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.

A Secret Place in Port Oakes

Shhh... don't tell anyone this...

There's a certain building in Port Oakes that you can go to that has all of these wonderful devices just out there for anyone to use. I can't say WHERE it is specifically, but if you look around the old fishing docks you should find it. (By the way, I'm told there's another one in St. Martial.)

There were quite a few rumors about this place and why all of this equipment was just abandoned.

Some people think that Longbow were getting ready to set up a major invasion and then scrubbed it. Some folks think that Black Scorpion was planning on escalating his conflicts with Captain Mako. There were even rumors of a planned uprising from several of the so-called "destined ones".

Either way, their loss is now the gain of anyone who knows where to find this building and want to use their facilities. It's certainly easier to get to than the University at Cap au Diable, and because they're a "secret", they're not that heavily used. So if you can find it, enjoy it while you can.

And just think... the heroes only get Easter-egg badges.



2009-07-07

Battlerock XI: Journal Entry 20090707

Entry by Battlerock Babe, 11th Generation Battlerock warrior

Positron’s Ally - FINALLY!

I keep on hearing about task force missions in Paragon City, and I’ve even been in a few of them. But until now I never really was able to take part in them.

Positron’s Task Force is supposed to the first and the hardest to complete. I can vouch for it being the hardest, because it just about takes FOREVER to complete.

The best advice I could give to any hero taking on Positron’s Task Force is to make sure you have NOTHING ELSE planned! Clear your day planner because it will take you HOURS to go from start to finish. This is not something that can be done quickly.

I was part of a 5-hero team, including a really great husband-and-wife duo. A blaster, two defenders, a scrapper, and yours truly, the sexiest butt-kicking tanker in the city. I was a level 16, but so were a few others and our abilities all got pared down to meet their level 15 requirement, but I think that was more of an asset for me, because I was still able to deal with the huge numbers, and as long as the healers did their bit, the scrapper 2018 and I were able to do ours.

We started out investigating a situation with the Vahzilok. Posi said they once tried to poison the city waters. I remember when they did that… we had to boil our tap water for a week afterwards, and I had to take my showers in at the gym! That wasn’t good when you’re a teenager trying to hide your naturally white hair with blonde dye. Even afterwards the water still smelled bad for a few months. So I certainly don’t want to have them try it again! I like my showers… even if I don’t have to dye my hair blonde anymore.

We had found some information about those flesh-hackers and one of their poisons but nothing concrete about what they were going to do with it. Meanwhile, Positron told us that the Circle of Thorns were attacking the Paragon City FEMA office. We head on over to Skyway City to mount a rescue. Once we rescued the first worker, one of our defenders escorted them to the front door. I had a funny feeling about the rescue, and sure enough, two minutes later our defender hit a MAJOR ambush of boss-level mages and was taken down. These guys were playing for keeps! I backtracked to his location, picked up the hostage, then we all hit the mages in full force. Once they were cleared, I escorted the hostage to safety. Those mages may have been able to take down a defender, but they were no match for the 11th Generation Battlerock Warrior!

Then Positron sent us to investigate something going on with the Clockwork. Those mechanical robots were very protective of something, but we didn’t know what it was.

It turns out that each of the groups had plans that involved the Paragon City Dam in Overbrook! The flesh-hackers wanted to poison the water supply again. The mystics were going to use the water as an elemental conduit for one of their mega-spells. The rust-jobs were going to just blow up the dam to flood Paragon City. And they all knew what they were going to do so they all decided to escalate their plans before the others could ruin them.

A triple-threat like that makes me glad we were on the case. Positron was assembling the Freedom Phalanx, but he knew they wouldn’t be able to make it in time. We headed over to the substation and took on all three groups ourselves. Since the Vahzilok, Clockwork, and the Circle were all battling each other first, we were able to jump on in and hit them quickly before they could organize against us. 2018 and I both hit their biggest bosses first. Once they fell, we worked on the lesser players. We found out that the Vahzilok were the ones prevailing. They were in position first and were getting ready to poison the water supply. I took out some of the poison pumps they installed then we moved on to the boss.

Cortex! I remember my dad talking about him. My dad said that he wanted to be a hero, but he ended being just another poser, like Frostfire. Couldn’t handle the burden, couldn’t control his powers, decided that having a cape means that anything goes. In fact he was one of the first renegade capes that my father helped to bring down. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my father with the morning paper and him telling me the responsibility of being a hero and not going too far.

Well Cortex went BEYOND “too far”. He’s now Dr. Vahzilok’s gopher. And he looks even worse than when I remember seeing him in the paper. He started in how he used to be a hero and now all he knows is Vahzilok. Usual flesh-hack mind-bull. I made sure that when we made our move he was the first one I took on, and I didn’t stop until I brought him down! And I did it with my own dig.

