Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Fear Itself

What if other Thor-like hammers fell into the wrong hands? Fear Itself provides over-the-top action amidst some impressive tie-ins.

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With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Thanks in large part to trade paperbacks and the digital convenience of Marvel Unlimited I can make relatively quick progress, and I’ll write down my Final Thoughts for each collection here on my blog. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

marvel comicsWriters: Matt Fraction (Tie-ins: Kieron Gillen, Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Spencer, Christos Gage)

Artists: Stuart Immone (Tie-ins: Greg Land, Chris Bachalo, Cullen Bunn, Sean Chen, Tom Raney, Andrea DiVito)

Issues: Fear Itself #1-7.3, Fear Itself: The Book of the Skull, Journey Into Mystery #622-630, Avengers (2010) #13-17, New Avengers (2010) #14-16, Secret Avengers (2010) #13-15, Avengers Academy #15-20, New Mutants (2009) #29-32, Uncanny X-Men #540-543

 

Another year, another massive Marvel event. It’s around this time through my grand catch-up of the last decade of Marvel comics that I begin to feel the fatigue of large-scale back-to-back…to-back events.

I largely enjoyed the Bendis-led run that evolved from “House of M” into “Civil War,” through the “Secret Invasion” and subsequent “Dark Reign,” and culminating in “Siege.” In total that era encompasses a solid five years of comics.

But large events had become the new big business. We had barely a year go by before the literal hammer dropped, or in this case, multiple hammers in “Fear Itself.”

If the new post-Siege Heroic Age of 2010-11 was meant to be a throwback to the Silver Age of Good vs Evil comics, then “Fear Itself” was the appropriate event. Continue reading “Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Fear Itself”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 20 Recap

We assault the crumbling Scarlet Moon tower and confront the leader of the druids-turned-fire cultists.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Four weeks later and we finally finish Scarlet Moon Hall. It chopped up quite nicely with our heroes tackling the entire tower itself in this week’s session.

It ended up a bit anticlimactic. The big boss of the fake Scarlet Moon druids, Elizar Dryflagon, lasted only a single round. The whole mini dungeon-within-a-dungeon felt like an epilogue to the epic battle in the courtyard last week. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 20 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 19 Recap

Our heroes reach the Wicker Giant only to witness a newly unleashed Fire Elemental, and one of their deadliest battles yet.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Climactic battles can be the stuff of legends. Role-playing scenes can offer fun and surprising moments. But at its core, D&D involves plenty of hacking and/or slashing.

Balancing these epic battles without wiping your headstrong party is always a tricky endeavor. The DM is technically lord of everything – but not really. You have to have clearly defined rules and expectations. Suddenly playing dumb with enemies to help your PCs can feel cheap and obvious. And fudging numbers becomes trickier when using an online virtual tabletop. Sometimes you just have to thank the Forgotten Realms gods that your party’s tanks have fire resistance. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 19 Recap”

Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Age of Apocalypse

With its sheer volume of content and fantastic world-building Age of Apocalypse remains one of the best X-Men stories ever told.

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Thanks in large part to trade paperbacks and the digital convenience of Marvel Unlimited I can make relatively quick progress, and I’ll write down my Final Thoughts for each collection here on my blog. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

age of apocalypseWriters: Scott Lobdell, John Francis Moore, Fabian Nicieza, Jeph Loeb, Warren Ellis

Artists: Andy Kubert, Adam Kubert, Ian Churchill, Steve Epting, Terry Dodson, Carlos Pacheco

Issues: X-Men: Alpha, Age of Apocalypse: The Chosen, Generation Next #1-4, Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 1) #1-4, X-Calibre #1-4, Gambit and the X-Ternals #1–4, Weapon X (Vol. 1) #1–4, Amazing X-Men #1–4, Factor X #1–4, X-Man #1-4, X-Universe #1-2, X-Men: Omega

 

Let me begin by apologizing for the recent dearth of my Comics Final Thoughts series. It’s one of the most popular things I do on this blog, but between moving to a new house and churning out news stories for E3, I’ve been incredibly busy.

But the other reason is because I was tackling a gigantic project – rereading the massive 1995 X-Men event, “Age of Apocalypse!” I was hoping to get it done in time for the X-Men: Apocalypse film, but hey – better late than never.

“Age of Apocalypse” was the insane X-Men event take-over that occurred in the mid 90s. It was also pretty much the only good Marvel comic to come out of the 90s.

“Age of Apocalypse” was incredibly extensive, with dozens of comics, limited series, and an awesome alternate universe playground. We got to see familiar heroes and villains in all-new roles, and a few new characters rose to the occasion to eventually escape the dark reality and enter the regular rotation. Continue reading “Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Age of Apocalypse”

E3 News!

I’m helping Pixelkin cover all the news and announcements from E3 2016.

Since I’ve been regularly writing daily news posts for Pixelkin.org, I was asked to help write additional news articles for the deluge of gaming news that is E3.

In the last three days I’ve written a total of 20 news articles, ranging from quick new game announcements to lengthy breakdowns of entire shows. Click here for a full list of my news posts. You can also check this constantly updated page here on my blog.

The Pixelkin crew has done an amazing job churning out stories covering absolutely everything at E3. It’s a fun and exhausting ride!

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 18 Recap

Our heroes continue their investigations into each campsite near Scarlet Moon Hall, finding bugbears, werewolves, and cultists.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

I relish each opportunity to turn an otherwise regular combat encounter into a role-playing scenario. My group of players are definitely combat-oriented, and prefer to meet most situations with violence. But if there’s a chance to break up the murderous rampage into something a bit more interesting, I’ll take it.

In this week’s session our heroes continued exploring the various camps set up at Scarlet Moon Hall. Druids and others from around the land have convened to witness a questionable ritual. The party decided to go camp-to-camp questioning each group FBI-style. This put every camp on edge.

Some camps are outright hostile, like a group of bugbears and worgs chillin’ out at the East side, and a simple fight erupted. A fight in which I couldn’t hit a single PC! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 18 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap

The party begins investigating some shady druids performing a fiery ritual at Scarlet Moon Hall.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

No matter how well-constructed your fantasy world is, or how meticulously you run your RPG campaign, sometimes real life can get in the way. Maybe you don’t have enough time to prep, or a player (or you) can’t make the scheduled session.

I’ve been very fortunate to have a stellar group of friends and family that really go the extra mile in coming together every week and always having the best attitude for wanting to play and have fun.

That being said, I’m going through a crazy busy part of my life right now in selling our house and buying a new one all in the same week. Not trying to make excuses, but simply trying to explain why this video is several days late and much shorter than usual. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap”