Thursday, June 29, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 84

In which I try (and fail) to exploit a glitch that can get you infinite Daedric arrows before showing off my home and relocating the Bard's College library to my library and visiting an Orcish stronghold.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 83

In which we return to Windhelm and set out to help the people as best we can, since we can't become a Thane here until the civil war is settled. This leads to us raiding a giant camp and heading off to a Forsaken Cave to help the local alchemist fulfill his life's dream.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Injustice 2 #12 - A Review

The capsule which carried Kara Zor-El from Krypton has arrived on Earth... but in this reality, on this Earth, it is a different caped figure who has recovered the teen who will be Supergirl. Now, as the newly awakened Kara copes with the trauma of having watched her world die, Teth-Adam - the dictator known as Black Adam - must repel the invasion of a neighboring country who would claim Kara and her ship for themselves.

What Injustice 2 #11 lacked in originality (being a basic retelling of Supergirl's origin story with a few more scenes expanding upon the House of El beforehand), this twelfth issue more than makes up for. Taylor's conceit of having Black Adam save Supergirl and tell her of her famous cousin is a brilliant one. I must balk somewhat at Adam describing Wonder Woman as Superman's love (I don't believe their relationship ever became a mutually romantic one in the original comics or game) but that may be presumption on Adam's part rather than the truth of things.

I wish Mike S. Miller's artwork was entirely the equal of the story this time around. Miller's artwork isn't bad and he does present some truly breathtaking visuals, such as the page above which ironically depicts Black Adam as an angelic figure. Unfortunately, several pages seem severely under-inked and some of of the facial expressions just look odd.

The Final Analysis: 7 out of 10. A serviceable issue, but not without some minor flaws.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 82

In which we Just Say No to Skooma and try to stem the drug trade in Riften to win the Jarl's favor.... just in time for half of Riften to be killed by a mid-day vampire attack.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 81

In which we find that we stopped JUST before the end of the last dungeon last time and set off to find the legendary Aetherium Forge!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 80

In which our quest for the shards leads us to a dungeon where if the bandits and the Falmer don't kill you, the mechanized booby traps and Dweemer constructs will. Good thing I'm a master thief...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 79

In which we go off on a quest for the shards of the Aetherium Amulet and I do a lot of rock climbing.

Rock climbing, Joel. Rock climbing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 78

In which we exploit a bottle-neck in the dungeon to create a "Conga Line of Death" as we continue to search a bandit den for a book. Oh, for a decent public library that the people could find the books they need and not send their hero into strange holes in the ground looking for them!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 77

In which we purchase another house we'll never live in and become Thane of yet another hold.  And then, after the first minute, we return to Riften to repeat the process again. We'll also fight a dragon and ponder a zen question - how can we clear a bandit camp that's already been cleared?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 76

In which the Jarl of Markarth sends us on a quest to retrieve his ancestral shield. But first we're going to loot a gold mine and kill a lot more Forsworn. Because 90% of the quests in Markarth involve killing Forsworn.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Flash #24 - A Review

When the self-cloning Multiplex crashes Barry Allen's surprise birthday party, it falls to The Flash and a visiting Hal Jordan (a.k.a. The Green Lantern) to clean up the mess. Unfortunately, that leaves Iris and Wally West unprotected when another unexpected guest shows up. But how is The Reverse Flash still alive? And what does he want with the two of them?

The artwork is definitely the weakest aspect of The Flash #24. Specifically, the pages penciled by Carmine Di Giandomenico. There's been a rough wildness to Di Giandomenico's work in past issues that I thought fitting for depicting speedsters, with random squiggles suggesting continual motion even when at rest. Unfortunately this stylistic choice looks sloppy when paired with the more static figure of Iris West, who appears to be the only figure being drawn "correctly". The excellent pages by Pop Mahn in a more traditional style only add to this feeling that Di Giandomenico's art is sloppy rather than stylistic.

It's a shame because the story by Joshua Williamson is a good one. The mystery of just where (or when) this Reverse Flash came from is an intriguing one. The action scenes are well-written and there's a great buddy bonding moment between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen that reminds me of the better bits of Mark Waid's The Brave And The Bold.

The Final Analysis: 6 out of 10. The story is great but Carmine Di Giandomenico's stylistic choices look slap-dash when compared to Pop Mhan's pages in the same issue.

Detective Comics #958 - A Review

Jean Paul Valley thought himself free of the Sacred Order of St. Dumas that trained him to be their perfect assassin but a visit from one of his former handlers confirms his worst fears about The Order's ultimate goals. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne plays a dangerous game trying to infiltrate the casino in The Penguin's new Iceberg Lounge.

While I've always had mixed feelings about Azrael as a character, I must say that James Tynion's handling of him here is masterful. It's still unclear exactly how much of Jean Paul Valley's background from the original Knightfall story arc in the 1990s  has been transplanted into the DC Rebirth reality but the script for this issue does a fine job of explaining the technical aspects of Azrael's history and abilities. And you have to love any story in the modern day that gives a cameo to Funky Flashman of all people at the high-rollers table in The Iceberg Lounge.

