Jun 292013
 

Absolution Rubicon #1

1. In theory, superheroes as cops seems like a great idea.  Not in the world of Absolution, however.  Former super-detective John Dusk has gone over the deep end, murdering perps indiscriminately, and now the world’s other heroes are gunning for his head.

2. Christos Gage applies his history of writing crime shows like Law & Order: SVU and Numb3rs to this creator-owned series for Avatar Press, a combination which results in gritty sleuthing and ludicrous violence.

3. With Dusk’s reputation in the gutter, criminals he’s put away could possibly be released to wreak havoc upon the city.  Sounds like a perfect climax to the series, but will Dusk be able to stop them alone?  Doubtful, but he does have Happy Kitty, a psychotic, murderous Japanese school girl to (maybe) back him up.

4. Absolution Rubicon #1 explores what would happen if a hero imbued with the power level of Green Lantern started murdering the bad guys and, because it’s Avatar, it does it in the most gruesome way possible.

Avengers A.I. #1

1. The Age of Ultron has passed.  Long live the age of A.I.!  Following the time stream shattering conclusion of Age of Ultron, Hank Pym assembles a team of robotic Avengers to put things right.

2. Fan favorites like The Vision and Victor Mancha of The Runaways return alongside the likes of a rogue Doombot and a cadre of original characters.

3. Sam Humphries has begun to build a strong reputation as a unique author in the world of comics with Indy darlings, like Our Love is Real, and Marvel hits, like Ultimate Comics Ultimates, but now gets to unleash his voice on a title that allows him room to invent and imagine.  Think of how good similar books, like Hawkeye and Daredevil, are right now.

4. Dig on the retro 8-Bit variant cover designed to look like a classic game of Donkey Kong to the right.

Satellite Sam #1

1. Matt Fraction returns to his seedy, independent roots with next week’s Satellite Sam.  Though he’s killing it on Marvel‘s Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, and FF, Fraction does some of his best work when the reins are off, for instance Five Fists of Science and Casanova.

2. A period piece, Satellite Sam is a cold, hard, debauched murder mystery set during the deceptively wholesome fifties. When a famous TV host turns up deader than a door nail, his alcoholic son is the only one who can solve this unsolvable murder.

3. Comic legend Howard Chaykin brings his A game as the interior artist of the book, matching the setting and tone perfectly to his vintage style.

4. Like all recent Image Comics hits (Jupiter’s Legacy, Lazarus, Sex), Satellite Sam #1 is bound to sell out quickly and become a hot collector’s item shortly thereafter.  Buy it and enjoy it before the after market vultures sore by.

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1

1. Nearly three years ago, Pandora watched from the sidelines of every single New 52 comic.  Now, she makes her presence known!

2. The first tie-in book for DC‘s major Justice League crossover event, Pandora #1 serves as the catalyst for the oncoming destruction to follow in Justice League, Justice League Dark, and Justice League of America.

3. Ray Fawkes has been paying his dues co-writing JLD and Constantine with Jeff Lemire, but now he gets to let loose on a solo series, one, in fact, that will explain the most mysterious character in the New 52 universe.

4. Find out who Pandora is and what she’s been up too since last we saw her in Justice League #6!

May 032013
 

Life is full of tough questions.  Paper or plastic?  With or without cheese?  Red pill or blue pill?

Pig or dog?

The correct answer to the latter question is actually both.  And, luckily, when you buy a copy of Pick-a-Dog and Pick-a-Pig you get both.  When combined with each other, these games go from 2-5 players to 6-8 players, blending matching and dexterity games together no matter which version you play.  A grid of cards sits in the center of the table, each with five attributes noted on them.  Players also have a single card in their hand.  Once the game has begun, everyone tries to grab a card with at least four similar attributes, adding it to their hand and continuing from there.  The game stops when one player has no more cards to grab.  As one can imagine this game plays well with family members or friends plus a bottle of scotch.

Is your tower protected?

Not exactly a new game, but one we’ve just gotten back in stock, Batt’l Kha’os is a tile laying game with some fighty bits thrown in.  Players attempt to take control of various tower tiles laid across the table by placing their own army tiles around it.  Each tile intersection point is then totaled up for the amount of humans vs. orcs and whoever has the most takes the corner.  Once all four corners around a tower are calculated, whoever has the most corners (orcs or humans) takes control of the tower.  Though it leaves some letters out of its title, Batt’l Kha’os combines the best of Carcassonne and Pocket Battles.

Nathan Fillion has charmed television, comics, and cinema, but now he’s setting his sights on the world of board gaming. Castle:  The Detective Card Game transformers the comedy and mystery of the hit television series into a clue solving card game.  Players take control of a key character from the show in order to piece together the clues and figure out who the murderer is.  Players can choose to compete in episode mode, finding only one killer to win the game, or season mode, playing through a range of episodes and murderers to see who has solved the most by the end.

