Monthly Archives: July 2009

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: New Screenshots from Comic-Con.

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Wow. On the day that Activision announced the inclusion of Jean Grey and Gambit in the upcoming Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 video game, they also released screenshots of the most amazing looking Iron Fist and Deadpool that a joystick has ever controlled.

Simply gorgeous.

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SDCC 2009 Is On, Comic-Con Craziness Ensues.

twilight

There was a major scuffle at the front of the line. The middle-aged women who had been waiting all night to demand that Edward produce a REAL birth certificate and prove that he was an American citizen… wait. Wrong wackos.

Seriously, get this. As security guards were trying to keep order amongst the faithful who had given a whole day of their life to see Twilight’s New Moon flashed first, some of the younger, smarter fans computed the error of their ways. The rule: You can save a space for three other people in line. The girls: “So, like, if one of those three people saves three more spaces, and, like, one of those saves three more…”

Security guard, pwnd.

Wanna see the coolest thing we have seen so far? You know the graphic novel called The Red Star? The one with Maya Antares, that hot Russian witch? The one they made into a video game? Check out the convention-exclusive shoes.

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Believe me, those will get broken in rather quickly this weekend.

Finally, a strange coincidence. Our beloved local heroes, the Florida Marlins baseball club, will actually be in the house. It seems their schedule smiled, and they have a day off just in time for Comiccon, while they are in town to play the Padres. Forget James Cameron, skip Tim Burton. Get me a Hanley Ramirez autograph if you get a chance. Thanks.

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Source Material: X-Babies Attack.

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I was surfing around to see if anyone had leaked the zombie variant cover of X-Babies #1 this morning, and I found a treasure. That is the full Adam Kubert art from the variant cover of Uncanny X-Men #461. Why so special? Let me explain.

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I had been working for Upper Deck nearly three years before I tiptoed the tikes into the arena. No one had ever mixed X-Babies and Vs. System before, and the new mutant power that had been given to the smaller characters with the X-Men team affiliation seemed fairly fertile. I named my deck “X-Babies Attack” and I wrote a full article about its strategy. The rest is history.

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One year later, my efforts bore the ultimate in cardboard fruit. The progeny of my presence was rewarded by the highest honor possible in a trading card gaming community. Upper Deck named a card after my creation, and printed it in the Marvel Evolution set. It’s a beautiful thing.

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X-Babies Go Zombie, Wolverine Appreciates Art, and Maybe More Squirrel Girl.

X-babies

That little bag of treats will be available from Marvel Comics in October. X-Babies in the flesh. And, in case that is not sweet enough for you, there will also be a Zombie Babies variant cover. Image not available, artist to be announced, thrill already engaged.

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Remember the Wolverine fine artist riffs? October sees them all in one place. Break out the wine and cheese. It’s a beautiful thing.

Deadpool #900 is a Giant-Sized tribute to the coolest walking hamburger patty of all time. As if he could try to hide it, some of the solicitation seems to say Squirrel Girl:

Wade bares his soul (and a lot more) to a shrink who’s got major squirrels in his own attic.

Could that mean more Doreen Green? Remains to be seen.

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Squirrel Girl Named “Coolest Character in the Marvel Universe” by Brian Michael Bendis.

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It’s true. Brian Michael Bendis has annointed Squirrel Girl to her rightful place. Doreen Green’s nutty alterego is “the coolest character in the Marvel Universe”.

But where did she come from? In all her appearances, Squirrel Girl has never shucked the shell of her origin story. We turn, therefore, to the magnificent dopes at TVtropes for a few theories. Some of them make perfect sense.

Squirrel Girl is the daughter of the Beyonder.

Her powers have not fully manifested themselves, but she unconsciously warps reality around herself. This allows the teenage girl to beat heavy hitters of the Marvel universe who should otherwise mop the floor with her.

These ideas are not official. They come from the Wild Mass Guess (WMG) page on TVtropes.org. That one hits home. Squirrel Girl doesn’t even know how powerful she is. She warps reality around herself naturally, without being conscious of what that means. Maybe she really is the daughter of the Beyonder.

Squirrel Girl is a student of Miaowara Tomokato, the Samurai Cat.

Tomokato was the original practitioner of the martial art based on the Dark Side of Absurdity, which allows the wielder to exercise effective omnipotence and beat any foe, however cosmic, but only if the audience is laughing. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Add in that Tomokato is himself a time-travelling and parallel-timeline-travelling anthropomorphic furry animal, and that his first candidate as his protege (his nephew Shiro) is a hideously unlikeable psychopathic brat, and its not unlikely that at sometime throughout his wanderings through all time and space, he met the utterly charming Doreen and decided that she was a more worthy successor to his school. (The character of Miaowara Tomokato is from the ‘Samurai Cat’ novels by Mark E. Rogers).Supporting this theory is the fact that among the very long list of fictional realities Samurai Cat has visited is Hyperborea, which as we all know is part of the ancient past of the Marvel Universe. So he is entirely capable of having travelled to Earth-616.

Wow, that one makes me smile. It would be a crossover like none we have ever seen, but it would be awful sweet; Squirrel Girl’s unlimited power comes from the ability to make the audience laugh. It includes the fourth wallery that she is known for, and it just might work.

Squirrel Girl’s using an infinite loop.

Obviously, she has Earthcraft, Squirrel’s Nest, and a Forest in play.

