2009-12-30

Captain Catastrophe in the City of rejeX

Captain Catastrophe makes a brief cameo appearance in SupaNerd's "City of rejeX" series.

Will the team-killer be able to help SupaStar? You'll just have to find out!

2009-12-28

Samuraiko Strikes Again!

Michelle/Dark Respite/Samuraiko has done another great music video, proving once again that City of Heroes RULES over the hero competition!

2009-12-27

Kudos to the Guardians

Kudos goes to the Guardians of the Dawn for being featured on the main page of the City of Comic Creators Wikipedia.

If you haven't gotten a chance yet, be sure to visit the CCC website to visit the various other artists and check out the Compendium issues.

2009-12-24

Happy Holidays from the Chronicles

This time around it's the Guardians of the Dawn that get to give the Seasons Greetings.
(Click on the link and you'll be able to view the full-sized version - it makes for a nice wallpaper.)

May you get everything that you desire or deserve.

2009-12-23

Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight #5

Guardians of the Dawn Issue #5 is now online.


(Clicking on the image will download the file - PDF format only)

And for more on this issue, along with access to the special Wiki entry, visit the official Guardians of the Dawn website.

2009-12-20

Rikti Monkeys Cause Winter Chaos

The Rikti Monkeys, known scourges to the various City of Heroes universes, have decided to give a seasonal BAH HUMBUG by causing still more chaos to the universes designated "Justice", "Guardian", and "Virtue".

Although the all-mighty Developers have said they have fixed it, the Rikti troublemakers will no doubt try again. Simply because... they can.

"HA-HA! We have struck again!"
"So what do we do now?"
"Hey, how about some holiday Rikti songs?"
"I wanna do the BOOM-DE-YADA song!"
"Dude, Boom De Yada is not a holiday Rikti song."
"Yeah, but we were in the video!"
"No we weren't! Those were those normal monkeys. We're ENHANCED!"
"Yeah! We smell worse!"
"Dude, don't go there again..."
"Too late, dude!"
"Hey, you know something? It just occurred to me... Rikti don't celebrate the Holidays!"
"That's right! We don't!"
"What? You mean we don't get Santa or the presents or... anything?"
"No, dude, we just get your stinky Rikti chili farts!"
"Dude, I told you don't go there again."
"That's not fair! We want a Holiday too!"
"Yeah, this must be a Nemesis Plot!"
"Dude, everything is a Nemesis Plot."
"Hey, can we make 'Boom De Yada' our Holiday song since we don't have one?"
"Boom de Yada, Boom de Yada..."
"That's it, I'm getting some more Rikti chili!"
*PPPPPPTTTTHHH*
"Dude, that one's gonna leave a trail..."

2009-12-15

Winter Event 2009 AND FREE Character Transfers!

Happy Holidays from the City of Heroes!


And for once the Heroes and Villains have something to crow about this time of the year!

For starters the 2009 Winter Event has begun, and it starts with a couple of presents. Badges, fuzzy earmuffs, a present to give and a present for yourself. All the usual niceties from Winters not-long ago. The candy canes, the mystery gifts scattered all over Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, the Ski Chalet in Pocket D, saving Baby New Year from the red caps, the optional Halo package (only for those who can use auras, though), you can even chuck snowballs during this time!

This time around, though, you get someone different. Yes, the Winter Lord - the Giant Snow-Monster - will be back, but did you know he had a boss? Yes, if you defeat the Winter Lord, you and everyone in your group will then get to take on LORD WINTER!

Sound fun? Well enjoy it while you can because this festive event goes from December 15th 2009 to January 5th, 2010.

The second seasonal surprise from the all-mighty gods of Paragon City and the Rogue Isles is just as good.

FREE CHARACTER TRANSFERS!

No, this isn't a joke.

Let's suppose you have a hero in one server universe that you want to move to another one. Normally that would cost you some real-time money. But now for the rest of December and all through January of 2010, you can move that hero or villain to any other server FOR FREE.

There ARE some limitations to this. There is a cap to the number of times you can transfer a character, and they will lose access to all supergroup allegiances, so be very careful about this process.

This offer only lasts from December 15th, 2009 until January 31st, 2010, and then after that it will once again cost you some real-time monies.

So what are you waiting for?

Last one down the slopes is a melted Frostling!

CCC #4 is online

The City of Comic Creators (of which I am a recent member of) has just released its fourth Compendium issue.

Although none of my creations are in this issue, I did have some input in the cover design, so I hope you enjoy the material from my fellow creators.

2009-12-11

New "Boom De Yada" Video

The Discovery Channel discovered that people liked the "Boom De Yada" song, so they made a new one.

The guy who came up with the original CoH version of "Boom De Yada" video then created a new one to go with the new song.



Take THAT Champions!

2009-12-03

Battlerock X’s Omega Team Letter

On November 27th, 2009, the Omega Team Time Capsule was opened. Inside were letters and mementos left behind by the fifty heroes that volunteered to give their lives to end the Rikti invasion once and for all. Most were letters. Some left heirlooms and keepsakes. One left an insurance policy for his goldfish.

Of the fifty, so far only four survived. Ajax was left in a coma by the Rikti before he could make it through the portal. Glacia and Infernia survived and made back through a Rikti transport. Another was Battlerock X, also known as Colonel John Helix Battlerock, who was badly damaged in the attack and suffered from amnesia for five years before the shock of the 2007 Invasion restored some of his memories.

The following is the letter he wrote for the Time Capsule.


To my beautiful daughter Joan,

I’m sorry that I may have to break the promise I made to you. I know I promised to come back, that I wouldn’t be going through with the others, but sometimes things don’t work out the way we want to.

I know that even as I go into battle for what may be my last time, our family will go on. The spirits of our ancestors live on through me and through you. When I fight, I fight with the spirits of all that came before us, and should you choose to follow the same path, you will fight with my spirit.

I have been proud of the daughter you have been and I will continue to be proud of you as you grow, even if that pride will only be in spirit.

To my darling wife Brittany,

I would love to be there with you as you read this letter. To stand there with our daughter as we remember those who could not be there with you. But I fear that I may not be there with you after all.

We both know that this day could come. Your Longbow training and my years in the service tried to prepare us for this possibility, but I don’t know if any amount of training can prepare you for the actual loss.

I face my enemy knowing that you and our daughter will be safe. I go to war knowing that you will raise our daughter to follow us in the way you know best. You know what to do if I am not here for that time when Joan chooses to follow in my path. I have always known you are not comfortable with the path of the Battlerock Warrior, but once she becomes an adult it will be her choice to make, just like it was for me and for my father and all those before us. I just hope that you will be there for her when she needs it in whatever choice she makes just as you were for me when I needed it.

Even if I am not there with you in body, I will be there in spirit, watching over you both. You are my anchor, B. You always have been and I love you for it, and I hope you will keep our daughter anchored as well.

Love always,

John Battlerock

2009-11-24

A Mirror Dimly - Going Rogue Preview

Long before a certain Alaska governor decided to use it as her book title, "Going Rogue" was the name of the next major evolutionary step for the City of Heroes MMO.

