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...