No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard #14

Welp, the whole Marvel universe is coming to an end. Again. You know, as usual, thanks to yet another over-arching Marvel tie-in event called Secret Wars that Loki: Agent of Asgard has been awkwardly shoehorned into. To be honest, I have only the most general idea of what is going on in the rest of this tie-in, because like most people I can’t be bothered to read dozens of other series in conjunction with this one, but suffice to say that the world is ending. This marks the fourth such multi-series tie-in in just fourteen issues of Agent of Asgard, which leaves very little room for the actual title character of the series to develop while ey is busy playing backup to everyone else’s central plotlines.

Then again, there is the issue of whether or not the title character even is the same title character that we started the series with. The awkward young Loki we have come to know (and love?) has now been remade yet again into the bedraggled, slightly sickly-looking “God of Stories” who seems to have inherited only the vaguest impressions of young Loki’s memories.

This was the only panel that mattered, tbh.

This was the only panel that mattered, tbh.

Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: Water and Earth by ssstrychnine

mad max furiosaIt’s probably bad form to write a post reccing a fanfic from something that you haven’t written the actual review of yet. To that I say: I do what I want. Tomorrow you’ll get a bona fide Mad Max: Fury Road review from me, but today, I’ve got a delightful Furiosa-centric fic for your reading pleasure.

When Furiosa is named Imperator and given the War Rig to drive, she does not feel anything. It growls under hands. She paints her face in engine grease and she drives like a demon, but her dreams are empty, and the green place does not exist. She does not see the Wives anymore, she avoids them because Angharad still looks at her like she has the answer. She avoids them because they are too much like the many mothers from her childhood. Women who she had loved and who had loved her.

Angharad tells the Wives that they are not things and Furiosa beats her fist bloody against a wall because it’s too dangerous. These girls will get themselves killed with things like hope and things like freedom. Furiosa is calm water, but Angharad bandages her split knuckles with a strip from her dress, and looks at her like she knows every truth.

When Angharad becomes pregnant, she comes to Furiosa with a plan.

Continue reading

Kickstarters, Gaming, and Diversity: Have We Really Come a Long Way?

Heading into the E3 season, I believe there’s one thing, one motto that the gaming community has made abundantly clear this year: nostalgia sells. This isn’t anything new, of course: retro chic is a style that never goes out of fashion, and in the world of video games, nothing seems to get people’s boners raging more than good pixel art and overworld maps reminiscent of Super Mario World. Despite the truth in this statement, large name developers are continuing to push the graphical limits of these current gen systems, doing bigger and more modern things with these shiny new graphical capabilities. As they should, honestly. Retro-styled games and more modern looking games don’t have to stand directly opposed to each other, but with current developments, it does feel like that’s the precedent being set, as none of these recently popular retro games seem to have been created with the blessings of the larger distributors. In fact, in some cases these retro games have circumvented the need for these distributors entirely. How is this possible? Well… Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is full of terrible start-ups, but when placed against mainstream devs, the gaming platform as a whole benefits from this—if a Kickstarter idea is terrible, it probably won’t be funded; if a proposal for an AAA title sounds completely underwhelming, the game is still more than likely going to be released. And while big name game devs are more than capable of putting out beautiful, fun games, Kickstarter is proving to be the place to go when an indie team has an idea, and gaining a reputation for creating beautiful things, such as Shovel Knight.

Foe once, everything isn't terrible.

For once, everything isn’t terrible.

This year—and partly last year too—has seen the emergence of a somewhat new trend: Kickstarter isn’t just a place for indie developers anymore, it’s also a place for larger names that you may have grown up with. With some dumbass business decisions (looking at you, Konami)  and falling-outs, many developers have taken to Kickstarter to put out the games they weren’t able to put out underneath their old employers, those big name companies. In most cases, this means heading back into what they were known best for, perhaps inadvertently hitting that nostalgia button. This is all well and good, but looking at two Kickstarters that fall under this trend, I’m noticing something worrying: these developers aren’t necessarily taking full advantage of the opportunity given to them. What I’m saying is that if your project isn’t constrained by what some higher up is telling you, then nothing is stopping you from making your games more diverse. Except yourself.

Continue reading

Throwback Thursdays: Pharaoh + Cleopatra

Thanks to stories like Stargate SG-1 and The Prince of Egypt, I was obsessed with Ancient Egypt as a child. I loved the pharaohs, I loved the pyramids, and I loved getting my hands on anything that has to do with mummies or hieroglyphics. This obsession was also the main reason I first got into other shows like Yu-Gi-Oh. Ancient Egypt sparked my love for a lot of fandoms—and hey, it was also the only thing that made me even mildly look forward to history class as a child.

pharaoh-official-expansion-cleopatra-screenshot-1So when the PC game Pharaoh was released in 1999, I scooped it up as quickly as possible. I loved every moment of it—but sadly, being a 1999 game, it stopped working on my computer right around the time I got Windows Vista. Now that I’m on Windows 8, it had been years since Pharaoh graced my computer screen and I had no hope of playing it again. I became even more dejected after I visited the Chicago Field museum a few months ago and spent a couple hours in their Ancient Egypt exhibit. The experience left me wanting for more. I set out to find Pharaoh again, determined to make it work, and in my search, I discovered GOG—a gaming website I’m sure everyone in the world knew existed before I did.

But hey, it had both Pharaoh and its expansion Cleopatra on sale and compatible with Windows 8 for about ten dollars. I was set.

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Alice Grove

You may have heard of Questionable Content, a popular slice-of-life webcomic by Jeph Jacques. But today I’m not talking about Questionable Content. Jeph Jacques started a new webcomic last September called Alice Grove. And now that it’s far enough along that we can see what it’s actually about, I think it’s time to recommend it! Alice Grove is a sci-fi story involving humans that look and act like aliens, biotechnology, and of course, our protagonist, Alice the witch.

Mild spoilers below!

web crush wednesdays Continue reading

Trailer Tuesdays: Supergirl

I admit that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Supergirl. It’s probably because the first Supergirl comic I ever read featured Superman putting his poor cousin in an orphanage and Supergirl barely ever got to fight any real bad guys. But as DC rebooted the character, over time she was given much more to do and was stereotyped significantly less. She remembers more about Krypton than Superman does and is even more powerful than him. I mean, the girl can even kick Darkseid’s ass. She is a great character. It amazes me that it took this long to finally get a Supergirl TV show. And I have to say, the new trailer gives me a lot of confidence that the show is going to be awesome.

Continue reading

Return to Westeros: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” Review

If last week Game of Thrones was “heading into darker territory”, this week the show did a kick flip off the deep end into some terrible shit. Admittedly, I spent the first ten minutes trying to remember which house’s motto used the episode title “Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken” (it’s the Martells, by the way), and in all honestly I wish I could have spent the entire hour pondering that rather than actually watching the episode. I was tricked by some interesting aspects of the Arya storyline into paying attention, and all I got for it was me seriously debating whether or not to drop the series entirely.

Me after watching this episode. (via kellimarshall.net)

Me after watching this episode.
(via kellimarshall.net)

Spoilers and a content warning for rape under the cut.

Continue reading