Now there is a new teaser video...

Thanks as always to my friend Michelle/Samuraiko for taking the time to do this. Please visit her site to download the high-def version and see some of the other work she has done.

2009-11-18

Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight #4

The latest issue of "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" is online.


This issue deals with Captain Paragonna, the founder and leader of the Guardians, and it includes several changes not only in Paragon City but also in the comic series itself.

And don't forget you can check out the REST of the Comic series at the official Guardians of the Dawn website.

2009-11-13

New site for Guardians!

The Guardians of the Dawn now have their official website.

This is where you can find information regarding the group, their active roster AND view all of their issues.

Visit the official Guardians of the Dawn website here.

Don't worry, this is STILL the home for all "City of" news, but this page is more for the comic book series.

2009-11-12

Super Booster 4 sneaks in like a ninja

In like a thief and fresh from the Halloween Event and the advent of WALKING, City of Heroes and Paragon Studios have released Super Booster IV: Martial Arts, the latest add-on to City of Heroes.

This Super Booster contains several costume pieces designed around the martial arts theme. Robes, shoulder pieces, belts, pants, gloves, boots, helmets, masks, and even hairstyles for both men (topknots) and women (braids).

There are also two new animations... one for a Bruce Lee-style "Bring It On" animation, and one for pushups! Yes you can show how good you are by spending your time doing pushups.

Oh, and let's not forget the ninja costume emotes for those who need to change outfits on the fly. We have the smoke bomb and the Ninja Leap.

In addition, the goodie treat for this Super Booster is a special travel poser called "Ninja Run".

Okay, it looks a little silly, but you can run FASTER and leap HIGHER than normal (not power-pool) travel powers.  And having used the animation on several "Guardians of the Dawn" characters, I can vouch for its effectiveness.

Not to bad for $9.95, but you HAVE to have "City of Heroes"/"City of Villains" to use it and you can only order it online through NCSoft like all of the other Super Booster programs.

 

Tactical File: Dealing with Sorcerers Solo


Tsoo Sorcerer

Group: Tsoo
Rank: Lieutenant

Powers:
Self-Teleport
Hurricane
Chill of the Night
Petrifying Gaze
Brawl
O2 Boost (heal)

Can be seen in:
Steel Canyon
Independence Port
Talos Island

If there is any one annoying criminal for a hero in Paragon City to fight in a solo situation, it has to be the Tsoo Sorcerer.

For starters, they’re cowards. They like to run when the focus is on them. We’re not talking running away like the Trolls run away, which means they give brave words and then run in the opposite direction. No, Sorcerers are teleporters. They don’t RUN, they teleport. And they will teleport repeatedly anytime they feel threatened. If you put yourself in chase mode to follow them, then you better have some kind of flight power active as well, because they will take you everywhere they can teleport to. Rooftops, trees, ledges, power lines… if they can land their feet on it, they’ll get there.

Second, Sorcerers usually work in groups. So if you focus all your attention on them, their friends will just wear you down. Or the Sorcerer will teleport away and coax you into another group of criminals, so now you’ve just aggravated them as well.

Third, Sorcerers are healers. That means that if you decide to ignore the gutless coward and focus on the ones that WILL fight, then the Sorcerer will teleport back in and begin healing his friends, and they will repeat the process until you turn your attention back on him and then he’ll teleport away, and now you’re facing newly-recharged enemies.

Obviously that’s not all that a Sorcerer has in his arsenal. There’s “Chill of the Night” and “Petrifying Gaze” and his Hurricane powers, which are all designed to immobilize you and wear you down, but those are really adding insult to injury. Teleportation and healing that are the two major powers that make the Sorcerer the pain in the cape that he is.

Okay, so presuming you’re not on a team, you’re asked to take down a group of Tsoo and you inevitably encounter a Sorcerer amidst the bunch. What’s the best way to deal with him without getting yourself killed?

The Sorcerer has a few flaws. While he may be able to heal everyone else in the group, he can’t heal himself. Any damage he gets will only be healed the old-fashioned way… unless there’s another Sorcerer in the group that can heal him.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a blaster or a tanker or anyplace in between, attack the Sorcerer first. If you can’t bring him down in one or two shots, then you probably will see him teleport away. Let him leave. He won’t stay away for very long. Focus your attentions on the rest of the gang. Start attacking the other gang members.

Once the Sorcerer knows you’re not attacking him, then he will teleport back to heal the others. As soon as he does come back, take your attention off the others and put it right back on the Sorcerer, and keep pounding on him until he either teleports away again or else is defeated. Repeat this process for as long as is necessary until the Sorcerer goes down for the count.

If you defeat the other gang members, then the Sorcerer will decide to confront you one-on-one. In those situations, he won’t teleport in. He will instead come at you on foot. Your best bet if you’re a melee fighter (scrapper/tanker/brute) is to hit him with powers that will knock him off his feet and/or disorient him first. That will cut down on the chances he’ll be able to engage his close-quarters defensive powers. Just keep pressing forward and you’ll take him down.

There is a flaw with the Sorcerer’s teleportation that also works to your advantage. If you are attacking him while he is in the process of teleporting, you stand the chance of your blows still affecting him while he’s in transit. Plus his teleportation could fail, and instead of teleporting away from the area, he would instead end up either a few inches away from where he left or even knocked out on the ground.

Sorcerers are a pain to battle solo, but they can be managed as long as you remember that their strength rests in being the support member of the group. Take away that support capacity and you take away their advantage.

2009-11-10

Rikti Monkeys Strike AGAIN!

What the code gods giveth, the code gods have had to take away...

It seems the patch that gave us the WALK power has been causing more instability with the system, therefore the game has been rolled back YET AGAIN to the previous build.

In addition, because of the instability of the servers, especially those on the West Coast, the Halloween Event has been extended ONE MORE DAY.

Daylight will return to Paragon City and the Rogue Isles after Wednesday, November 11th 11:59 PM Pacific Time (2:59 AM Eastern Time on Novbember 12th).

Sorry guys, you should blame the Rikti Monkeys for this. They're really more dangerous than you know.



Update 11/12/09: Well I'm proud to inform you that the sun has returned to Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, and people can once again WALK.

So get back out there and start STRUTTING!

Holiday Treats come early!

The Halloween Event is finally over with, and there's something new added to the mix...


Yes, characters can now WALK!

I know that doesn't seem like a big thing for many people, but you have to understand that for those who engage in creative projects... movies and comic books... everyone runs around. They don't WALK. They couldn't walk!

Now they can.

That's big for someone like myself.

Of course now I have to re-shoot some of the scenes in Issue 4, but it'll be worth it.

A TASTE of Issue 4

This is the cover of Issue 4, which is still being worked on. You can see the LARGE version by clicking on the picture, complete with a butt-ugly watermark in the middle of it (sorry, have to protect it since it is part of my project).

You probably notice the CCC logo... I'm now a member of the City of Comic Creators, a group of Comic Book creators who are considered the best in fan-based comic books. If you go to their website you'll see various links to their comics... hopefully mine will be included shortly. But that also allows me to use the CCC logo with my works (plus have access to some really good fake ads).

