Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ok you Poozers, who thinks they have what it takes to join THE CORPS?!

Like thousands of gamers around the world I have been playing DC Universe Online since launch…and having one HELL of a time. The MMORPG released by Sony Online Entertainment for the PS3 and PC, drops the player into the sprawling DC universe with a plethora of powers and skill sets available. The character creation is extensive, allowing you to customize everything from the color of your hair to the type of weapons you carry. The player can choose to be a flier, a speedster or even a Spiderman style acrobat.
On top of that, DCU Online is an ACTION RPG. Unlike most MMO’s where you click an option and wait for your avatar to carry out the action, in DCU you are mashing button combos like crazy. Which works perfectly in creating the frenetic atmosphere that is the daily life’s breath of your average meta-human!

Despite some early technical issues which are common to any new MMO, DC Universe Online is a hoot and has generated a rabid player base. But there has always been one thing missing…

Green Lantern powers! While there are missions where you fight alongside the Emerald Avenger and against Sinestro’s forces, the player (YOU) could not wield hard light powers.

That is about to change with DCU’s first expansion pack, “Fight For The Light”. While you will not actually become a Green Lantern yourself you CAN become a Corps reservist and your own shiny ring. And I am not just talking power beams here. Your GL ring will allow you to create CONSTRUCTS and chain them together creatively to unleash devastating attacks and powerful protection.

Sheild yourself with a huge baseball? Yup.

Wield a hard light chain saw? You got it.

Run over a villain with a green…FREIGHT TRAIN??!! You bet!

The reservists' ring is programmed with a greatest hits of the constructs that have been used in the core.

In addition to the POWERS, new worlds from the Green Lantern cannon will open up, including a jail break on OA and encounter with Atrocitus plus all new alerts, duos and challenges!

Fight For The Light will release later this summer at ONLY $9.99! This is a great jumping on point for anyone who has been thinking about playing the game. If you are a DC fan, a comics fan or an MMO player you will NOT be disappointed!

If you DO decide to jump into the world of DCU Online for PS3, look me up on the RELENTKESS server. My toon is Coldfire and their just MIGHT be a league invite in it for you!

That’s 30!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DC Reboot? It’s Not The First Time!

As just about anyone not stationed at the North Pole knows, DC Comics is planning a company wide reboot this fall. All of it’s mainline titles (52 in all) are getting a fresh make over. From Superman losing his underpants to the return of Barbara Gordon to the mantle of the Bat, it’s an all new DC coming your way.

To say that a lot of fans are up in arms over this turn of events is something of an understatement. Just surf the comic sites and you will see tons of forum threads castigating the “destruction” of the DCU. I have even seen reports about an organized protest at the SDCC!

I’m just not sure what all the hubbub is about…bub.

It’s not exactly the first time that DC has rebooted the DCU, chucking decades of back story and cannon.

Anyone here remember “Crisis On Infinite Earths” from way back in 1985? COIE was a 12 issue mini-series that essentially wiped out all of the DC continuity that had been built up since 1958 and the introduction of The Flash in Showcase #4.

And it was not a BAD thing.

Over the years DC had built up a convoluted and intricate continuity. So much so that, in order to hold it all, they had to create a multiverse of alternate earth’s to explain all of the inconsistencies that had built up over decades of story telling and editorial changes.

For long time readers this lush and textured universe was easy to understand and navigate. It was, however very off putting to new readers. It was just not possible to jump into a mainstream DC title in 1983 and “get” all the nuances and subtleties that had been built up in the various characters. Marvel, which was much younger simply did not have that problem…yet.

The solution that DC comics came up with was to wipe the slate clean and start all over. This was done in the dimension sweeping Crisis on Infinite Earths.

All of the alternate realities were wiped clean. Extraneous characters were done away with (including my beloved Superpets! *sniff!*). Iconic characters such as Barry Allen and Kara-Zor-El were killed off. When the dust settled there was just a single earth and a single DC Universe. Superman was once again the SOLE survivor of the doomed Planet Krypton, there was no Justice Society, No Golden Age Superman or Batman…no SUPERBOY!
At the time that COIE hit the stands a lot of fans were pretty upset about this. (sound familiar) They were SURE that the DC editors had betrayed their loyal readers. Many threatened to jump ship!

