Speeding Bullets #6 Naturally Nintendo

Nintendo has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom got me, my brother and my sister GameBoy Colors when I was five. I got my first GameCube when I was ten and all I asked for my Thirteenth Birthday was a Wii. Add in my love for the DS and 3DS and there’s always been something to bring me back to Nintendo. Today was no different.

Nintendo revealed their next console, The Nintendo Switch.

What it’s going to be is basically a handheld console that can be hooked up to your T.V. which sounds like I’m underselling it but it does have some really cool features such as the Joy-Con Controller which will be able to play on a screen separately from the T.V., be taken anywhere and even be split apart to allow two people to play on the smaller screen. Judging from the reveal trailer it will have enough power to run an Elder Scrolls game which is something that no Nintendo system has been able to do up to this point. They are switching(Pun Intended) back to cartridges and a lot of people were skeptical over the decision to return to cartridges over disc but I honestly think it’s a great move on their part. If they can maintain the power of a disc in cartridges then why not? I think it’s just another point to prove why Nintendo has mastered being new and innovative while maintaining a love for what has come before. Another example of that is the fact that you will be able to have a more classical game controller as well.(Which is featured in the trailer below)

To actually see the controller and many other features, watch the video below.

Something else that Nintendo Switch is going to focus on is the idea of local multiplayer which is something that many games have all but forgotten. I’m sure that the Switch will still have online features but they’re ancillary in comparison to the focus of getting together with friends.

If you disagree with me then think about all those Final Smashes and Blue Shells you’ve used. Was it over a head set? or were you sitting next to each other on the couch? When me and my sister went through Ocarina Of Time and Windwaker we’d each take turns and replaying those weren’t really the same if she wasn’t in the room with me. Nintendo has thrived on a sense of togetherness that the Switch will only reinforce.

Still not convinced? Well what about all the third party developers that have shown their support already? Developers like Bethesda, EA, Activision, Square Enix, Konami, Koei and many more have already come out and said that they’re working on products for the Switch. The reason this is huge is because many of these developers have never signed on for a Nintendo system before. This means that we will be getting collaborations that we’ve never seen before.

Bottom Line : This isn’t just going to be the next gimmick around, They look focused on games and on giving the fans what they’ve wanted. I think this is the capabilities that we wanted to see from the Wii U and they just never came up to par for most people. But this system could be Nintendo’s best decision yet.

Speeding Bullets #5

Speeding bullets has always been my article for catching you up on the latest news that needs more than just a few hundred characters on Twitter or Facebook. The primary reasoning behind each one is different and this one is mainly just me catching up. In the last few weeks a lot has happened and I feel like it’s my duty to respond to some things that have happened in the past few weeks.

Death Of X

Death of X is one story that I have been looking forward to since the first teaser for it premiered earlier this year. It’s planned to answer quite a few questions and to show us more of the story between the Inhumans and The X-Men.

Many people are already freaking out saying that Marvel has decided to kill off the X-Men entirely due to the disputes between them and Fox but I’m fairly certain that they aren’t going to stop one of their biggest properties just because they can’t make movies about them.(I’ll going more into this in my next Comics 101)

What I’ve read about this series is telling me that they are using this as a way to explain what happened in the months between Secret Wars and All-New, All-Different Marvel. Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire and Aaron Kuder are all fantastic creators and I think we’re gonna get a great story from them.

Captain America News(Statue/Hydra)

I love the idea that they are giving Captain America his own statue in Brooklyn. If any marvel character deserves one, it’s him. Everything he has stood for is what America can be at it’s greatest. We came from nothing to become something great.

That being said, Many people have already complained about the idea of Cap being Hydra all along. Which he isn’t. His reality has been altered to where he has memories implanted that never actually happened.(Captain America: Steve Rogers #2) I think the story sounds incredibly interesting and I still think Spencer and Saiz are giving us one of the better books on the shelves right now.

 

Unworthy Thor

Jason Aaron plays the long game, There’s no way around it but when you’re as good a writer as he is then sometimes it pays to stick to your strengths. Thor Odinson has been “Unworthy” of wielding Mjolnir for about two years.(Original Sin #8) It’s been an interesting road for him, especially when you consider the events of Time Runs Out and Secret Wars unfolding before him.