In the middle of all this complicated gaming hooha, let me throw in a quick shout-out to the newest Data Pack for the Netrunner LCG from Fantasy Flight.  Humanity’s Shadow includes the standard assortment of sixty new cards to be incorporated into the base game.  Download them into your hand right now.

Tear down your quarantine signs, put aside your rifles, and lay down your machetes, and come out of your reinforced basements because it’s time for the first Zombicide expansion to arrive.  Although, as this expansion, Walk of the Dead (see what they did there?), contains twenty-four additional zombie miniatures, you may still want to guard your brain.  There are also twelve spawn cards include so that these figures can be introduced into the game.  Stay close, lock and load, and make sure to wear a helmet.

Ahoy, maties, it be Catan: Pirates and Explorers!

The newest expansion for the hit Catan game series, Pirates and Explorers, like Cities and Knights, Seafarers, and Traders and Barbarians before it, adds new mechanics to the already popular ones from Settlers of Catan.  Bridging the gap between Catan and Seafarers, Pirates and Explorers starts players out on one island, searching for resources and settlers to build and pilot a sailing vessel to another island.  Once there, players discover a range of new resources to continue building and growing.  This version of the game comes packed with five original scenarios to keep the gameplay fresh and original.

And, because of time and all that stuff, the last three items tonight will be presented in image only.  They do say pictures speak louder than words, right?

Okay, maybe a few words.

There’s Ugg-Tect, a cooperative game where players have to act like cavemen while instructing each other on how to build a prehistoric building.  There are also inflatable clubs included.

Two RPG softcovers also release this weekend.

One, for Call of Cthulhu (Atomic-Age Cthulhu), providing a 50s era setting for Cthulhuian mystery and murder with a nuclear backdrop.

And, two, the newest addition to the Only War Warhammer 40K RPG, Hammer of the Emperor.

Feb 232013
 

Hey, everyone, come on, grab your friends!  We’ll go to very distant lands!

Jake and Finn have stopped playing with BMO and are back for a second round of Adventure Time trade paperback mathematics!  Adventure Time volume two collects issues five through nine of the series that’s sweeter than Peppermint Butler.  Within these flippin’ sweet pages are stories of Finn and Jake turning into robots, traveling in Princess Bubblegum’s time machine, and laying some smack down on the Ice King.  Make your kids (or, hell, yourself) happy and pick it up!

Liches and zombies need not apply.

Scott Snyder just finished what is sure to become a classic Joker story in the main Batman series, but, before he made a name for himself, Snyder wrote one of the creepiest runs of Detective Comics ever.  Set during the period of time where Dick Grayson was Batman, this extended run has an entirely different tone from other Batman books as Grayson is all about the sarcasm and acrobatics, both brought to life by Jock’s expressive pencils.  Faced with a complicated murder mystery to solve, Grayson must team-up with Commissioner Gordon to crack the case.  Not only do Gordon and Grayson share sleuthing duties, but the story is also evenly split between them.  Gordon must deal with the arrival of his prodigal son, James, Jr., who may or may not be entirely sane.  Snyder is incredibly dept at pacing horror and suspense on the page, a talent uses handily during many of Gordon and James, Jr.’s scenes together.  Just remember to watch out for that water running under the bathroom door.

One thing you will certainly not find in Image Comics Five Weapons miniseries is a sorting hat.

That just makes it all the more important to choose wisely when you’re enrolling in The School of Five Weapons, because the weapon you choose will define the rest of your life.  Knives, staves, archery, exotics, and guns may be deadly, but they have nothing on the brain of Tyler, the most recent arrival to the premiere assassin school.  Join Jimmie Robinson (Bomb Queen), handling both art and writing duties, as he leads you through the halls of the deadliest high school in the country.  

Just don’t call it Harry Potter with guns.

Talking raccoons make every comic better.

Brian Michael Bendis got to sample the Guardians of the Galaxy in his recent run on Avengers Assemble, but now he launches deep into the stars with the beginning of another ongoing Guardians of the Galaxy series.  The first point one issue details the origins of Starlord, the boy from Earth who grows-up to lead the meanest bunch of space police in the universe.  With crisp, detailed artwork from Steve McNiven (Civil War), the addition of Iron Man, and the eminent Marvel Studios film adaptation the only reason to skip this book is if you’re off planet.