Remember, this is just a preview. Wait until you see what's inside!

2009-11-07

"Guardians" Prequel story

In Issue #1 of "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight", I made reference to the text story called "The Guardian Exiles", which served as the basis for the three characters I focus on in the first three issues.

Well now that story has been completed and you can read how Galatea Powers, Ryder Lightning, and MidKnight X all found out their origins, and how a fourth Exile played a key role in it.

Read "The Guardian Exiles" here. (PDF format only.)

2009-11-04

Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight #3

Issue #3 of the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" comic book is now online.


(Clicking on the link will open the file. Sorry, PDF format only.)

This issue focuses on MidKnight X, the dark protector of Kings Row. Who is he? What drives him to do what he does? You'll find out here.

Plus, the much-anticipated meeting of the Powers is finally here! What happens when Lyon Powers meets up with Galatea Powers? Some choice words will certainly be said!

2009-10-29

Captain Catastrophe Changes The View!

When the editor of the "Ask Captain Catastrophe" series says that changes are afoot, then changes ARE afoot!

Tonight... and it IS night because this was done in the middle of the Halloween Event... Captain Catastrophe answers a very special email question, and does so with a very special trick that was only made available for heroes!



Plus, something smells funny. What is it? Well, you can probably guess what it is. Maybe it all of that Hamidon Goo he's had to clean up, but someone needs to introduce the Captain to a little invention called SOAP.

2009-10-28

"Going Rogue" Preview

In case you were wondering when "City of Heroes: Going Rogue" would be out and what it would be like, we finally have some answers.



And more information (the boring details) are here.

New comic book - part 2

You didn't think I was going to stop at just ONE comic book, did you?

"Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" Issue #2 is now online.


(Clicking on the image will take you to the comic itself. Sorry, it's in PDF format only.)

This issue focuses on Ryder Lightning, the second member of the so-called "Guardian Exiles". If you think you know who he is supposed to be, you might be in for a bit of a surprise.

Also the adventures of Lyon Powers continue as talks with Back Alley Brawler as well as deal with a group of untimely intruders.

Oh, and in case you missed it, check out the first issue.

2009-10-24

When Catastrophes Debate

So the attempt is made to come to some sort of understanding between Captain Catastrophe and Major Catastrophe. Unfortunately the intermediaries have a few issues that they have to square away themselves.

So what is that "last card" that the Major has left to play? You'll find out here!



Oh and don't worry, the game tips WILL be back in Episode 14.

2009-10-23

New Comic Book

There has been a lot of talk about heroes from the Justice Paraverse. Battlerock X and his associates, as well as the folks at LexieTech are all in the Justice Universe.

You've seen some videos from the Champion Universe featuring Captain Catastrophe and his brother and the folks in the "Noble Champions" supergroup. (The same Paraverse where the Paragon Pundit hails from.)

Well now there is a comic book for the heroes in the Guardian Paraverse.

"Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" is a new game-based comic book that deals with members of the supergroup known as the Guardians of the Dawn.



Each issue will focus on specific members of the Guardians, starting with the one that stands out the most... Galatea Powers.

Issue 2 will focus on Ryder Lightning and will explain how he and the rest of the "Guardian Exiles" arrived in the Guardian Paraverse. That should be available shortly.

There is a second story as well focusing on one of the newer members named Lyon Powers and why she has a beef with the busty blond bombshell from another world.

Halloween Event Extended

Something strange has happened to the Deadly Apocalypse that has been having some serious consequences to life in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. As a result the Halloween Event has been extended an extra week.

Blame it on the Rikti Monkeys, folks.

2009-10-22

Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review #18


Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review
#18: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

"Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” was released by Warner Brothers as a direct-to-video movie in 2009. It is the latest in a string of direct-to-video movies based on previous comic storylines. In this case, the first six issues of the “Superman/Batman” series, which was created in homage to the old “World’s Finest” series.

“Public Enemies” was adapted from Jeph Loeb’s six-part series by Stan Berkowitz, and directed by longtime DC Universe animator Bruce Timm. The movie reunites some of the DCU Animated’s best voice actors, as well as brings in a connection to the CW series “Smallville”, and the long-overdue animated debut of a certain fan-favorite character.

We start with a quick glimpse into a possible future. The United States is in a full-blown financial meltdown, even worse than it has been recently. Misery leads to anger, anger leads to rioting, rioting leads to martial law. And in the turmoil and talk of revolt, one man steps forward offering hope and change… and that man is…

LEX LUTHOR!

No, seriously. Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown) not only becomes a serious contender for the White House, but he wins. And as soon as he gets sworn in, he fixes the economy. Times are easier. The sun is shining brighter. And he also has a plan to deal with some of the other loose ends in society… namely the superheroes. To that end, he has recruited his own super-team consisting of Captain Atom (Xander Berkley from “24”), Katanna (Chiara Zanni), Black Lightning (LeVar Burton from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Major Force (Ricardo Chavira from “Desperate Housewives”), Starfire (Jennifer Hale), and… Power Girl (Allison Mack from “Smallville”).

Wait, you thought I would say “Supergirl”, right? I’ll get back to that one.

What’s missing from this group, though, are the “big guns”. Namely Superman (Tim Daly) and Batman (Kevin Conroy). Despite Captain Atom’s rather condescending recruiting effort, the Man of Steel isn’t buying the idea that Lex has either changed or that he’s really done some good as President. But soon President Luthor has a reason to reach out to Superman… in the form of a giant chunk of Kryptonite making its way to Earth. An asteroid so large it would destroy all life on the planet if it hits, and full of so much Kryptonite radiation that Superman would not be able to get near it much less try to divert or stop it, even if he wore lead armor.

Luthor has a plan to launch high-powered nuclear missiles at the asteroid, which he says would work because HE did all the calculations. But his experts, including his advisor Amanda Waller (CCH Pounder), want Superman involved “just in case”.

Superman agrees to meet with Luthor, and Luthor demands complete accommodation. He wants Superman to work FOR him, not just WITH him. And then Superman begins to weaken. He discovers that Luthor’s Secret Service bodyguard is really John Corben, a.k.a. Metallo (John C. McGinley), the cyborg with a Kryptonite heart. This leads to a battle in a graveyard, with Batman joining in. Metallo uses a sliver of Kryptonite broken off in the fight to create a bullet which he shoots into Superman’s chest. Batman tries to extract it, but not before Metallo buries them both in an open grave.

I won’t say what happens next, but sufficient to say they escape their shared grave and make their way to the Batcave. We are treated to a great conversation between the two about shared villains before arriving at the cave and being treated by Alfred (Alan Openheimer). Luthor then addresses the nation, declaring Superman unstable and a threat to the country because of the approaching Kryptonite. He puts a bounty of one billion dollars on Superman’s head. (Yes, that’s BILLION with a “B”.)

As you can imagine, just about every villain in the DC Universe big and small come out of the woodwork to claim that bounty, so we are treated to plenty of fighting before Captain Atom’s team comes in, and then we have still more fighting. And our “most wanted” get an ally, which leads to still MORE fighting; including bringing in two more iconic figures that can match Superman and Batman in brains and brawn.