Jane Foster has taken up the hammer in his absence and become Thor herself. I’ve loved what Aaron has done with her character and I’m glad that her title isn’t being cancelled. Instead, Unworthy Thor is just going to be a partner comic to show what the Odinson will do while someone else is Thor. Who or what will he become?

Jason Aaron and Oliver Coipel are two creators that I have an extreme amount of respect for. Each of them have done separate work on two of my favorite comics in the last 20 years(Coipel: House of M. Aaron: Wolverine and The X-Men) and I have no doubt that they’ll handle this one extremely well.

 

New Iron Man

Here’s where every angry person wants to call me a blaspheming progressive. I love the idea of Riri Williams taking over as Iron Man. However, obviously this does raise a few very important questions like:

  • Where is Tony Stark?
  • Is He Dead?
  • Is he still undercover?(Invincible Iron Man #11)
  • If he isn’t dead then is he backing Riri?
  • Isn’t her new armor pretty awesome?

The only one I have an answer to is that last one. I love how the Iron Man suit can change in the most subtle ways and still be recognizably different. Iron Man has clearly become their flagship character and with good reason. Marvel’s story and Tony Stark’s have been very similar over the years. They both did something drastic to start off, they both became captains of industry that they have revolutionized and most importantly: people are so jealous of them that when they fall everyone comes out of nowhere to tell them how awful they are.(More on that at the end)

I think Riri is a good move. She’s a new character that was recently introduced, she’s extraordinarily intelligent and she’s a lot of fun already. I know that this seems weird but Bendis doesn’t do things without thinking them thr…              

Whoops! How did that get in there? Seriously though, if Secret Invasion and Siege are arguably your worst comics then you’re doing pretty good as a writer. Bendis has already given us a great run with Tony Stark and I have no doubt that going forward with Riri will be a lot of fun.

Divided We Stand

This image solidifies that insane question of “What is Dr. Doom doing?!” “Why is he holding an Iron Man helmet?” “Will there be a war between him and Riri as the two contenders for the Iron “Mantle”?(HA!)

In all seriousness though, this image is insane. There’s a lot of stuff happening in it especially when you bring in older characters like Foolkiller, Solo,(One of my favorite 90’s characters because he was part of a team called Six-Pack which only had five members most of the time.) Slapstick and Presumably Fin Fang Foom’s foot. It’s a very interesting teaser that showcases a lot of things coming this fall. There are a lot of notable absences in the teaser like no Sam Wilson, no Peter Parker, no Jane Foster and most notably there’s no actual sign of Tony Stark. His absence is felt the most by the hints towards him being gone such as Doom and Riri.

This picture is the teaser for the new fall season of Marvel. For those of you that don’t know, Marvel has switched to a seasonal release slate, in other words: every fall or so will mean new comics, new characters and new creators. I’m not sure how much I like that style but this fall will only be the second year for it so we’ll have to wait and see.

Another thing about this picture(and something that ComicsAlliance has already hinted towards) they’re almost split entirely by age and race. The left side is predominantly older and white and the right side is predominantly younger and diversified racially. Could there be a theme there? It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the post Civil War II Marvel Universe.

Doom as Iron Man

I haven’t been this excited about a series in a long time. Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev reuniting on one of my favorite villains? Absolutely! Sign Me Up!

This series does worry me for one reason, There’s no Tony Stark to be found. Does Tony Stark die in Civil War II? It remains to be seen. What we do know is that the solicitation for this comic says that “Tony Stark Failed” which could mean many different things and I can’t wait to find out all of the answers.

 

Champions

Speaking of the Teenage heroes, We now have The Champions. A team name that Marvel hasn’t used in a long time. The Champions will be headlined by Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man and Nova, three characters who have been able to hold their own alongside the All-New, All-Different Avengers but now it’s time to branch out on their own. Also joining them is Hulk,(Amadeus Cho) Viv Vision and Cyclops. They’re interesting choices for the team but I think it works really well

Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos are doing the series and I’m really excited to see the return of Ramos. He’s one of my favorite artists because everything is really cartoony and fun but it doesn’t distract from the story when he does it. Waid has proved time and time again that he’s one of the greats and I can’t wait to see what he and Ramos can do.

