Jun 212013
 

Walkers are running rampant and its your duty to shoot’em down.

The Walking Dead Card Game from Cryptozoic is a brand new way to experience the post-zombie lifestyle, coming with two ways to play:  Hero and survival mode.  Hero mode has players taking control of a character from the show in an effort to earn more zombie points than the other 2-6 players.  Survival mode, on the other hand, pits 3-11 players against each other, but, instead of trying to nab the most points, everyone is trying to accumulate the least.  Perfect for parties full of Walking Dead fans, this new card game is easy to learn and fun to play.

Marvel‘s Legendary becomes a little more, uh, legendary-er this week thanks to Dark City, the deck building game’s first expansion.  Not only does this expansion offer seventeen new characters and five villains (like Cable, Colossus, Moon Knight, Blade, Kingpin, Loki, and Apocalypse), but also augmented game rules.  These include expanded abilities for bystanders, giving them autonomy, as well as character artwork that clarifies who has power when.

Lovers of Apples to Apples should take note of Word Whimsy.  This party game of wordplay is structured similar to the aforementioned game, but around phrases instead of single words.  Players take turns drawing prompt cards, like “My Professional Wrestling Name” or “Favorite Bar”, then proceed to arrange cards from their hand into the wackiest answer to that prompt.  And while this version can serve 3-7, there are also other variants included that alter the entire game.

Just when you thought they were done, there’s more Dominion.

Dominion Guilds is the eighth expansion released for this mega-popular deck building series.  This time around, the theme revolves around jobs and what citizens of the township need to do to get them.  Thirteen new kingdom cards as well as coin tokens to wile away for use later.  Other cards come with a starting cost, but can be bought for more money in order gain the user further abilities.

We’ll cover the next two games in the order the original books were released, just to play it like OG nerds.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey board game is a one to four player game that lasts up to an hour, ferrying players through the events of Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit film.  A cooperative experience, players take control of Bilbo and his dwarf companions, attempting to collect gems and gold as you out maneuver and defeat the monsters in your path.  Designed by Reiner Knizia, this is no simple property game.

The second Tolkien/Cryptozoic collaboration out this week, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game enters the deck building arena, telling the rest “They CAN NOT PAAAAAAASSSSS!”  Structured identically to the DC Deck Building Game, players take on the roles of either Frodo, Samwise, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, or Boromir, facing off against the forces of Sauron.  Players purchase cards from the center of the table to build-up their own decks in an effort to defeat orcs, Balrogs, and Nazgûl.  Also, in an absurdest twist, this game can be combined the DC Deck Builder for Gollum vs. Superman battles.

Jun 082013
 

Superman Unchained #1

1. DC‘s been in need of an exciting, action-packed Superman series since, basically, the beginning of the New 52.  Superman Unchained is it.

2. Scott Snyder has revolutionized Batman, delivering dark, horrifying stories, and now turns his literary sights to the Man of Steel.

3. Speaking of, to coincide with the release of the Man of Steel film and the 75th anniversary of Superman, Superman Unchained #1 ships with EIGHT, count’em EIGHT, different covers by a range of veteran and modern DC artists, all of which have helped defined the character.

4. And if all of that isn’t enough reason to pick up a copy, Jim Lee has returned to art duties on Superman.  As Lee rarely ever does interiors these days, that only is a landmark reason to check the series out.

Six-Gun Gorilla #1

1. If you’ve ever wanted to read a book where The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and a zoo got blended together with a post-apocalyptic situation, Six-Gun Gorilla is that book.

2. Si Spurrier has recently built a reputation on writing psychedelic, sci-fi, humor comics, like X-Men Legacy and X-Club for Marvel, and now applies those talents to a creator-owned series.

3. The story takes place in a world that has been commandeered by humans from our Earth, in order to mine resources, but have met with resistance from the planet’s natives.

4. Uh.  Gorilla.  With guns.  C’mon.

True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #1

1. If you, like everyone else, has been waiting for Gerard Way’s follow-up to the mega-successful Umbrella Academy, it’s finally here!