But a funny thing happened. The books were suddenly fresh and new approaches were actually GOOD. It wasn’t too long before fans forgot all about the Pre-Crisis DCU. Old timers like me still remembered the stories but the NEW DCU had been embraced by the fans. Sure, we still missed Barry and Supergirl, and Barbara would wind up as Oracle, but the stories were good and the DCU continued to turn.

Over the years many of the story elements that had been done away with returned. Even Krypto came back! Supergirl returned, The Justice Society did too, and all of a sudden we are 30 years removed from the last reboot.

In short we have reached a Flashpoint.

It’s time to start again.

What fun!

Comics should always belong to the younger generation of fans coming in, just as they belonged to all us “old timers” whether we came in during the Golden Age, Silver or Bronze ages…even the “modern age”. Maybe we will come to call this new generation of comics “the Diamond Age”.

And we can ALWAYS go back and enjoy all of the great stories that came before. They are no less valid or “real” they are stories. And good stories, like old friends can be visited again and again.

So I for one plan to give DC a chance, even if they did rob Superman of his underpants.

That’s 30!


Oh and here's a treat! The trailer from DC Animated's newest release. Coming this fall...

Batman Year 1!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Upcoming Events!


Here it is, the BIG ONE! Everyone's been waiting for this movie and it's certain to be the big blockbuster superhero movie of the summer. Bigger than Thor and Green Lantern combined, I'm sure of it! It all goes down on Thursday, July 21st, starting at 9pm. Grab your ticket to the midnight showing and head down to the store for some snacks, drinks and a super special sale where you can save anywhere from 15% - 70% off everything in the store! We're expecting it to be pretty packed so get here early!


This will be taking place on Friday, July 15th and will be a $25 sealed tournament. It starts at 4pm and like the pre-release there will be special release promos specific for that day. This day we'll also have plenty of merchandise for the new set including booster packs, sealed boxes, intro packs and fat packs. It's like Magic Christmas!


Hit the bins! We'll be ending the month of July in style with a big bad Back Issue Sale! It will start on Monday, July 25th and run until Sunday, July 31st. Here's the deal, every day that goes by the more of a discount you'll get. We'll start with a 10% discount on Monday and increase it 10% every day until we culminate with 70% off all back issues on Sunday, July 31st! For anyone who might be confused:

Monday, July 25th - 10% off all back issues!
Tuesday, July 26th - 20% off all back issues!
Wednesday, July 27th - 30% off all back issues!
Thursday, July 28th - 40% off all back issues!
Friday, July 29th - 50% off all back issues!
Saturday, July 30th - 60% off all back issues!
Sunday, July 31st - 70% off all back issues!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Upcoming Events!


On Sunday, July 10th we will be holding another Customer Appreciation Sale because we love you! There are a couple of different ways to save and you have an opportunity to get a bigger discount just for doing something insanely simple. So, everyone gets a 20% discount off everything in the store just for showing up! There's much more though:

Some of you may know about our other business - helping people save money on their gas and electric bills. Come in, bring your utility bills and allow us to show you how you can save money on your bills. It's real easy! If you bring in one of your utility bills (either gas or electric) you'll receive 25% off everything! But, bring in both your gas and electric utility bills and you'll receive an additional 10% off for a total of 30% off everything in the store!

BUT, there's even more! If you decide to become a customer (it's absolutely free and you're guaranteed to save money on your monthly bills, we'll tell you how), you'll get even more of a discount on Sunday. Become a customer with either your gas or electric and receive 35% off everything in the store or with both your gas and electric and get 40% off everything in the store!

There's even more added incentive for bringing in your bills. Everyone who brings them in and becomes a customer will receive a ticket which will guarantee you a prize of either a $40 gas rebate card, 3-day/2-night getaway, free Companion airfare ticket, 7-night vacation or an Apple I-Pad! Winners will be announced on the spot.