Meanwhile Lex’s plan was a big failure… no big surprise there. But what is surprising is that he doesn’t seem to CARE that it failed. There’s a reason why, but I won’t spoil it for you. You can probably guess what it is.

Sadly, without giving away the ending, this is where the story starts to break down. Stopping the Kryptonite follows the story set in the comic series with a few twists. Dealing with President Luthor also TRIES to follow that story, but obviously fails, partly because the reasons in the comic series were a little more complicated. But even without the extraneous circumstances there was room to better resolve that subject without making it overly cheesy, which it was.

The vocal casting was OUTSTANDING. Bringing in Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Clancy Brown together for the first time in nine years was a great feat because it really made the banter between the characters stand out. Then you throw in Allison Mack, CCH Pounder, John C. McGinley, Ricardo Chavira, and LeVar Burton, and you end up with an incredible talent pool to work with.

And unfortunately, some of that talent is badly under-utilized. LeVar Burton has only ONE cognitive line in the whole movie outside of the usual fight-scene grunts. In the comics, Black Lightning is not only a superhero, but in his civilian guise as a schoolteacher he served as the Secretary of Education! I was hoping to catch some of that personality in the movie, even if for a minute, and there were opportunities to bring it in. Amanda Waller was the most formidable woman behind-the-scenes even before Luthor was President, but in the comics she wasn’t just an “advisor”, she was a member of Luthor’s cabinet. This is a woman that knows where all the closet skeletons are and she doesn’t play games! In the comics, the “unnamed general” would have been General Sam Lane, Secretary of Defense and father-in-law to Clark Kent. These are all elements that WOULD have fleshed out the story much better if the folks at DC gave them more time to use them.

The penultimate battle involving Superman, Batman, and their two “adversaries” was FAR shorter than it should have been, with far less banter. There is reference to a certain maneuver, but in the comics there was an explanation as to WHAT it is and to WHO reportedly invented it. That too could have been mentioned to flesh out the action and it wasn’t.

Sadly it appears that this video, like many others before it, have succumbed to the unseen requirement that EVERY made-for-video production for the DC Universe fit into Cartoon Network’s broadcast schedule, even though the Time Warner-owned cable channel has decided to go with live action and still more recycled anime. It is this requirement that has slashed otherwise potentially great stories into pieces. DCU people should just make the movie and let Cartoon Network decide for themselves how many of their shows they would have to pre-empt if they wish to air it.

The BIGGEST plus to this movie is the inclusion of Power Girl. For those who do not know, Power Girl was an alternate world’s version of Supergirl, only she never wore the colors and she was always more WOMAN than GIRL. (That’s why she is also very much a fan favorite as well as one of my favorites.) It was always hard to explain her in the DC Universe outside of the comics, especially since they needed to differentiate her from Supergirl. The writers got around this by just not saying who she is. They just put her in the movie and showed that she had SOME sort of connection to Superman, but that it was never explained. Casting Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan from “Smallville”) made the character sound mature and na├»ve without sounding like a ditz. The only downside was they made her face look TOO much like an anime character, which didn’t fit when you look at how they showed villainesses like Giganta, Shiva, and Silver Banshee. Other than that, she was essentially the fourth star of the film, and she rightly deserved to be there.

There are some canonical references that go unexplained in the movie, such as Superman’s funeral, Superman married to Lois Lane, the conversation about a villain named Magpie, which each do a great job fleshing out the friendship that Batman and Superman have. If they had spent as much time with the ending as they did with these little details during the first half of the movie, it would be an OUTSTANDING production.

In terms of heroes, you can’t find a better definition than with Superman and Batman. They do what is right, not just what is “expected” of them, and their inner-strength helps sway others to the cause.

If you read the comics, be prepared to do a LOT of face-planting, especially at the end. If you watched the Justice League animated series, you’ll be a little confused by some of the differences. But if you’re neither of these, you’ll probably enjoy ninety-percent of the movie and grit-and-grimace over the ending.

Capes:

It earned all five capes easily.

Cheese: It starts out with little cheese but unfortunately went into sharp cheddar (3) by the end.
Books: SOLID storyline at first, but how it wraps up brings it down from four books to two.

2009-10-18

2009 Halloween Event


Get ready, good-guys and bad, because the Halloween Event is soon upon us, and the Chronicles has the goods on the goodies.

First and foremost, expect the usual trick-or-treating to go on. Knock on any door you normally wouldn't be able to go into and you could either get a treat, or you can get a trick by Croatoa's nasties of witches, pumpkin monsters, vampires, or werewolves.

Now in addition to the infamous Zombie Apocalypse good-guys and bad will also have to deal with a brand NEW threat: THE DEADLY APOCALYPSE!

Here's what will happen:
Just like the Zombie Apocalypse, the Deadly Apocalypse will have Haunted Sigils that will appear in random places in the city/isle zone. (Don't worry, Vanguard will make sure your map will have the precise location as well as give you adequate warnings.) Each of the Haunted Sigils will be guarded by specific demonic forces. Take out the guards and the sigils and you'll get some SERIOUS rewards. You better work fast, though, and work in teams, because just like the Zombie Apocalypse, the creatures in the Deadly Apocalypse will continue to multiply the longer you have to deal with them.

Oh, and joining the ranks of the monsters this time around... THE ALL-MIGHTY KRAKEN!

But wait! There's more! Did I forget to mention that all of the usual goodies are back? Yes, the temporary costumes, the badges, and the toy costume pieces... which means if you get all four of the costume pieces you can find a certain witch and redeem them for an EXTRA COSTUME SLOT!

Oh, fair warning... the extra costume slot is apparently a one-time-only event per character. If your character has already used it previously, they will not be able to use it again!

Children of the night rejoice! You can kiss the sun good-bye on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 8:59 a.m. PST (11:59 a.m. EST) and not see it come up again until Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. PST (2:59 a.m. EST).

2009-10-11

Double XP Extended!

Good news! The great cosmic event known as "Double XP Weekend" coinciding with the Reactivation Event has been extended an extra day.

The period will now end on Monday, October 12, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific (2:59 a.m. Eastern Tuesday).

Enjoy the extra day!

2009-10-06

Another Intermission

So how does Major Catastrophe deal with failure?

Find out...

2009-09-30

Double XP AND Account Reactivation Weekend

A few weeks ago a Chronicle reader asked if there would be an Account Reactivation weekend for City of Heroes following the release of Issue 16.

Well now I can say... YES!

City of Heroes has announced their Double XP/Account Reactivation Weekend set from Thursday, October 8th (8:59 a.m. Pacific Time) to Sunday, October 11th (11:59 p.m. Pacific Time). All heroes and villains active during that time will receive DOUBLE their experience and influence/infamy than normal when going through missions or just dishing out comeuppances.