2. Going in a complete 180 degrees from that previous series from Dark Horse, Killjoys is a sci-fi horror series set in an alternate future.

3. The Killjoys used to be a powerful force of rebellion against Better Living Industries, the world’s largest corporation, but long ago they lost, leaving only The Girl alive.  Now her and the remaining followers of the Killjoys live in the “wasteland” while the BLI rules the city.  But that’s about to change.

4. In a marriage of Indy glory, Way is teaming on this series with avante garde artist extraordinaire, Becky Cloonan (Batman, DEMO).

Batman #21

1. Scott Snyder bookends tonight’s post, with the start of his next, eleven issue arc on Batman.  And this time he’s going all the way back to the beginning.

2. Year Zero is a fresh retelling of Bruce Wayne’s earliest time as Gotham’s protector, updated and expanded for the New 52 universe.

3. Set to feature The Riddler, Ras al Ghul, and many other classic Batman villains, this will mark the first time Snyder has been able to unleash the rogues gallery since he started on the series.

4. Those who missed out on Death of the Family have been scrambling to collect the back issues with minimal success; don’t find yourself in the same position for Year Zero.

Jan 052013
 

Star Wars is receiving some what of a resurgence lately, what with the stream of Fantasy Flight card, miniature, and role playing games featuring the characters of a galaxy far, far away.  Now, Dark Horse is getting in on the action with a fresh original universe Star Wars book title…wait for it…STAR WARS!!!!  Set during the first trilogy of films, this series will focus on individual stories featuring leading characters like Han, Leia, Luke, and Vader.  If you’re tired of the extended universe stories set 1000 years before A New Hope or a million years after, then this is the series for you.  Written by Brian Wood (Massive, Mara, Local, Ultimate Comics X-Men) and featuring covers by the incomparable Alex Ross, Star Wars #1 is a new hope for fans of the original universe.

No turtles, no turtles, no!  Foot, foot, foot, FOOT!

That remastered version of the infamous Vanilla Ice “hit” “Go, Turtles” was brought to you by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret History of the Foot Clan.  Yes, Turtles fans, it’s all Foot, all the time in this new miniseries, which spins out of the highly successful IDW TMNT relaunch of the last year.  And, as you might be able to tell from the title, the story focuses on revealing the untold origin of Turtles arch-rival.  Find out how Shredder joined the Foot Clan.  Find out who originally started the Foot Clan.  Find out secrets that will affect the ongoing story of the main TMNT series.  And see all of those secrets illustrated in beautiful, watercolored artwork by Mateus Santoluco.

The sad story of comics nowadays is that they are not written for kids anymore.  So, when a parent comes in asking for a Batman series that they’re son or daughter can read, there are not tons of options.  Luckily, this Wednesday we’re getting a Bat-boat load of young reader Batman comics.  Each of these digest volumes features Batman facing off against one of his classic foes, such as Clayface, Joker, Scarecrow, or Poison Ivy, in the style of the famous nineties Batman the Animated series (the best cartoon ever made!!!).  If dark, broody Batman isn’t your flavor, don’t worry, because there will be plenty of equally kid-friendly Superman volumes shipping as well.  If you’re wanting to get your kid started in comics, these are one of the best, cheapest ways to do it.

The Octopus is out of the bag, Peter Parker is dead.  Long live the Octopus.

If you read Amazing Spider-Man #700, you know that Peter left Doc Ock with some serious baggage to deal with, making Doc vow to become a Superior Spider-Man.  This Wednesday is your chance to see how that goes, as Superior Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman ships.  If you’ve seen any of the sample pages from the Marvel NOW! preview books, you’ll know that Doc Ock has a little trouble at first.  Oh, and with Peter Parker’s face, you know Doc’s going to make a house call to Mary Jane Watson.  Yeah, this isn’t going to be your daddy’s Spider-Man.

And be sure to get to the store early so that you can nab any and all of the rare variant covers for the book, as this one’s going to be worth some money down the line.