“By the way,” I told him, “my dad says hi… LOSER!”

Okay, maybe I enjoyed doing that too much.

We did the mop-up, took down the last of the Vahzilok, and then that was it. The Task Force was completed, and we all got our nifty little TF badges. I also remember what Positron told me afterwards.

“Your father would have been proud to see you in action,” he said. “Except for that whole ‘loser’ comment.”

If only he knew…


2009-07-02

Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review #16


Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review
#16: Supergirl
After the abysmal 1983 movie “Superman III”, father-and-son super-producers Alexander and Ilya Salikind decided to change things up a bit and bring Kal-El’s cousin Kara to the silver screen.
“Supergirl” was released by Tri-Star Pictures in 1984 after the hassles Warner Brothers executives gave the Salikinds for turning the Superman franchise into a Richard Pryor vehicle. (It could have been worse, though… they could have had Gene Wilder in with them, with Mel Brooks playing Perry White just for good measure.) The film was directed by French director Jeannot Szwarc, whose past works included “Jaws 2” and “Somewhere in Time”, which featured “Superman” actor Christopher Reeve. (He would later direct several episodes of the pseudo-Superman TV series “Smallville”.) The movie stars Faye Dunaway, Peter O’Toole, Mia Farrow, Brenda Vacarro, Simon Ward, Mark McClure, Maureen Teefy, Hart Bochner, and the then-debut of Helen Slater as the Maid of Might herself.
You can tell that Ilya was trying to recreate the same magic as the first “Superman” movie by the big names, casting a relative unknown for the one wearing the “S”, and also with the addition of McClure recreating his role of Jimmy Olson to connect this movie to the whole franchise. Reeve was supposed to appear as a cameo, but thankfully backed out, although he would appear as Superman on a poster.
We start in a weird community called “Argo City”, which exists in this equally weird trans-dimensional space powered by a device called the Omegahedron. It’s this device that supposedly saved Argo City when the planet Krypton exploded, although it doesn’t really explain why the city and its people bear no resemblance at all to the Krypton we know from “Superman” and “Superman II”.
Their great savior Zaltar (O’Toole) has foolishly taken the Omegahedron out of its safekeeping to demonstrate it to young Kara Zor-El (Slater). As he explains its power and how it has kept the people of Argo City safe for all these years, Kara mentions that they know all about her cousin Kal-El and how he has become this legend known as Superman, and how she would love to see him some day. Unfortunately, she’s distracted, and the thing she created with the Omegahedron shatters the nearby window, sucking out the Omegahedron into the great void. As Zaltar assumes responsibility for what happened, Kara tells her parents Zor-El and Alura (Ward and Farrow) that she must retrieve the Omegahedron herself. She takes the ship that will follow the Omegahedron to wherever it went… which by no coincidence is EARTH.
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…
Oh, wait, it doesn’t exist in this series…
On Earth, a struggling witch named Selene (Dunaway) is moping about with her lackey Bianca (Vacarro) when she encounters the strange device. She realizes that with it, she can perform real magic. So she takes off with the strange object that just literally fell out of the sky… at the same time we hear through the car radio that Superman has left the planet for some off-world emergency. Actually, given the number of coincidences that are about to happen in the course of this movie, we all probably wish we could leave the planet.
At some point during her travels, Kara decides to step out of the craft (but we don’t know why) and make her debut wearing the classic blue-and-red outfit of Supergirl. She didn’t start out wearing the outfit. We don’t know WHY she decided to wear it. We also don’t know why she arrived on the planet by flying OUT OF A LAKE when the Omegahedron arrived by falling out of the sky. We also find out that immediately after flying out of the lake that she is fully aware and experienced in using her super-powers, although she knows absolutely NOTHING about Earth culture, as witnessed by two truckers trying to attack her without recognizing the outfit she is wearing.
The remarkable string of coincidences continue as she ends up enrolling in a boarding school under the name “Linda Lee” and says she is the cousin of famed Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent. She is roomed with a girl named Lucy… as in Lucy LANE (Teefy), the younger sister to Daily Planet reporter LOIS LANE. She knows all about Superman, because of her sister, and also because of her boyfriend Jimmy… as in Jimmy OLSON (McClure), Superman’s pal and photographer for the Daily Planet. Will the streak of coincidences ever end? Not until the credits roll!
