Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Living Legends 18 Notes

The Lady Fairplay / Foulplay story moves forward and we get some of the first clues towards one of the over-arching story arcs of Living Legends. More on this in future chapters.

Charles Chandler, although a very health mid-eighty year old in this story, is another golden age hero. In his case, he used to use the classic name Crimebuster. A very strange character that was somewhere between standard superhero, pulp hero, and Archie-style comedy romance. Now he will be a key figure in the evolving conspiracy as it takes center stage over the next few chapters.

Yep, a baby for Isobel. More in future chapters.

Did you think the Atoman / Black Owl story was over? No, my friends, it has only just begun.

Next month: What happened to Blackout, Dr. Frost, and Ghost Woman?

Super-Powered Comics: Savage Dragon

Savage Dragon has been around for over a hundred and fifty issues, but in the last half dozen issues the book has hit a creative stride it hasn't seen for a few years. Creator/writer/artist/everything-else-fans-will-him-do Erik Larsen is producing some of the best issues of this book ever.

In the mid-140’s, Erik made an interesting decision by putting Dragon back on the Chicago police force, the same role he occupied for the first forty or so issues of the book. Meanwhile, he is dealing with being the parent to two children for the first time, both his adopted daughter Angel (who has massive super-strength inherited from her late mother Smasher) and Malcolm (his son with Rapture with similar powers to Dragon’s own). He has a new ally in the Golden Age Daredevil (a character I have used myself over in Living Legends) and a new enemy in the second generation Dart. Oh, and Overlord is back too.

None of this probably means much to you if you have never read Savage Dragon. To you I say, for shame. Erik Larsen has regularly produced one of the most rip-roaring, exciting series of comics ever (and in the process produced the second longest uninterrupted run by a single creator, behind only Dave Sim and Cerebus). If you are unfamiliar with all the goodness, you should immediately check out Savage Dragon Archives volume 1 for a low cost intro to the series.

Sadly, Savage Dragon is one of several great “indy” superhero books that is woefully under-ordered. Anyone willing to try a great comic book should check Dragon out. Erik Larsen and I will both thank you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Evil (but ever so fun distractions): Evony

One of my biggest problems with getting everything updated on this site is the ever present dangers of rather enjoyable distractions. Sure, wrestling sites and Super Mario Galaxy are bad enough, but the true evil comes from a site called Evony. You may have seen the ads for it: a bunch of half-naked women inviting you to come play with them. But despite the rather distasteful ad campaign hides a surprisingly entertaining game.

At first glance, the game is clearly a clone of Civilization. You start out with a nearly empty city and start to build a variety of different structures that increase both your abilities to gain resources or your ability to create and move soldiers and fortifications. You have a full week to build up these resources (some of which can take multiple hours on higher levels) before the game opens fully. Once that happens, you have become open to battle fully with all the other cities in the game.

This becomes more complicated with the concept of Alliances, which are loose affiliations of multiple players (up to 100 members). They exist in states of truce and hostility with dozens of other alliances, all of which can lead to some big confrontations between cities. It can get complicated, but that really is half the fun.

And just like the ads say, the game is “Free Forever”. If you wish, you can purchase coins which allow to in turn make in-game purchases. These seem rather expensive, but they do come with extra bonus packages. I have never acquired one; unlike a lot of “free” MMOs, Evony by no means requires you to get these. In fact, you get one free item a day thanks to a little device in the corner called the Wheel of Fortune. It is a blasted ugly wheel once activated, as it is a square. But it works to give you a continued supply of items on a daily basis.

So, yes, it is one of the many distractions I have in the day, though not nearly as time consuming as some. Even so, I don’t see myself giving up my cities any time soon. I have already invested a month in them, and they only get bigger and more excited. And the joy of never quite knowing what to expect with them makes the game all that much more interesting.

So if you ever decide to play yourself, be sure to look out for NikoXander on the World 9 server. I’ll probably be online.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All Apologies

As you may have noticed, Super-Powered Fiction Files has been down for a few days. No worries. I am working on several projects: getting caught up on my current serials at Metahuman Press, putting some letters on pages for the upcoming Arc comic project, working on the last few pages of the current (and next) Tales of the Living Legends strip.

Hopefully, we will be back up and running with new updates next week!

For now, ponder this:
fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Out For Vengeance 4 Notes

This chapter introduces us to two different plot threads that will play out in upcoming issues: the mystery of Nightbird and the new Rancor. I am not going to say anything else about either other than stay tuned!

I plan on using Mangle again fairly soon. I think I made an interesting villain with the character, but he feels somewhat flat in this chapter, as he really is only there to fill a plot point. We will get more from him later, I promise.

Not much else to say on this one. Next month, we will really start getting in to the meat of our tale as more of New Salem’s players come in to the spotlight.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Super-Powered Prose: Voracious by Alice Henderson

In pretty much every way, Voracious is a modern horror movie put in novel format. I do not mean that as a slap in the face (although I often do find modern horror some what repetitive), but instead as an upfront statement about what kind of book this novel is.

It warrants inclusion on this page for two major reasons. One, its protaganist, Madeline Keye, possesses the power of psychometry (or more technically, tactile postcognition). She can touch objects and read the pasts of those who contacted them also.

Secondly, the shape-changing monster that wants her dead was once human.

Set in Glacier National Park (a location Alice Henderson obviously did a lot of research on), the story revolves around Madeline as she is trying to get away from the hectic life of being a reluctant psychic. Unfortunately for her, she stumbles in to a new role as victim for an ancient shape-shifting beast that wants to eat her very soul.

For nearly three hundred pages, the chase is on, as Madeline and her new companion Noah (a man with his own mysterious past) seek to survive the monster’s assault while also trying to find a way to kill the beast.

The novel is a steady stream of action and suspense as Madeline fights off the advances of her pursuer again and again, all while unlocking the mystery of the monster’s identity.

Voracious is an entertaining if not overly dense page-turner. It flows from scene to scene with grace, but never leaves the reader feeling tired. That adds up to give the novel a solid Recommendation.