Dec 292012
 

Anything Finn can do, Fionna can do better.  And in knee socks.

The highly successful Adventure Time comic series gains another tie-in miniseries this Wednesday!  Written by co-creator and storyboard artist from the television show, Natasha Allegri, Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake brings the girl power!  Spinning out of a stand-alone episode where the regular protagonists, Finn and Jake, where gender bent into women, this miniseries gives them the spotlight for six whole issues!  As the previous Adventure Time series have sold out as fast as the Ice Queen sliding down a snowy slope, if you want a copy be sure to put your name on the pull before Wednesday or be at the store early!

Vampires have been the new hotness for quite some time now, but they’ve never been Marvel NOW!  Uh, until now.

With this week’s Morbius, the Living Vampire #1, another of Spidey‘s villains gets an empathetic make over.  After breaking out of The Raft prison in Spider-Man #699.1, Michael Morbius is attempting to find his inner good guy and satisfy his natural hunger.  Written by Joe Keatinge, up-and-coming author of Hell Yeah and Glory for Image Comic, the first issue showcases his unique blend of stylistic indy paneling and catchy, quick dialog as well as moody horror.  As is often the case, C-list characters commonly make for the best reads at the big two comic companies (for evidence, see Swamp Thing and Hawkeye), given that the writers have a leeway to put the characters through their paces in ways that the A-list characters can’t be.  Trust me, it won’t suck.  Except, you know, in the ways that a vampire book should.

The other Marvel NOW! release for this next week is Johnathon Hickman’s Avengers companion book, New Avengers #1. Like FF to Fantastic Four, this series will share characters with the main title, as well as some plot elements, making them a shared story, of sorts.  And if you’ve read Hickman’s first issue of Avengers or any of his Manhattan Projects series, you know he’s capable of giant sci-fi craziness and incredible plot twists, both qualities which he will bring to characters of New Avengers.  Starring The Illuminati, the secretive, behind-the-scenes puppet masters of the Marvel Universe, the series will feature Black Panther, Iron Man, Reed Richards, Namor, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, and Beast desperately struggling to halt the collision of two universes.  And fans of the New Universe concept of yesteryear should take note, as it’s rumored to return in this book.

Thanks to a little timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly stuff, the third series of Doctor Who Character Builder Miniatures materializes in the store this Wednesday!  Yes, we know series two hasn’t arrived yet, but, you know, time travel.  Anyway, it really doesn’t matter as each set features different characters or key characters in unique costumes.  Set three includes the Doctor in his fancy green longcoat (circa season five), Amy with Silence marks on her face, an alternate universe Rory, River Song, an Ood, and many more (check them all out to the right).  Each figure is compatible with Lego’s, if you wish to build your own Doctor Who adventure set, or feel free to pick up one of Doctor Who Character Builder playsets currently at the store.

Dec 212012
 

It’s not quite to midnight yet (as I start writing this), but I’m calling it in favor of us all outlasting the Mayan apocalypse.  If you didn’t get enough of the end-of-the-world conspiracy theory, then Tzolk’in:  The Mayan Calendar is here to supply you with more.  The oft talked about Mayan calendar plays into the mechanics of the game, as players carefully place their Mayan Meeples onto interlocking gears which rotate around the board, moving the pieces to different action zones.  To accomplish placement and conduct other key actions, players must spend corn, ultimately attempting to please the gods or constructing underground temples.  So, until the next apocalypse myth comes along, make mine Tzolk’in.

Is the force strong with you?

Or have you given into the dark side?

Either way, you’ve got a side to play in the new two-player Star Wars LCG card game from Fantasy Flight.  Set-up like many of their other popular LCGs (but with more X-Wings and stuff), Star Wars has players choosing sides in a head-to-head battle for galactic domination.  Players then balance objective decks (containing mission cards) and player decks (containing character and equipment cards) in order to complete their assigned tasks.  As with Magic the Gathering or most other CCG-style games, players place/play their cards into the center of the table in order to activate them.  Of course, the real question of the game will be, who shot first?

I’m going bet that many who read this have fantasized about manning a starship at one time in their life.  Be careful what you wish for, however.  Space Cadets fulfills that wish by assigning each player an important role on the bridge of a freshly minted starship.  This cooperative game for three to six players enlists a captain, helmsman, engineer, and weapons, shield, and sensor officers.  Each member of the crew has a specific  task to complete in order for the entire team to win, so make sure you staff your bridge wisely, or else it’ll be your final frontier.

Bad guys need friends, too.  Eclipse:  Rise of the Ancients is the first expansion for the epic space battle game, Eclipse, introduces tons of ancient adversaries which can assist all the baddies from the original game.  Along with these foes, the expansion also includes original rare technologies, developments, alliances, ancient homeworlds, and warp portals.  Three brand new player boards also offer four new alien races to choose from.  And with the game’s modular design, all or some of these additions can mixed in with the contents of the base game, completely at your discretion.

Oct 202012
 

I just want to quote the Image Comics description for the first book we’ll talk about tonight as a way of helping you understand what it’s like.

“Sexica and her Werewolf boyfriend Nikoli travel across a sci-fi, fantasy Russia smoking singing cigarettes.  Meanwhile the organ hunter Nura is sent out with a severed head and instructions to find its body.”