Mosaic

As for new characters: Mosaic is the newest Inhuman out there and he just looks and sounds awesome. His power set is very similar to that of Deadman(DC), he can inhabit and control different bodies and is basically a ghost any other time. He’s an All-Star athlete one moment and the newest marvel hero the next.

Geoffrey Thorne and Khary Randolph are the creators of the character and they’re relatively unknown but Te-Nehisi Coates was unknown to me until April and I love his Black Panther comic and his memoir(The Beautiful Struggle) so in other words, I trust Marvel’s judgment on this one.

Game Of Thrones

Game Of Thrones is literally my favorite show on television and Season 6 was just as great as everything else they’ve done. I’m only going to speak briefly on this subject due to the coming article by WiseSage covering the entire season. I mainly just wanted to speak on my favorite episode of the season and the entire series – Episode 9: The Battle Of The Bastards.

This episode gave us so much. We got to see the battle that had been teased since the end of Book 5, We got to see Daenerys in her greatest action sequence and of course, Jon was Jon. It’s one of the greatest battles ever waged on screen and one of the most honest. The gif above shows a cavalry charge that is only challenged by “The Ride of The Rohirrim” in Return Of The King, almost everything you see is real and very little CGI was used throughout the entire episode. The fact that they were willing to spend a full three weeks focusing on this one episode shows their want to make a truly great episode and it’s clear to see throughout due the attention to detail.

Like I said, I don’t want to spoil anything and I don’t want to speak too much on this but I loved this season and the last two episodes were two of the best I’ve seen on television.

Samurai Jack Season 5

And thus, one of the greatest cartoons of all time is returning. We honestly haven’t heard much about the story or seen much of the series but we do know that we’ll get to see a Jack that has been in exile for a few years and he’s a bit darker than the last time we saw him. I can’t wait to see more of this great series and I’m sorry that I don’t have more to give you.

The only thing I demand is more of the Scotsman.

Finale: Is Marvel Losing Ground to DC?

Jesse Schedeen at IGN wrote an article endorsing DC’s Rebirth line while saying that he was unimpressed with what Marvel has planned/has been doing. He is

Speeding Bullets #4

As always, the “Speeding Bullet” articles are focused on talking about the latest news in the world of fandoms. Typically if I talk about breaking news then I do it on the Facebook page but sometimes, certain subjects require a few more words…this is one of those times.

The State of DC Films: Can Geoff Johns save them?

Geoff Johns is one of my favorite writers. His work is full of hopeful messages, strong heroes and brilliant villains. Johns has, throughout his entire career, thrived on reviving properties that were either forgotten or weren’t selling very well. (“Green Lantern”, “Teen Titans”, “Justice Society of America”, ETC.) Now he has to revitalize something that has taken a turn for the worst: The DC Cinematic Universe. They’ve chosen him (as Chief Creative Officer) and Jon Berg (as Executive VP) to head up production of the newly created DC Films. Furthering themselves away from Warner Brothers and becoming their own entity is something that I have wanted ever since they announced a shared universe. I think on paper it is a brilliant move and I’m hoping they can stick the landing with it. Obviously some changes have needed to happen because no matter who you are, whether you hated or kinda liked it, you have to say that Batman V. Superman had it’s fair share of problems. I’m not doing this article to bash the film, I don’t want this site to become that, but it’s so clearly the reasoning behind this shake-up that it has to be referenced.

Considering that Johns is one of my favorite writers I want to enjoy this but I have to do this with a slight bit of reticence. I always try to look at the big picture and understand what decisions have to be made before we, the public, see anything. Johns is a great choice for leading the films but as WiseSage said to me, “It’s too reactive.” I agree with him to an extent because I, too, would have preferred DC to make this decision from the beginning but obviously that wasn’t the case. Instead we have to remedy the situation that has been placed before us. Naturally, WB/DC has seen the varying reactions to their film and Marvel’s “Civil War” and saw the stark contrast between their film being heralded as an apocalyptic force to the superhero genre and Marvel’s single-handedly making everyone believe in it again.