Oct 132012
 

Point one is usually considered an unimportant amount. But not this coming Wednesday.

Marvel NOW! Point One is extremely important for those who’ve got an interest in the forthcoming Marvel NOW! refresh! This over-sized issue will contain original short stories previewing and leading into future Marvel NOW! titles, including FF, Young Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, and Cable & X-Force. That means stories by the likes of Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction, Mike Allred, and Dennis Hopeless.

Wait, did I say Dennis Hopeless? Yes, former Pulp Fiction employee (like you didn’t already know), Dennis Hopeless. Dennis’ story is absolutely key to understanding his future Cable & X-Force series. It will show how Cable brought the, currently insane, Forge onto the team. Check the issue out for a great preview of upcoming titles. And don’t forget the Scottie Young baby variant!

Speaking of Scottie Young and babies (which seem to be utterly linked these days), A-Babies vs. X-Babies also drops this Wednesday. If you were one of the many who wished Cyclops and Captain America would stop acting like babies during Avengers vs. X-Men, this…is probably not the issue for you. However, if you love cute Marvel parody books lampooning the ridiculousness of giant crossover events, this IS the book for you. And you don’t even have to worry about a baby variant because the whole book is full’a babies!

Nathan Edmondson is one of those up-and-coming young comic writers you always hear about. He’s written great espionage series like Who is Jake Ellis?, Dancer, and Grifter, but now he’s turning his talents to Ultimate Comics Iron Man. This four issue miniseries will delve deep into the history of the Ultimate Universe’s version of the iron avenger, revealing his secrets for donning the armor in the first place. Oh, and did someone say Ultimate Mandarin? Followers of The Ultimates should give this miniseries more than a cursory glance.

It’s a known fact that everyone who reads the engrossing Morning Glories series has said, at one time or another, “I’d love to see this cover artist do interiors!” Well, that has finally happened. Mind the Gap is written by Jim McCann and, more importantly, drawn by Rodin Esquejo, the phenomenal cover artist for Morning Glories. Enough about Morning Glories, though, because Mind the Gap more than stands on its own. Not quite a murder mystery, this coma mystery centers around a sketchy cast of characters, all of which have their own motives for placing the lead character into a coma. But don’t count her out just because she’s unconscious, from her own mindscape she attempts to piece her memories together to catch the culprit. Just like Saga, Prophet, and, yes, Morning Glories before it, this first volume of Mind the Gap (the first six issues) is only $9.99! You can’t beat it!

Apr 272012
 

Can you believe The Avengers comes out next Friday?

Seems like I’ve been waiting for that movie come out my whole life, but no matter how close it gets it still feels too far away. Luckily, Wizkids a new set of Avengers Heroclix to tide me and everyone else over. Just like they have done with Green Lantern, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek, The Avengers set is out in a base starter set (containing six of the core team) and individual booster boxes. All of these figures can be simply collected or you can play them as a miniature battle game. The starter set even comes with maps and rules to complete the gaming experience. With sixteen figures to collect overall, you better start now to assemble all The Avengers.

Following last week’s Fantasy Flight Lord of the Rings and Star Wars card sleeves, this week’s new set of sleeves depict another popular Sci-Fi/Fantasy franchise: Game of Thrones. Both sleeve types come with fifty sleeves, one displaying John Snow, the other Melisandre.

Or if you’re not into George R.R. Martin‘s fantasy series, there are new sleeves depicting Cthulhu, DungeonQuest imagery, and artwork from the popular co-op board game, Red November. All of these sleeves are standard sized, designed to fit most common CCGs, LCGs, and basic card game cards.

Popular game designer Reiner Knizia has created a slew of fantastic board games, such as Lost Cities, but his newest game is the Black Sheep of the bunch. A great, easy to learn card-based game intended for the whole family, Black Sheep has players collecting sets of animal cards, trying for better combinations than their opponents, and corralling them in their pens. Ah, but the black sheep is ready at every turn to ruin your hand. In line with family games like Zoolerreto, Black Sheep is a perfect edition for game night.