Yup.  That’s Brandon Graham for you, folks.  If you’ve read Prophet (the craziest, most brilliant comic out there!) or King City (the only comic with a cat telescope), then you’re well aware of Graham’s ingenious perspective on, well, everything.  Graham’s comics build fully realized, utterly unique worlds for you to explore visually (as he does the art himself) and conceptually.  For those reasons, I can promise you Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity will be one of the most interesting books you’ll ever read.

Jason Starr, renowned crime novelist and comic author, takes a crack at Wolverine‘s past this Wednesday, but not in a way you’ve ever seen before.  Wolverine MAX is a five issue miniseries that takes Logan back to Japan for an origin story of violent proportions.  If you’ve never read any of Marvel’s MAX line of books, they’re a no holds barred, adult version of famous Marvel characters.  So, in short, Wolverine like you’ve never seen him before.  Expect blood.  Expect guts.  Expect cursing.  Expect SNIKT-ing!

And if we’re talking blood and guts, we might as well mention the new Punisher War Zone miniseries hitting shelves this Wednesday.  Picking up where Greg Rucka’s recent Punisher ongoing series (both volumes, of which, are available now) left off at, Frank is on the run from the law in a way he’s never been before after taking the fall for shooting a cop.  Even though he didn’t do the deed, Frank is taking the blame to protect the woman who did (if you want to know more, you got to pick up the TPBs).  But Frank’s going to need his own form of protection as The Avengers decide to assist the NYPD in capturing him.  It’s Punisher vs. The Avengers, written by Greg Rucka, taking place in real Marvel continuity!

Followers of The Walking Dead television show on AMC have just been introduced to Phillip Blake aka The Governor with the beginning of season three, but there’s so much more to find out.  In conjunction with the hit television series, Robert Kirkman (the creator of the show and comic) began a trilogy of Walking Dead novels last year with The Rise of the Governor, which detailed Blake’s life during the initial zombie outbreak.  Now, its sequel, The Road to Woodbury, picks up where the last book left off at, following Blake as he climbs to power in the walled-off city of Woodbury.  Find out the origins of one of the most terrifying villains in comic history by picking up The Road to Woodbury this Wednesday!

Dec 232011
 

We’re talking ’bout black gold, Texas tea.

And we’re talking about Catan Scenarios Oil Springs. If you’re looking for a simple add-on to liven up your Settlers of Catan game, then the new Oil Springs expansion is that add-on. Adding oil to the mix of resources, players can use it to create any of the standard resources (wood, iron, etc.) as well as building up your cities into Metropolises. However, do this at your own (or other players’ peril) as drilling for the oiling and producing it can cause dramatic shifts in the weather while also polluting the region. Oil Springs is easily the cheapest way to freshen up your Catan game, so if you’ve got the need, do like the Beverly Hillbillies and dig for that bubbling crude.

Speaking of Catan, the two-player card game version, Rivals of Catan, received an expansion this week. Age of Darkness supplies three different theme decks to be incorporated into the base game. Focusing on battles between churches and temples, commercial harbors and merchant’s residences, and barbarians, each deck pits opponent versus opponent, with each receiving and playing different sets of cards.

I know you’ll be filling up on turkey, dressing, or whatever it may be you eat for the holidays, but get ready for a heaping helping of Pathfinder for your bellies.

First up are the shiny goodies. Packed full of the vibrant treasures of the Jade Regent, this new item deck for the setting contains fifty-four illustrated cards representing the sought after artifacts that may appear in a campaign. Game masters looking to add a bit of flare to their game pay heed.

Hailing from the same section of the Pathfinder world as the Jade Regent is the new Dragon Empires Gazetteer. This volume explores the Tian Xia continent, exploring its various regions, offering rule sets for five new character races, detailing the deities worshipped by the region’s residents, as well as countless other information that can add color and detail to a campaign.

In a similar vain, Mysthical Monsters Revisited supplies vast amounts of detail on classic mythical creatures like medusas, hydras, and harpies for game master’s to incorporate into their games.

And if you pick up the new Bestiary 3 along with it, you’ll have more monsters at your command than cans of Mountain Dew drank in the history of roleplaying. As with the previous Bestiary editions, this third volume includes 300 monsters as well as options for familiars, companions, races, and other varied methods of incorporating these legendary beings into your party’s adventure.

If you want to be a pirate, there’s no better pirate to be than a future space pirate! In an effort to aid you with that endeavor, the new Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitions hardcover lays out all the minute detail gamers will desire to build and background a crime-based character in the system. These include new career rankings, like swashbuckler and reaver, sections on arming and equipping your ships and yourself, as well as a nemesis orign path generator that can build a formidable foe for your party. Shiver your steampunk timbers, maties, it’s a Hostile Acquisition!

In the course of your skullduggary, maybe you will break into the king’s palace in an effort to storm his treasury. And if you’re going to do that, wouldn’t it be better to have a map to indicate where you’re stealing what? Well, Game Mastery comes to the rescue again with their newest Palace Map Pack. The pack including eighteen tiles that link together to form a throne room, reception chamber, and treasury.

Around this jolly time of year, with the weather crisp and the gifts flowing, there’s one thing you should be thinking about…the horrible tentacled grasp of the Eldar Gods. In that effort, give the give of a new Call of Cthulhu Asylum Pack this year with Into Tartarus. The 60 cards in this deck focus on the global influences of the Ancient Ones.