So, the question is: What can DC do to save themselves? Johns is a good start but this could create problems for their comics. Over the past few years Johns has been spread very thin over the Comics, Shows and Films and many people have deemed this to be a major issue with DC considering how certain issues with the comics or shows have only gotten worse or haven’t been fixed at all. This summer marks the premiere of “Rebirth” which is going to be a comic book event that could make or break them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for it but the more I consider it the more I see the chinks in their armor.(Be on the Lookout for WiseSage’s new article on the issues with “Rebirth” in the next few days) They have a limited number of A-List creators in their upcoming line-up and it worries me that their stories might be focused more on fixing the problems that people are complaining about and not about trying to create great stories in the first place.

I hear you already, “But Vance, isn’t fan outcry exactly what this entire article is about?” Yes, but not just for the sake of trying to please everyone. Comics, and their subsequent adaptations, are in their very nature something that is 50% based on fan appreciation and 50% on creative quality. If either one is compromised then something needs to be fixed.

In conclusion, Johns is someone that can easily turn DC around for the better. Less than 3 years ago, DC was at a new height of financial and creative power that I think they can easily return to with the right leadership.

Speeding Bullets #2

We finally have our Iron Fist!

I think Finn Jones is gonna do very well in this role. Danny Rand’s character has always been one of those where I really like him even without reading much about him. That being said, much of that is probably due to him being a mystical ninja…which is possibly the greatest title of all time.

I’m excited for this series because this is honestly going to be the weirdest of the four main Netflix shows. Daredevil and Jessica Jones both involved two street level characters, one of which didn’t even feature any superpowers beyond Daredevil’s heightened senses. Iron Fist’s origins are steeped in the mystical side of comics and I’m hoping that the first half of the season is him getting his powers and then the second half is all about him coming home and joining up with Luke Cage and becoming Heroes for Hire/The Defenders.

One interesting aspect is where does this leave Loras Tyrell?(Jones’ character in Game Of Thrones) Last time we saw Loras in the show he was captured by the High Sparrow’s militia. In the books, he was heavily wounded in battle and was assumed that he would soon die. There’s nothing that says he can be in both shows but I think it makes sense that Loras would die soon on Game Of Thrones anyway.

Bottom Line, I can’t wait for more of the netflix shows and I’ll probably be looking for some more Iron Fist comics when I go to Comic-Con next month.

-Vance

Speeding Bullets #1

“Speeding Bullets” is the new segment where I write a quick article on something that’s going on in the world of entertainment and fandom. Here’s my first one…

Rating Versus Writing by Vance McCarty

 

As of this writing, Deadpool has made 300 million dollars. Deadpool is rated R and for many good reasons. It’s violent, sexual, vulgar and just downright offensive to multiple different people but it is incredibly successful and now there is word of Fox making the next Wolverine movie R as well. This is where I get a little upset.

Now whether this was going to be the plan before or after Deadpool had a great first week is up for debate but that’s honestly not the point. The point is that you shouldn’t write to do anything other than tell a great story and try to get your point across. That’s it. End of story. The reason that many R rated films fail or aren’t as good as some others is because they focus too much on pushing that rating as far as they can and forget common story elements like pacing, character development and subtlety.

I understand that Wolverine is a more adult character in some of the comics but but he’s been used well in the past without having to glorify the harsher aspects of his character. I’m not saying we make him a G rated film but write the script and then focus on how it’s gong to be viewed by the critics and rating board.

The real reason this upsets me is that if the movie is good then everyone’s going to say that it was because it was rated R and that’s not the reason. The film “The Wolverine” had it’s fair share of problems but a PG-13 rating was not one of them. It’s actually a pretty good movie until about 30 minutes before the ending. I understand that there’s not buckets of blood like there logically should be but that’s not really what makes Wolverine who he is.

What makes a good film isn’t it’s rating, it’s the heart of the characters that shine through it. When Wolverine is written well it doesn’t matter if we have or haven’t seen him naked, heard him drop 40 F-Bombs or seen him commit gratuitously realistic violence, it matters that he is the honorable, fallen warrior with the heart of gold.

-Vance