Feb 022013
 

Andy Diggle and Jock, the superstar creative team behind Green Arrow Year One and The Losers (which is a thousand times better than the film, by the way), lend their talents to a new creator owned series from Image Comics this Wednesday.  Blending political thrillers, Clerks, and gritty noir storytelling, Snapshot is a four issue miniseries bound to thrill you more than once.  When an lifelong nerd employee of a comic store (this is sounding familiar…) finds a cellphone full of grisly images of someone’s murder, he has no other option than to run as fast and as far as he can.  But it’s never that easy is it?  If you’ve been enjoying the sketchy, moody artwork of Jock in the Batman back-up stories or in Scott Snyder’s previous Detective Comics run, The Black Mirror, then Snapshot is your cup of tea.

Sorcery receives a modern update in Top Cow‘s Son of Merlin miniseries.

Building off of the classic Arthurian figures of myth, Son of Merlin picks up when a respected professor of science finds out he’s actually the descendant of the famous wizard, Merlin.  And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but science and magic don’t exactly see eye-to-eye.  However, before the good doctor can think through his new predicament, he’s being hounded by the immortal Morgan le Fay.  But there’s a whole secret underground society of ancient magic users that might just be willing to come to his aid.  Drawn in the gorgeous, expressive tradition of the famous Top Cow books to come before it like Fathom, Charismagic, and Witchblade, Son of Merlin will cast its spell over you.

I say, my dear Watson, the zombie is a foot!

Though not strictly a Sherlock Holmes versus zombies story, The New Deadwardians is about the closest to it you’ll ever get.  Written by cult favorite author and comic legend Dan Abnett, this post-Victorian England horror/mystery yarn takes places in an alternate reality where, after a zombie infection spread throughout the population, the majority of the remaining English citizens had to submit to becoming vampires in order to fight them off.  Now, it’s the vampires who’ve becoming the upper-class aristocracy while the zombie population are cordoned off on the outskirts of town.  Chief Inspector Suttle, a forever young himself, is tasked with solving a grisly crime, the first in nearly a decade, during a growing zombie uprising.  It’s all elementary from there.

Love is in air for the DC Universe this Wednesday.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day a week early, DC releases its most romantic anthology yet, the Young Romance DC New 52 Special.  Containing six unique stories of famous DC couples like Aquaman and Mera, Midnighter and Apollo, and Catwoman and Batman spending their special day together in the only way superpowered crime fighters can, as well as stories of Wonder Woman, Dick Grayson, and others coming to terms with the relationships they’ve entered into.  Each of the stories is written and drawn by a talented creator, like Andy Diggle, Gene Ha, Ann Nocenti, Kyle Higgins, Becky Cloonan, and Peter Milligan.  And for those old school romantics, the issue comes with usable Valentine’s Day cards.  Oh, amore!

Jan 042013
 

Can you believe it’s been ten years since BANG! came out?

To celebrate, the BANG! 10th Anniversary edition of the base game has come riding into town.  Unlike the base version of the game, this edition comes with a number of additional extras that enhance gameplay.  Wooden bullets and premium player boards organize the life totals and card arrangement, respectively.  Also included are a “Most Wanted” rogues gallery of character cards from the various expansions for the game, which include two cards from the Valley of Shadows expansion which was only released in the Czech Republic.  A completely new character is also held within the metal confines of the box, one featuring a cowgirl.  Giddy on it, liddle doggies.

Rule one is:  Don’t let the natives get restless!

In Archipelago the colonists players control have to walk a tightrope of resource management and worker placement, while also carefully choosing to side with or backstab their opponents.  As you mine Carribean settlement for resources, you must also transform these natural commodities into cash by selling them at market or overseas in the homeland.  Construction of temples, markets, and whole cities must also be carefully balanced as to not leave the natives unsatisfied or organized because they will rise up.  And though that may sound like a way to unseat your opponent, a violent uprising will end the game for everyone, so it’s in your best interest to quell them as they sprout up.

Core Worlds receives its first expansion set this weekend in Galactic Orders.  Alliances are beginning to form in this galaxy-spanning war, a development that has brought in various Galactic Orders represented by oversized cards.  Each Order possesses unique abilities, all of which are laid out clearly on their adjoining card.  As players utilize cards with faction distinctions on them, they in turn place their faction tokens onto Galactic Order cards, either to gain points at the end of the game or activate the Galactic Order abilities for your benefit.  If you’ve ever been party to any galactic politics (and who hasn’t?), you’ll realize that Core Worlds: Galactic Orders recreates such discussions perfectly.

Judging from the box description, Panic On Wall Street! will have you punching your friends in their faces with glee.  Sounds amazing to me!  A party game unlike any other, Panic On Wall Street! has players yelling across each other to win intense bidding wars, attempting to collect the most money possible.  Use speculation!  Use intimidation!  Use force!  Use a large mallet to smack others in the naughty bits!  Warning, the application of alcohol may result in bloody murder.