PLUS, any inactive accounts in good standing will ALSO have access to Paragon City and the Rogue Isles during that time. If you haven't been in the Paraverse in a while... maybe trudging in some OTHER cartoonish universe that shall go unmentioned... now is the time to see the changes made, including the power customization and super-sidekicking features. (Just remember to take the time needed to install the updated software.)

2009-09-17

i16 The REAL Video

My friend Michelle/Dark Respite/Samuraiko is back in the video business just in time to show off Issue 16!



SHE KNOWS how to promote an Issue release!

Now let's compare that to the "official" video...


It's splashy, but a little vague. Michelle still wins hands-down!

2009-09-16

And now ISSUE 16!

Issue 16: Power Spectrum is now LIVE.

On the onset, the changes made may seem to be minor, but Issue 16 gives the heroes and villains something that they have been wanting for YEARS now... the ability to customize the look of their powers!

Previously the only kind of customization was through invention enhancements, which only modified the attributes of the powers you had, not the power itself. But you were still locked into whatever kind of animation and colors were provided.

Issue 16 now gives players the ability to customize the look of the powers, not just in terms of color tinting but also (to some extent) the animation used in using those powers. You can customize EACH power individually, giving a unique look using shades and textures, or simply leave everything in default and tweak it all later. Plus some of the physical powers (super-strength, martial arts) have alternate animations, so you're not always kicking or punching.

This is possible thanks to the NEW Character Creator engine which not only includes the customization feature, but also the ability to skip through each stage of a creation set instead of having to progress from one stage to the next and then backtrack to change something.

Want to change a power? Just click back to the tab you want to change without losing any information. (Note: the tabs look different now than in the screen image above.)

The important thing to note here, though, is this customization is not just per character, but also PER COSTUME. That means that those with more than one costume slot can now modify EACH power and customize them as per their abilities.

For those of you who have been saving up those costume tokens, now's the time to use them!

Yes, you will be able to modify the look of your powers on the fly by visiting any tailor/facemaker, but it will still cost you.

That's not the ONLY thing that has changed here.

Powerset Proliferation

The cross-proliferation between hero and villain archetypes continues with the following new powers added to each archetype.

Plus the Power Pools (hero AND villain) have been balanced out, so those missing a fifth power now have one.

Sadly, the Epic archetypes get no love... again. Somewhere in the Paraverse a Kheldian hybrid and an Arachnos operative are both screaming in frustration.

Enhanced Difficulty Options

Now you can fine-tune how difficult you want your challenges to be. Want to take on a challenge for 8 all by yourself? Now you can.

Pet Persistence

If you have a "pet", they will now zone with you. This has been an annoying concept for masterminds as their lackeys kept on disappearing every time they changed zones. Now they WILL follow you to the gates of Hell.

Super-Sidekicking

Probably one of the better changes. No more mission level restrictions, no more restrictions on side-kicking or exemplars, and ALL members of a team are now at the level of the mission owner. Also, no more level restriction on hazard zones... EXCEPT for the PvP and Hamidon areas. Low-level heroes can now wander into the Hollows or Perez Park and get themselves killed quickly.

And finally...

E-Mail Options

Finally you can end the RMT Spam messages once and for all! You can adjust your message settings in the Options to only receive messages from friends and supergroup members, or to NOT accept emails at all. You can finally OPT OUT of emails!

Bear in mind that this is still PER-CHARACTER, so if you are an altaholic you will have to make this adjustment for every character you have.

The trick is to create a saved options file. Make the necessary adjustments in the options and then click "Save to file". This will create a text-based file that can be readily accessed. (Note: This will NOT include modifications to the window settings. Those are still individually modified.) Then when you log in with another character, just go to the options menu again and select "Load from file". The settings from that text file will then be applied to that character. Then click APPLY NOW to lock it in.

Quick Thoughts on Issue 16

On the onset, Issue 16 provides some much-needed Quality of Life changes to the game. Power customization is something that will take some getting used to. Fortunately, unlike the powersets themselves, you will NOT be locked into them, so you can change what you don't like. But they DO take some time to go through. Don't be in a rush to get everything you want. You CAN go back later on and tweak things.

You will find that the customization is limited. Some animations are included, but not all of them, and some color options are limited. I would really love to have a more of a "build-up" phase when it comes to the "sniper" powers. Also, I wish we could have made some changes to the mastermind pets. I would love to have an all-female mercenary team, or to change the robots used, or even to change the colors. Hopefully that kind customization will be in line for a future issue. I can see why they waited until they finished the creator engine to get this added in the first place.

The super-sidekicking mode is a great feature and really would be great given some of the unique teams my characters get involved in. Also kudos to the e-mail tweak. That should have been implemented a long time ago.

Sadly, no epic love, no 50's love, and no supergroup love. And that's really sad, because supergroup bases have really stagnated since they changed the prestige system and how base inventions are created. I would love to see A LOT more flexibility with base creation, including being able to subdivide room into multiple floors instead of having to artificially create them. I am getting tired of hearing from forum posters saying "dude, I talked with the developers as Blah-Blah-Blah-Con and they said that it just doesn't work that way"... well guess what? Power customization, email options, and super-sidekicking ALL once fell under the category of "it just doesn't work that way". If you can code it, IT CAN WORK THAT WAY!

Meantime, congrats to the developers for taking care of some of our serious wishlist items, and hopefully they will fix the bugs quickly so they can get to work on Issue 17.

2009-09-11

i16: SOON!

The following message came yesterday from Nivine, one of the administrators in the forum:



Greetings Players,

Issue 16 is getting very close, and with issue 16 you will be getting a free respec! I know many of you like to save your free respec's in case you need them so please keep in mind that they do not stack.

If you are holding onto a free respec, use it or lose it!


This usually means that the release of the next issue is imminent. Pre-loading has already taken place, and Issue 16 has been in open beta since Mid-August.

Important things to note:

  • Issue 16 IS NOT "GOING ROGUE"!!! CoHGR is a separate game expansion and will not be released for a few more months. (It is speculated to be mid-November.)

  • The free respec given will not change your costume, body type, origin, archetype, or primary/secondary powers. It will only allow you to shuffle your designated primary/secondary powers. A fire melee powerset will still be a fire melee powerset. You still need to see a special "surgeon" or "body specialist" to change your costume and/or body type.

  • As with previous releases, no doubt there will be some bug fixes and some instability. Don't be in a rush to play with everything.
Stay tuned to the Chronicles as more information becomes available.

2009-09-07

Episode 12: Aftermath

Did Major Catastrophe win? Did Captain Catastrophe do the unthinkable?



Once again, Episode 12 is too big to put on YouTube intact, so it has been broken up into two parts...

Episode 12a
Episode 12b

2009-09-05

Episode Intermission

Funny thing happened on the way to Episode 12...

Actually it's not so funny. It's called writer's block. You get caught in a rut over how to end something and you can't get out without taking a step back, which is what I did.

And it occured to me that some of the people that were really enjoying my YouTube videos were SILENT about the cliffhanger of Episode 11! So I wanted to get them to watch Epsiode 11 if they hadn't yet so when they get to Episode 12 (and I was committed to putting that on YouTube one way or another) they would understand what was going on.

