pimp this fine piece of artwork I found at Deviant Art. Hands down one of the best art pieces I've seen for TMNT. Ever.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Simply Spectacular

Yeah, I know I haven't blogged about anymore episodes of season 2 for Spectacular Spider-Man. I've seen every one that's been aired in Canada thus far through mysterious powers and by "mysterious powers, I of course, mean the internet. So I'll be reviewing episodes 3-5 right here and now.

Reinforcements

Like, the first season, I felt the third episode of season 2 is the weakest one thus far, but it isn't bad by any means. The fights were cool, but not as impressive as those seen in "Blue Prints" or "Destructive Testing."

In this episode, Spidey becomes aware that all of the tech that Mysterio had stolen is still missing. So he goes to Blackie Gaxton for info and runs into Patch on the way out. Those names will only be familiar to those who are die hard Spidey fans. Yes, they really only stuck around for the early issues of Amazing Spider-Man, but its still awesome that they were included in the show. When Greg Weisman said they were going to include as many characters as they could from the comics, no matter how small, he wasn't kidding.

The Sinister Six return for a rematch and instead of tackling him all at once, they attack in teams of twos. Spidey takes his lumps fighting each group, but he manages to be the last man standing in the end. But all is not right. Not only do five of the six escape, but Doc Ock's arms come and bail him out from Ravencroft, where it seems he's turned over a new leaf...

On the front of Peter's social life, Flash's injuries cause Liz to stop paying attention to Peter and focus more on her ex. On top of this, Peter's attempts to talk to Gwen are met with dismay because she's annoyed that Peter hasn't really talked to her since she kissed him the night of Thanks Giving.

First off, I'd like to say that, as much as I like Gwen, this is 2009. We're not living in the stone age where guys have to do all the work when it comes to getting the object of their affection. I've said it before and I'll say it again; Gwen needs to be more aggresive. It's going to be partialy her own fault when she loses Peter to Liz. Liz is making moves on Peter while Gwen just sits back and gets jealous. Of course this all makes for good drama, so its all good.

Also good was Mary Jane being the good friend to Peter like always. I think MJ is more of a good friend to Peter than he realizes. I sooooo want this show to get more seasons so we can see these two get together.

Sheer Strength

This episode concludes the Master Planner story arc, and man, it does not disappoint. The Master Planner is revealed to be none other than Doc Ock. I knew he was putting on a facade in the last episode. His master plan? To take over the world via computers! Does this madman know no end? He seeks to take away your video games, your music, and your porn! The fiend!

As if that weren't evil enough for the doctor, he has the Vulture and Electro kidnap Gwen in order to force her father, George Stacy into doing his bidiging in aiding them in world conquest. After battling Electro and foiling Ock's scheme, we seen an animated version of a scene that is all too familiar to fans that have read Amazing Spider-Man #33.

When it was announced that the Master Planner stoy arc would be adapted in Spectacular Spidey, I was thrilled, because I knew what that meant. We've seen tons of homage in this show but one thing fans have always wanted to see, its Spider-Man lifting a huge weight off his shoulders. What was a milestone event in the 1960s has gone one to be mirrored in not only tons of other Spider-Man comics, but comics in general. This time, however, aunt May's life isn't on the line. If Spidey can't lift that oversized weight, it will not only be curtains for him, but Gwen as well. So our hero gives it everything he's got and though the strain is taxing on his body, he lifts it.
Seeing this moment get animated was just great. Words don't do it justice. If you are a Spidey fan, you will geek out tenfold every time you see it.

Would you believe the rest of the episode was good? MJ playing match maker with Peter & Gwen, Flash milking his injuries to keep Liz close, and Detective Stacy's concern over the safety of his daughter, all good stuff. But really, the weight lifting scene really does make this episode and I was already highly impressed with everything I'd seen before and after this scene.

And how does Peter ring in the new year? Why from getting an unexpected kiss from Liz of course. Remember what I said about Gwen not stepping up her game enough? Well it just cost her.

First Steps

Schools back in session and so is Sandman. He's looking for his big score and he doesn't care if he's gotta smash Spidey to get it.

This episode also sees the return of Eddie Brock. At first, Peter thinks he's losing it because he catches glimpses of Eddie multiple times. Turns out Eddie is just making Peter freak out so he can lead him to where he burried the alien symbiote. Pretty clever for you, Eddie. Though Eddie was creeping me out with his lines here, which wasn't a bad thing. He refered to the symbiote as "the one I love" and he sounded especially scary when he crashed Flash's birthday party and left a message on the video recorder stating that they (meaning him and his alien half) would see Peter very soon. Snap. Venom is coming back.

Sandman was the best he's ever been on this show and that's saying a lot because he's been great since he first became Sandman. We got more creative uses out of his powers besides the usual hammers and he not only helped a little girl make a sand castle, he also saved the lives of crew members from a ship he made catch fire. There is some good in this character.

As of this episode, Peter and Liz are dating, much to the surprise of MJ, Sally (hate that broad) and the annoyance of Gwen. But all is not lost. With Harry Osborn's return we see that Peter clearly cares more for Gwen. See Harry is making some moves on Gwen, complimenting her on her hair getting longer and even asking her to be his date to Flash's birthday party (they doubled with Peter and Liz). You can see the jealousy on Peter's face when he notices how chummy Harry is gettign with Gwen. Will this become the next couple on this show?

Flash gets some good screen time here. He expresses interest in Sha Shan, invites her to his party, and is bummed when she doesn't show. We also find out that Flash got his nick name (for those not in the know, Flash's real name is Eugene) from Peter and nursey school and it wasn't because he ran fast. This revalation was shockingly hilarious. Flash and Peter were also best friends in nursery school. Why aren't they buds now? In Peter's own words "I guess people change."

I honestly think "First Steps" was the best episode of this season thus far. As awesome as it was to see Spidey lift that big weight in "Sheer Strength," I just think this episode was better all around. Lots of people are already saying "Sheer Strength" is the best, but I think a lot of that has to do with the aforementioned famous scene. Its a superb episode, but sorry, that scene alone doesn't make it better. "First Steps" had a lot more going on for it. Man, I really hope this show gets a third season.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Amazing Homage

How many times has the cover to Amazing Fantasy #15 been replicated? I honestly don't know, but I'd wager it's been done more the even the Man of Steel's Action Comics #1 cover. Really, though, I never tire of the homage. Amazing Fantasy #15 has one of my all-time favorite comic covers. This Obama/Biden homage piece I found on deviant art is another one lovely addition. Only thing missing are some word balloons coming from Obama.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Noirsh Spidey Art

With the Spider-Man Noir mini-series currently going on, I thought this would be as good a time as any to share one of my favorite pieces that was submitted on Deviant art. This is (obviously) a noir-like take on Spidey and a pretty awesome one at that. If you want to see more of ninjanik's art, check out his deviant page here.