Oh my. Perhaps the most gut-busting Magic the Gathering reference of all time. Moments like this always make me glad to be alive. Disturbingly plausible, indeed.

Squirrel Girl’s secret is she’s a DC character trapped in the Marvel Universe.

She’s able to do everything she does witha happy-go-lucky outlook on life, is confident, well-adjusted and straightforward, and manages to do it all with no Angst. The excessive Angst typical of Marvel characters, such as Speedball becoming Penance, drives her crazy. If she was in the DC Universe, she’d be utterly unremarkable and typical.

This explains why she can’t die either. When Marvel and DC do a crossover, they aren’t allowed to kill each others characters. So, no matter how deep a hole Marvel puts Squirrel Girl in, she’s gonna get out because she’s a just a DC guest character.

Ummm, no. DC characters are happy-go-lucky? That better be snark, buddy. To quote Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins: “Don’t let’s get silly.”

Those are a  few of the theories surrounding Squirrel Girl’s origins. She has been officially named “the coolest character in the Marvel Universe” by Brian Michael Bendis. All we need now is that namesake miniseries mentioned by Joe Quesada and we will be set.

Make it so.

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Wood Rat Caught Chillin.

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That photograph was taken by Tom Dorsey. The Salina Journal published it. MSNBC displayed it on their Photos of the Week page. It was voted into first place by a landslide. We must agree. Never has a tree rodent been caught in such a relaxing pose.

Ahhh.

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Giant Squid Invade San Diego With Huge, Annoying Tentacles!

shumagorath

You may already know. Here at Full Body Transplant we have a thing for the tentacles. Now life imitates art. From Huffington Post, somebody call Hellboy!

SAN DIEGO – Jumbo flying squid — aggressive 5-foot-long sea monsters with razor-sharp beaks and toothy tentacles — have invaded the shallow waters off San Diego, spooking scuba divers and washing up dead on tourist-packed beaches.

The carnivorous calamari, which can grow up to 100 pounds, came up from the depths last week and swarms of them roughed up unsuspecting divers. Some divers report tentacles enveloping their masks and yanking at their cameras and gear.

Stories of too-close encounters with the alien-like cephalopods have chased many veteran divers out of the water and created a whirlwind of excitement among the rest, who are torn between their personal safety and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with the deep-sea giants.

The so-called Humboldt squid are native to the deep waters off Mexico, where they have been known to attack humans and are nicknamed “red devils” for their rust-red coloring and mean streak. Those who dive with them there chum the water with bait and sometimes get in a metal cage or wear chain mail to avoid being lashed by tentacles.

The squid hunt in schools of up to 1,200, can swim up to 15 mph and can skim over the water to escape predators.

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“I wouldn’t go into the water with them for the same reason I wouldn’t walk into a pride of lions on the Serengeti,” said Mike Bear, a local diver. “For all I know, I’m missing the experience of a lifetime.”

The squid are too deep to bother swimmers and surfers, but many longtime divers say they are staying out of the surf until the sea creatures clear out. Yet other divers, including Shanda Magill, couldn’t resist the chance to see the squid up close.

On a recent night, Magill watched in awe as a dozen squid with doleful, expressive eyes circled her group, tapping and patting the divers and gently bumping them before dashing away.

One especially large squid suspended itself motionless in the water about three feet away and peered at her closely, its eyes rolling, before it vanished into the black. A shimmering incandescence rippled along its body, almost as if it were communicating through its skin.

But the next night, things were different: A large squid surprised Magill by hitting her from behind and grabbing at her with its arms, pulling her sideways in the water. The powerful creature ripped her buoyancy hose away from her chest and knocked away her light.

When Magill recovered, she didn’t know which direction was up and at first couldn’t find the hose to help her stay afloat as she surfaced. The squid was gone.

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“I just kicked like crazy. The first thing you think of is, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know if I’m going to survive this. If that squid wanted to hurt me, it would have,” she said.

Other divers have reported squid pulling at their masks and gear and roughing them up.

Roger Uzun, a veteran scuba diver and amateur underwater videographer, swam with a swarm of the creatures for about 20 minutes and said they appeared more curious than aggressive. The animals taste with their tentacles, he said, and seemed to be touching him and his wet suit to determine if he was edible.

“As soon as we went underwater and turned on the video lights, there they were. They would ram into you, they kept hitting the back of my head,” he said.

“One got ahold of the video light head and yanked on it for two or three seconds and he was actually trying to take the video light with him,” said Uzun, who later posted a 3-minute video with his underwater footage on YouTube. “It almost knocked the video camera out of my hands.”

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Scientists aren’t sure why the squid, which generally live in deep, tropical waters off Mexico and Central America, are showing up off the Southern California coast — but they are concerned.

In recent years, small numbers have been spotted from California to Sitka, Alaska and are increasingly being spotted off the San Diego coastline — an alarming trend that scientists believe could be caused by anything from global warming to a shortage of food or a decline in the squid’s natural predators.

Their presence off the coast — and the subsequent die-offs — may occur when their prey moves to shallow waters and the squid follow, and then get trapped and confused in the surf, said Hillgarth, who saw a dying squid on the beach last weekend.

“It was an amazing privilege to touch a creature like that and see how amazingly beautiful it was,” she said. “They have these wonderful eyes. … They look all-seeing, all-knowing.”

shumagorath

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