That led me to this little Intermission...



Did Major Catastrophe REALLY win? Find out in Episode 12!

Episode 11 - YouTube version is BACK!

Just to let you know I have found a way to get Episode 11: Supergroup Bases onto YouTube.

Obviously since I have the FULL version still on MySpace, I won't copy it over here, but I will put links up. Also, if you have annotations, I do have a link button between the two parts of Episode 11 that connect them, so once you get to the end of the first part you can click to see the rest of it.

Episode 11a

Episode 11b

2009-08-29

More i16 goodness

How about a low-level character in the Rikti War Zone? Impossible? Not in the Testing Paraverse for Issue 16 beta!



Again, note the color changes. Illusion/Radiation have different colors, but here everything is purple to match the character.

2009-08-28

Power Customization demo

Someone was very helpful in doing a quick demo video of the color changes in the power customization feature of the forthcoming Issue 16, which is right now in Open Beta.

Watch more videos of CoH & CoV


Now if you could get your eyes off the sexy Mohawk girl's butt for a moment... I should point out that currently a Radiation/Energy combination would have much different colors. Blasts are normally blue-white. Radiation is green. Punches are yellow-white, with a glow, not with ringed auras.

Now here's the ACTUAL in-game demo of the creation process...



And on the villain side..


i16 in action against the 5th Column..


And that's all coming!

Thanks goes to KitsuneKnight for the customization videos and Zloth for the wegame demo.

2009-08-11

Catastrophe Versus Catastrophe!

The latest episode in the "Ask Captain Catastrophe" series is up... and it's bigger than YouTube could handle!!!

Ask Captain Catastrophe - Episode 11: Bases


Can Captain Catastrophe save the day? Wait... that doesn't sound right, does it?

2009-08-04

Instability Ahead! BLAME THE MONKEYS! (Updated)

(Update listed below)

Heads up heroes and villains!

There were some serious issues with two of the servers during this past weekend's Double XP activity. We're talking two universes in the Paraverse that are normally NOT heavily occupied.

So first the great gods of Paragon Studios cranked out a new patch that was so urgent they even shut down half the whole Paraverse EARLY.

Now they're making the unprecedented step of ROLLING IT BACK!

Why? Because the patches created new fatal flaws that are crashing the Paraverse.

Blame the Rikti Monkeys, folks. That's what the fatal error messages say. Seriously. It can't find Rikti Monkeys, so it's crashing everything.

"It's working! They will finally do our bidding! Bwahahahahahahaha!!"
"Dude, you need a shower."
"Shut up! That's the sweet smell of VICTORY you're getting a whiff of!"
"Smells more like Rikti Chili."
"Aren't we supposed to be ADVANCED?"
"The only thing that is advanced about him is his STENCH!"
"SHUT UP!"

Stay tuned for updates.


UPDATE 08/05: Paragon Studios have announced they have fixed the patch (and neutered the monkeys) and will try to re-employ the build at 8AM EST on 04/06.

UPDATE 08/09: The rebuilt patch has been installed. There will be two more fixes being put on on Monday (08/10) and Tuesday (08/11).

Captain Catastrophe retakes the show!

Paragon City's legendary team-killer tries to make up for lost time with this new episode in the "Ask Captain Catastrophe" series.

But once again, the handiwork of his brother can be seen.



Special guest appearances by Major Catastrophe, DATA director Rick Davies, Freedom Corps Field Agent Kim, and MangaBlader! Oh, and a quick word from Crey Industries as well.

2009-07-25

MAJOR Catastrophe Takes Over!

In the previous episode of "Ask Captain Catastrophe", we find out that the Captain has an older brother who is a resident of the Rogue Isles, the so-called "City of Villains".

Well MAJOR Catastrophe has officially taken over his brother's community service program with an introduction to life in the Rogue Isles and how it differs from Paragon City.



Plus, HOW DID the Major take over the program? You'll find out, as well as his connection to the Captain's punishment.

2009-07-16

Issue 16 news

Yes, Issue 15 just came out, but there's already hype over Issue 16, especially after two teaser pictures were released.

Well wait no more because this is the next issue:



And yes, color customization is just PART of the overall changes being made to the "City of" experience. The whole Character Creator engine is getting an overhaul, making it easier to modify elements without having to going back and losing everything you had.

That won't be the ONLY thing out there, but that will pretty much be the big one.

2009-07-15

She Blinded Me With SUPERSCIENCE!

"Nnnnn... I don't believe it!"

"There she goes again!"

"She tidied up and now I can't FIND anything!"

Thomas Dolby may be best known for that little 1980's musical ditty, but you don't have to live in the Home For Deranged Scientists to get funky with the latest in SUPERSCIENCE!

Paragon Studios has just released the third in the Super Booster expansion series. This one is all themed on SUPERSCIENCE!

Now you too can do all the things that super-geniuses and mad scientists do, or even be their mad creations, with all of the costume pieces that any good super-smart tinkerer of nature would wear. This includes things like masks, goggles, lab coats, gloves, galoshes, and yes for the Frank N. Stein in you, neck bolts.

Here are a few previews:

But wait! That's not all!

Then add to that some really neat SUPERSCIENCE emotes such as mixing chemicals and calculating equations. And there's also a few new Costume Change emotes to where you can change through drinking a serum, or shooting in chemicals.

Oh, so I know what you're thinking... you're wondering what is the USE of doing SUPERSCIENCE if you're stuck in the same bodytype all the time. Sure you can bulk up and bulk down, but size, height, and even gender are still locked in. Right?

Not any more!

As with all of the SuperBooster packs, there is always that ONE element that makes it worth the purchase price, and this is it. With SuperBooster III, you now have access to a whole new breed of Icon/Facemaker agents called Cosmetic Surgeons. These specialists will allow SB3 users to change their WHOLE body type, including height, body type, AND gender! Now you CAN have Dr. Jeckyl and Ms Hyde! You CAN be Banner and the Green Raging Supertroll! You CAN be Frank N. Stein AND his monster!

Have I sold you on it yet? Well if so, then what are you waiting for? Get your mad scientist butt over to the NCSoft store and BUY this expansion pack!

2009-07-08

Vanguard Alert!

The Vanguard have issued the following warning:

Intelligence reports indicate that the Rikti are preparing to launch another wave of attacks against Earth.

As with previous incursions, the Rikti will probably focus their attacks on Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, however, all cities should still be on full alert.

The focused invasions should occur at any time between 11am on July 17th and 11:59pm on July 19th.

All operatives in Paragon City and the Rogues Isles should monitor their Vanguard Emergency channels for warnings when the next incursion should take place in their area.

Always keep in mind the following:

  • Warnings will be issued via your system channel, giving you ample time to prepare for the attack should one approach your area.

  • You will be given two warnings. The first will give you five minutes notice. The second warning will alert you that the Rikti have invaded. This alert will be followed by air raid sirens.

  • Be sure to check the skies when an invasion is imminent in your area as it will turn a sickly brownish color as the Rikti mothership approaches. Paragon City residents will also notice that the War Walls will power down prior to invasion.