So, here it is again: Just for coming in you get 20% off everything in store. Bring in one of your utility bills (either gas or electric) and receive 25% off everything in the store. Bring in both and receive 30% off . Become a customer with either your gas or electric and receive 35% off everything in the store or sign up with both and receive 40% off everything in the store plus a ticket to win one of the prizes mentioned above!


Potter fans unite! The long awaited conclusion of the Harry Potter series is finally here - Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows Part 2! Grab your ticket to the midnight showing (or one of the many late night showings they have) on Thursday, July 14th (technically Friday morning) and then come down to the store starting at 9pm for a special Potter-inspired tailgate party! We'll have food, drinks and a special sale where everything in the store will be between 15% - 70% off! At our last tailgate party everything in the store was 45% off!

Feel free to bring your own booze if you like, we do tend to run out. Also, many showings of this movie have already sold out so we suggest you get your tickets ASAP! See you there!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Deconstructing Captain America

It is only a few weeks until Captain America will make his major motion picture debut! I know there was an earlier movie, a TV pilot, The Merry Marching Marvel Society and various animated appearances but THIS is the big time. An “A” list picture with all the fanfare that goes with it.

I’ve enjoyed Thor and Green Lantern this summer but THIS is the one I’ve been waiting for. My hope is that Cap will have the sort of debut that Superman had back when Chris Reeve first authored the part.

The early buzz is certainly encouraging, and every trailer I’ve seen sucks you right in!

As is the case with every major Superhero movie, interest in the character goes up as we get closer to the release date. With that in mind I thought I might take a swing at deconstructing captain America for those of you who may be new to the character. Bear in mind that this is only MY take on Cap.
To understand the essential core of the character it is important to have a feel for the time in which he was created. Cap first saw print as we were about to enter WWII.

It is easy today to overlook the fact that, in 1941, there was a real sense that The Third Reich would indeed last 1000 years. Hitler’s Germany had already conquered most of Europe, forged an alliance with Imperial Japan and a non-aggression pact (that they would eventually violate) with Russia. There seemed to be little that would even slow down the Nazi juggernaut. It was this threat that slowly pulled the United States from it Post WWI isolationist stance and transformed us into a player on the world stage. Part of that transformation required…symbols. Iconography for people to rally around. Patriotic songs, films, frankly racist imagery portraying the enemy as sub human and close censorship were all vital parts of that propaganda machine.

What better iconography could there be than a red, white and blue avenger decked out in the American Flag, socking the Nazi paper hanger square on the jaw? Thus was born Captain America. At his core Cap is the idolized image of America’s ultimate protector.

In all the years since his debut that essential fact has not changed.

Cap remains the protector of the American Idea.

HOW he protects it has changed many times.

During WWII he was the physical antithesis of the Nazi Ubermensch.

In the early 50’s it was Captain America “Commie Hunter”

During the Viet Nam Era it was Captain America as a man out of his time still fighting the good fight.

POST Viet Nam Cap articulates for the first time that he is not the protector of any single administration, party or political belief. He is instead the protector of the core IDEA that the Founding Fathers based this country on…liberty for all people. This revelation comes at a time when, so disillusioned by the corruption in government, Cap drops his red white and blue trappings for the personality of Nomad.

Most recently, Cap has been out of uniform filling the shoes of Nick Fury but that has not felt right either to Cap or anyone else.

In the latest issue of Fear Itself, Cap dons his uniform again and is simply, Captain America protector of THE PEOPLE.

In all of his incarnations going back some seven decades Captain America has been the idolized icon of American strength and virtue. He has at times reflected the extreme jingoism that periodically sweeps any nation. At other times he has been a counter culture champion.

His very iconography, the American Flag, labels him to friends AND enemies of America so he is by definition polarizing.

All of these facets make Cap endlessly fascinating to read and I imagine, fascinating to create.

For all of these things though, it important to remember one thing…

Cap is the hero by which all other Marvel heroes are measured. He is the example.

Captain America….HERO.

That’s 30!