The artwork for this issue is equally above par. I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite creative team for this book but Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez and Brad Anderson are one of the best in the business. The pencils, inks and colors for this comic are perfection incarnate. And I want a poster of the final splash page!

The Final Analysis: 10 out of 10. If you haven't been reading Detective Comics, now is the time to start! Easily the best of the Batman books right now. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 75

In which - after showing off my newest house - we set off for Markarth to see what we must do for its fat and greasy citizens to become a Thane. (Surprise! It involves killing more Forsworn and dragons!)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 74

In which I lost count of what episode I was filming. But despite not being the 75th episode, this is still an amazing one, in which we go Back To School and finish enrolling at the College of Winterhold.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 73

In which, having raised our Block skill by 10 and having won The Staff of Corruption by backstabbing our companion, we start trying to win over the simple mining folk of Dawnstar that we may became a Thane of The Pale.

Injustice 2 #10 - A Review

Today, Batman has gathered the incoming American President and an association of the rich and idealistic to build a better world. Unfortunately, one of Batman's chosen councilors - genius inventor Ted Kord (a.k.a. The Blue Beetle) has been abducted by the power behind the new Suicide Squad.

No, I'm still not giving away the mystery identity of the new Big Bad of Injustice 2: The Comic. Such is my commitment to driving you to read this fantastic series.

As I've noted before, no experience with the video game itself is required. Writer Tom Taylor lays it all out for you. Indeed, this issue does a fantastic job of playing with our expectations and reintroduces a character I don't believe has been seen since the start of The New 52.

The artwork is equally fantastic. Bruno Redondo has a smooth, crisp style that is well-defined by Vincent Cifuntes' finishes. Red Lokus' colors provide the perfect tints and shades for every scene.

The only real flaw with this issue is that the scope of the action is largely muted, largely taking place off-panel. The final scene, however, is truly touching and seems to confirm a long-held fan theory. No, I'm not explaining that one either. ;)

The Final Analysis: 8 out of 10. It's a good issue, but it's a bit low on action.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 72

In which we travel to Dawnstar and start getting down to the bottom of the horrible nightmares the townsfolk are having. Surely the dark tower housing a Daedric temple to the Lord of Quagmire (giggity!) overlooking the city is not involved in some manner?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 71

In which we go inside the mystic realm within the Star of Azura that we may corrupt an already corrupt artifact for the purposes of trapping the souls of the wicked. And then we're off in search of The Helm of Winterhold.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 70

In which, after having seen it in the distance in our journeys through northeast Skyrim, we finally reach the Shrine of Azura. We are then charged with a scared quest to retrieve The Star of Azura.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 69

In which - after a sudden dragon attack and the even more sudden realization that Mjoll and I have become one of those couples that wear matching outfits - we explore Yngol Barrow. We then go on to explore a bit more and have out first encounter with a Dragon Priest.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Injustice 2 #9 - A Review

In the wake of Superman's Regime, Ted Kord hung up his costume and gave up being The Blue Beetle. Now, when he isn't busy inventing and running his company, he's training a new Blue Beetle - Jaime Reyes. Yet events are approaching that will require Ted to put on his tights once again.

Unsurprisingly, Injustice 2 continues to be a wonderful comic. The artwork by Bruno Redondo, Vicente Cifuentes and Rex Lokus continues to be picture perfect - pun very much intended with a BWA-HA-HA-HA in the bargain. And every Ted Kord fan who swore a blood oath of vengeance on those involved in writing Countdown To Infinite Crisis will likely swear an oath of fealty to Tom Taylor for the story presented in this issue.

The Final Analysis: 10 out of 10. A Must Read! 

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 68

In which we continue exploring the icy wastes of north-eastern Skyrim, fight a ton of evil wizards and bandits and run into a madwoman who wants to be blasted with The Wabbajack!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 67

In which, having turned in our latest batch of quests at The Thieves Guild, we head to Winterhold and parts eastward to seek a clue as to the lost legacy of the Dumner merchant we framed for theft.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 66

In which we make our way to the Rebel's Cairn  to discover the secrets within. Once that is accomplished, we fight some more Forsworn and investigate a haunted barrow to retrieve some ancient journals.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 65

In which we go off in search of The Red Eagle's Sword and fight our way through a ton of Forsworn.

Hey! That almost rhymes!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 64

In which we enroll at the College of Winterhold and blow off our first class to go search for a magic flute. Like you do when you're a freshman.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 63

In which we continue exploring the northern reaches of Skyrim, this time making for Hob's Fall Cave. We also discover the Shrine of Azura, slay a dragon on the second try. get a free horse and (finally) make our way to Winterhold.