  • If you do not wish to fight, then your best bet would be to seek shelter inside a building or under overpasses and parking garages. All civilians, including those deemed hostile, will be doing the same.

  • If you choose to fight, it is always suggested to do so as part of a team. Teamwork allows you to share the benefits of every Rikti enemy defeated.

  • Be sure to load up on as many endurance inspirations as possible before combat. While healers can heal your wounds in combat, they cannot restore the endurance that is spent in combat, and you will get tired fast using your powers for the fight.

  • Under UN General Orders, all hospitals are required to provide immediate medical assistance free of charge for any hero or villain involved in combat with the Rikti in that area. You will still have to work off any outstanding hospital debt, but you will not incur new debt during a Rikti incursion in that area.

  • Rikti bomb ships are heavily shielded and are not only next-to-impossible to bring down but can go through the protective shields of the War Walls in Paragon City. If you venture too close to one of the bomb ships, you will be attacked. This includes if you are stationary on building ledges and high overpasses.

  • The Rikti use dimensional portals to drop not only bombs, but also teleport Rikti soldiers, automated drones, and scavenging Rikti monkeys.

  • Not all Rikti bombs detonate on impact. Some bombs are on a delayed timer that start when they impact on the ground. This is done to cause maximum damage from gawkers.

  • If you are near one such bomb, watch the color of the indicator light. If the indicator light shows red, RUN AWAY as fast as you can! DO NOT attempt to disarm a bomb unless you are powerful enough to do so, especially if the indicator light is red.

  • Vanguard will sound the all-clear once the Rikti mothership has cleared the area, but you will notice it first when the sky changes color back to normal. Those in Paragon City will also see the War Walls power up to full strength again.

Your assistance during these trying times will continue to help cut down on the damages and casualties as we strive to bring an end to this threat once and for all.

Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review #17


Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review
#17: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

The Superman movie series took a tremendous downturn starting with the overdose of cheese in “Superman II”. This followed with “Superman III” becoming nothing more than a Richard Pryor movie, and with the spin-off “Supergirl” suffering from bad writing and abysmal reviews. Even though father-and-son super-team of Alexander and Ilya Salikind as well as Superman star Christopher Reeve believed that the whole run was done with, SOMEONE still wanted there to be at least one more sequel. It was, after all, getting close to the fiftieth anniversary of Superman’s comic book debut. So Ilya Salikind sold the rights over to Cannon Films and action-film producers Golan & Globus, and they gave Reeve a sweetheart deal to wear the polyester tights and cape one last time.

“Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” was released by Cannon Films in 1987. It was directed by Sidney Furie, best know for the teen-friendly action movie “Iron Eagle”. It starred (for one last time) the remaining members of the Superman franchise, namely Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Marc McClure, Gene Hackman, and Jackie Cooper, along with Mariel Hemmingway, Sam Wanamaker, Jon Cryer, and Mark Pillow.

Fair warning… if you were thinking about spending some Netflix money on this, I’m going to do you a favor and spare you the effort.

The film starts with Superman (Reeve) saving a team of Soviet Cosmonauts after their ship was hit by a rogue satellite. He somehow can speak in airless space and have the Cosmonauts hear him. (This actually goes back to “Superman II”, so this is really an old story flaw.) Back on Earth, Superman changes to Clark Kent and visits the old Kent farm in Smallville. His adopted mother had long since died and Clark isn’t there to take care of the place, but he still refuses to sell it to anyone except an actual farmer. Once he’s by himself, he goes into the barn and pulls out the trap door that hides his original spaceship (going back to the first movie) and hears a recording from his birth mother Lara (instead of Jor-El, simply because Cannon Films did not want to pay to have Marlon Brando make a cameo) giving him one final gift… the ship’s energy module (which looks remarkably like the same glowing green crystal from the first two movies), which can only be used once and then the last piece of Krypton would be gone. He removes the crystal and makes the ship disintegrate (through a strange god-power he apparently has).

Meanwhile, legendary super-villain Lex Luthor (Hackman) shows his disdain for his fellow prisoners and announces that he has plans to recreate “life itself”. His mutual hate-fest, though, is cut short by the arrival of his dim-witted nephew Lenny (Cryer) in a tricked-out car designed to take out the prison guards to facilitate his escape.

Returning to Metropolis, Clark finds out that the Daily Planet has been taken over by a tabloid tycoon named David Warfield (Wanamaker), who quickly turns the Planet into something resembling the New York Post. The changes don’t sit well with Perry White (Cooper), nor is the fact that he now answers to Warfield and his daughter Lacy (Hemmingway), who has her own ideas of how the paper should look, as well as her sights on Clark, much to the protests of Lois Lane (Kidder).

When diplomatic relations between the US and the USSR begin to break down, a schoolchild named Jeremy writes a letter to Superman via the Daily Planet, asking him to help stop the threat of nuclear annihilation. Superman is torn by his desire to step in and his promise to Jor-El of not interfering with human history, causing his hesitation to result with the Daily Planet leading with the headline “Superman says Drop Dead to Kid”. This headline also causes Perry White to quit. Bye-bye Perry.

Superman seeks guidance at the Fortress of Solitude… wait, wasn’t that destroyed in “Superman II”? Anyway, the floating heads of the Kryptonian elders (all two of them) tell him that he should forget about the Earth and find a new home where war is forgotten. He then invites Lois over to his place, revealing to her in the lamest way possible that Clark Kent is Superman, and then takes her on a whirlwind tour of the world, complete with a resurrection of the first movie’s love theme, before flying her back to his apartment, whereby in her conversation she reveals that she now remembers EVERYTHING about their previous encounters. She gives him a pep talk, tells him that he’ll make the right decision because he always does it, and then he gives her the super-forget kiss (from the second movie) and she once again is back to her “Oh Clark, Poor Clark” self.

As Jimmy Olson (McClure) is giving Jeremy a tour, Superman appears and walks with Jeremy over to the United Nations building, with a whole group of spectators, and Lois and Lacy in tow (who just HAPPEN to have been driving in front of the UN building), where he addresses the delegates and announces he is a citizen of the Earth and that, effective immediately, he will rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Cue the momentous applause and the tears of joy from Lois.

We then get to see several minutes of missile launches from various submarines and mobile launch units. With each launch, Superman soars in and grabs each missile and collects them in a giant net in space. He then hammer-throws the collection into the sun in what is one of the WORST perspective animations this side of a Rob Liefeld comic.

As Superman is enacting his own disarmament policy, Lex is meeting with the arms dealers that are going out of business and brokers a deal with them. Using a strand of Superman’s hair, which he and Lenny stole from a museum with help of some extra-large bolt cutters, Lex has developed a device that will create a clone of Superman called the Nuclear Man, and he will destroy Superman. They agree to attach the device to one of their missiles and allows Lex (disguised as a four-star general) to personally launch it. Superman throws the missile into the sun and the device creates the Nuclear Man (played by Pillow, but voiced by Hackman). Nuclear Man arrives on Earth and Lex reveals that his creation has one obvious weakness in that it must always be in sunlight, or else he becomes useless… like the movie’s writers.