Turns out that Supergirl (as Linda) and Selene both like this guy Ethan (Bochner), although with Selene it’s more lust than like. Supergirl encounters Selene as the witch tries to rattle Ethan silly. This leads to a lakeside conversation between Supergirl and Ethan. Then as Selene uses the Omegahedron to enhance her power over the area, she sends Supergirl into an “eternal void”…which looks remarkably like the Phantom Zone. Well, actually IT IS the Phantom Zone, and we get the first-ever view of it from the inside. It’s not that impressive. It actually looks a lot like Dagobah in “The Empire Strikes Back” only with really bad lighting and no diminutive backward-talking teacher. Instead we have Zaltar, who is so O’drunk he could really be O’Pickled because he was thrown into the Phantom Zone for screwing up. Why couldn’t they have just kept him in Argo City and have him watch as everyone else suffocated, you ask? Well then the actor who plays Zaltar couldn’t show how well he plays an O’drunk.
Supergirl decides to play up to Zaltar’s drunken state by getting tipsy herself and then prodding him into revealing that the so-called “inescapable” Phantom Zone had a way out.
What? You mean that Zod, Ursa, and Non could have escaped all this time WITHOUT needing help from a thermonuclear bomb in space? And how could some flaky drunk know a flaw to the Phantom Zone that its creator JOR-EL didn’t apparently know of or else would have told his son? You remember Jor-El, don’t you? White hair, father of Kal-El of Krypton, looks like Marlon Brando… I guess I’m making too much sense here.
Anyway, Supergirl manages to escape from the “inescapable” Phantom Zone WITHOUT the need of a thermonuclear bomb in space. She encounters Selene one more time, whom at this point has pretty much become a two-bit empress, betraying everyone, including her friends and lackeys, just because of the power she now has. When Supergirl arrives, Selene merges with the power of the Omegahedron to become…. GALACTUS! Oh, wait, that’s twenty years (and a few reviews) too soon. She becomes this huge smoke creature that grabs Supergirl and twists her like a Stretch Armstrong doll. Our young heroine is about to give up, but then she hears the voice of Zaltar prodding her forward, and she forces herself to suck the smoke-filled monster into the same “endless void” (aka the Phantom Zone) that she just escaped from.
Supergirl gives a very awkward and lame good-bye to Lucy and Jimmy, and an even worse one to Ethan, and then with the Omegahedron in hand, she flies back INTO the lake and soars towards Argo City so it can come back to life and the people can be saved. Roll the credits.
There, I just saved you some Netflix money.
Where do I begin with this?
The number of coincidences with this movie are not just beyond belief… they are beyond comprehension. The cousin of Clark Kent being roomed up with the sister of Lois Lane, whose boyfriend is Jimmy Olson? I was waiting for the headmistress or even the half-witted boy-toy to be related to Perry White, and having Selene be related to Lex Luthor, and one of her cohorts being related to either Miss Teschmacher or Otis. Or maybe the school was funded by one of those companies owned by Ross Webster, the greedy millionaire that served as the villain to “Superman III”.
The level of super-stupidity is equally apparent in this movie. Kara Zor-El knows that Kal-El is both Superman and Clark Kent, she knows how to speak English, she knows all of the powers of her cousin, yet she doesn’t know what a brassiere is? The drunk headmistress and two redneck truck drivers don’t recognize the colors of Superman on a blond-haired girl, even though everyone knows that Superman just left the planet? And don’t get me started on the whole thing with the lake!
Sadly, the only things that the Salkinds did right were the casting and the Supergirl costume. Helen Slater played an excellent na├»ve and determined Supergirl. Unfortunately the movie suffered greatly by the one-two super-punch of cheese and bad writing. The only other redeeming factor was that it would NOT be the worst from the Superman series…with that particular distinction just a few years away.
Capes: Only two out of five capes. Supergirl bounces between noble and clueless. She seems to know what to do, but doesn’t have a good explanation how or why.
Cheese: Full-blown Limburger (5) cheese as super-stupidity runs amok!
Books: With all of those coincidences and bad writing, it should come as to no surprise that this movie can only squeeze out one book out of five, and that is being super-generous.

2009-07-01

Issue 15 The Video

Positron Hints At Issue 16

Positron, master developer for City of Heroes, sent the following message about the next issue in City of Heroes:

Issue 16 Teaser By Positron

So there has been some speculation on the boards about the content of Issue 16, and its relationship to the Going Rogue expansion. Due to some poor link naming in the initial Going Rogue email, many of you are under the mistaken impression that Issue 16 will be Going Rogue.

I am here to set the record straight. Issue 16 is NOT Going Rogue.

But I can give you guys a hint at what Issue 16 WILL be all about:

More info on Issue 16 will be coming in July!

As can be shown from the image, apparently Issue 16 will include color customization of powers, which is yet another long-requested feature.