We spend several minutes playing super-speed tag team with Lois and Lacy on a double-date with Clark and Superman before Lex interrupts the gag and tells Superman that he’s going to destroy twenty stories of a nearby building. He really won’t (again, going back to the first movie) but it allows the two of them to chit-chat before Lex tells Nuclear Man to destroy Superman.

We then get several minutes of Superman and Nuclear Man fighting around the world. Nuclear Man destroys the Great Wall of China and Superman rebuilds it with but a stare of his god-glance power. Nuclear Man causes Mount Vesuvius to erupt and Superman caps it with the top of a nearby mountain. Nuclear Man rips the Statue of Liberty off its perch and throws it at the Daily Planet, and as Superman catches it and returns it to its place, Nuclear Man uses his extendable “death nails” to scratch Superman and make him mortal. Nuclear Man then punts Superman off the island, with his cape landing conveniently on Lady Liberty’s torch.

As the Daily Planet launches a new headline announcing Superman as being dead, Lois quits and storms out of the editor’s office with the cape that Warfield acquired “cheap”. She goes to see Clark, who is suffering from radiation sickness. She gives him a good-bye message for Superman and gives him the cape.

Lex has decided to turn on his new financiers after putting them back in the warmongering business and take over their empires. He’s confident that Nuclear Man will keep him in control of things.

That night, Superman uses that glowing green crystal as the voice of his dead mother tells him that once he uses it, he will be completely a child of Earth. (Hey, what about the Fortress? Or did he destroy it AGAIN?)

The next morning, Nuclear Man wakes up to a picture of Lacy Warfield on the front page of the Daily Planet and decides to go visit her. On his way to the Daily Planet, he encounters Superman, no longer looking like a refugee of “The Day After”. Nuclear Man uses his powers to throw several people into the air and cause destruction. Superman sets down the people with his mysterious god-glance power and says he’ll take Nuclear Man to see “the woman”. (Does Superman really know which “woman” he’s thinking of? Or does he think it’s Lois?) It’s a ruse, though, as Superman throws him into an elevator car (in the dark), then hauls it up to the moon, where a sunrise on the moon awakens Nuclear Man and we get a couple more minutes of a lunar battle until Nuclear Man plants Superman into the lunar surface and buries him. Then he flies back to Metropolis and kidnaps Lacy.

Superman pulls himself out from his makeshift grave, then moves the moon into a lunar eclipse. Lacy finds herself in outer space, somehow alive and able to breathe, and her kidnapper is without power. Superman rescues her, takes her back to Earth, then flies back to get the comatose Nuclear Man and drops him into a nuclear reactor, which gives the power plant a power surge and makes everything shine brighter.

Apparently Perry White used his away-time to line up some new financiers so he would become the majority shareholder and fires Warfield and his daughter, so Lois, Clark, and Jimmy are all back in business. (Wait, Jimmy quit too? When was this?) Superman then has a more somber press conference and announces that while he “tried” to make the world nuclear-free, he couldn’t really do it, but that the people of the world WOULD have peace someday, but only when they want it bad enough. Awww…. Then he captures Lenny and drops him off at Boys Town, then drops Lex off back at the rock quarry, where everyone there is pleased to have “Mozart” back. Superman explains how he managed to figure out Nuclear Man’s weakness and tells Lex that the world is where it always is… on the brink of being vaporized. Smile, fly off into a low orbit, and soar into the sunrise. Roll the credits.

There… once again I saved you some Netflix money.

Let me preface this scathing condemnation by saying that this is not THE WORST hero movie. “Batman and Robin” is certainly worse. There are some movies that I haven’t reviewed (yet) that are worse than “Superman IV”, including “Megaforce”, “Masters of the Universe”, and the 1990 movie “Captain America” (here’s a hint: rubber human ears). But it certainly was THE WORST of the whole Superman film series. In fact a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Bill Murray as Superman was better than this movie.

I feel sorry for the late Christopher Reeve for having been talked into playing Superman one last time, being given a sweetheart of a deal with Cannon Films, and then having the studio pull the rug out from under him at every opportunity. At least cape-killer Joel Schumacher and the suits at Warner Brothers both had the courage to say up front when making “Batman and Robin” that they were making a glorified Saturday Morning cartoon.

The overall theme of having Superman save the world from nuclear war is noble. And the scene of him addressing the United Nations General Assembly was absolutely the best part of the whole film. But the idea got lost once Lex Luthor and his comedic troupe came on the scene. Suddenly it wasn’t about nuclear war. It was about Nuclear Man. It was about Lex Luthor dressing up as a gaudy hetero Liberace playing with piles of money. It was even about lame-ass Valley Dud Lenny, who actually did more than bumbling Otis or sultry Eve Tessmacher ever could.

The transformation of the Daily Planet into the (Not New York) Daily Post and the introduction of David Warfield was meant to be a subtle reference not only to DC Comics character Morgan Edge, but also to News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch, who turned the real-life New York publication into his skin-free version of the British Sun, complete with tabloid headlines based loosely on reality and designed to illicit maximum attention. Wanamaker’s portrayal of the tycoon was one-dimensional… grumpy, frumpy, and bitter. Just like the writers wanted the character to be. To that end he did not fail.

Mariel Hemmingway’s Lacy Warfield seemed to be an alternate universe version of Lana Lang… same puppy-dog emotions, just with blonde hair, more money, and a willingness to show SLIGHTLY more skin. Her fixation over Clark Kent combined with Clark’s faux-comedic cluelessness and with a generous dose of reverse-sexual harassment to boot really made her character one-dimensional, and that was a shame given the actress and her film resume.

And I have to give special attention to the whole “world tour” scene with Superman and Lois Lane. If there was any scene that truly deserved to be on the cutting room floor it should have been THAT one. Why, why, why, why, WHY did the writers have Clark Kent reveal himself to Lois Lane, force her to remember EVERYTHING from the second film, and then take it all away again with that lame-ass super-amnesia kiss if it was all just to get her view of the whole nuclear war issue? If the writers wanted Superman to get Lois’ honest opinion, then all they needed to do was have them meet without the subterfuge.

The first “Superman” movie won an Oscar for best special effects. Ten years later, Cannon Films defecated on that Oscar with their not-special effects. Their bargain-basement effects resulted in massive green screen failures, absolutely unrealistic concepts (like Lacy Warfield surviving deep space in a skirt and jacket), and giving Superman a special “god-gaze” power instead of using his KNOWN abilities like super-speed.

I’m not going to end this with a lame reference to the title of the film. Rather I will end with this observation: Superman’s last line of “I’ll see you in twenty” was almost prophetic... because it would be just shy of twenty years before the next film would come along, and thankfully make you forget all about this one.

But that is for another review…

Capes: Only one out of five capes, and that was for the UN speech.
Cheese: Full-blown Limburger (5) cheese with a radioactive chaser to boot.
Books: Just one book out of five. An extremely weak story strung together by a few concepts, a lame attempt at camp, and a desire to link everything to the previous three films minus Richard Pryor.