Alex + Ada is undeniably something of a genre pastiche, even if it is a well-executed one. The second issue covers ground familiar to anyone who's read or seen any science fiction tale concerning androids. While some of the nods to the genre are intentional -- including a tip of the hat to Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics -- it feels like other parts of the narrative use them as a crutch. What keeps Alex + Ada feeling fresh is the emphasis on Alex's humanity. The character may exist in a fictional, future world, but his quotidian battle against loneliness in an increasingly disconnected world is something most of us can relate to on a fundamental level.
Coffin Hill had a strong, if somewhat uneven, start, and with its third issue, the series proves that its richly layered narrative is as satisfying as it is complex. Writer Caitlin Kittredge and artist Inaki Miranda draw their readers deeper into the many mysteries of Coffin Hill as the malicious supernatural forces surrounding Eve and her friends multiply like rabbits. It's hard to believe how much story the creative team has packed into a slender volume of about twenty pages, but the world of Coffin Hill -- and the colorful characters that populate it -- is as expansive as it is ambitious.
The latest installment in writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo's Zero Year is jam-packed with chunky, plotty goodness. With a story this ambitious, there are, as one would expect, a few road bumps along the way, but overall, Batman #26 is a solid chapter in this origin story retelling, as light is shed on the fraught relationship between Bruce and the then Lieutenant Gordon.
There's a lot happening in Batman #26. Between Bruce's confrontation with Doctor Death, the flashback of baby Bruce's early experiences with Gotham PD, and the current animosity simmering between himself and Gordon, who he accuses of corruption, our hero has more than his fair share of character-developing moments. Meanwhile, the Riddler hovers off-screen as an unpredictable threat, while a few pages of curiously out of context material featuring an unkempt Bruce in a mysterious locale feel oddly shoehorned into the narrative. There are, perhaps, too many stories being crowded into the pages of Batman #26. While intriguing individually, one wonders if the presence of so many disparate narrative threads is entirely necessary.
With issue #26, Nightwing is moving on to a new storyline filled with new characters ranging from good to bad to ambivalent. Writer Kyle Higgins refuses to fall into his own quicksand by gracefully closing the door on the previous arc to head into the new one afresh. There's a new anti-psychotic that's all the rage in select Chicago hospitals, and a handful of morally questionable individuals yearn to get their paws on it. To make matters even worse, Dick also has to deal with a passive aggressive roommate situation. Which is worse? You decide.
Infinity: The Hunt didn't really take advantage of the possibilities that come from pairing the Avengers Academy, Future Foundation, and Jean Grey School students together. I hoped Matt Kindt's follow-up mini-series could do more with that combination of eclectic characters, and it does. Inhumanity: Awakening isn't shaping up to be a very important or groundbreaking read, but it does a better job of playing these characters off each other.
The recurring question in the first few acts of "All-Out War" is whether this conflict can ultimately justify the 12-issue treatment. Does this story need that many issues to be told? The Walking Dead #118 is a strange beast in that it simultaneously seems to answer "Yes" and "No." This issue does very little to further the overall plot. It doesn't even feature Rick or Negan. But its emphasis on fleshing out some of the secondary players in this tale shows that Robert Kirkman isn't ignoring the character drama that has been at the heart of this book from the beginning.
Despite being the only book to showcase the fate of the Justice Leagues during Forever Evil, Justice League of America doesn't feel quite as vital or exiting as its sister series. It reads more like a method of keeping these characters out of the conflict until the right moment than something that really furthers the events of Forever Evil. However, this storyline continues to succeed in one key area. It shines a spotlight on two character who haven't received enough attention in the New 52 so far - Martian Manhunter and Stargirl.
Hey you! Got a shiny new Xbox One and want some more games to play on it? Because we have 15 copies of Crytek's gorgeous-looking Ryse: Son of Rome to give away!
To go in the draw to win a copy, simply tell us who your favourite Roman historical figure is in 25 words or less. Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject line "Ryse Comp." Please include your postal address with your entry. Entrants must be aged 15 or over and a resident of Australia. This competition will end Monday, 16th December 2013.
About Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome tells the story of Marius Titus who witnesses the murder of his family at the hands of barbarians. Seeking revenge, Marius joins the Roman army in Britannia and quickly rises through the ranks to become a General. As his war against the barbarians escalates, his quest unravels: to find his vengeance, he has to return to Rome.
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow…
American Horror Story introduced a whole new mythology into the "Salem vs. Voodoo" mix this week in the form of an ancient organization of witch hunters who now secretly work within a large global company called the Delphi Trust (which came complete with the "Sarabande" piece from Barry Lyndon). Some solid texturization here for a world that had been rapidly growing paper thin. And the two scenes between Hank and his father - the first being a flashback to 1991 - were excellent.
The rest of this chapter ("Head"), I'm afraid, offered up more takebacks and runarounds - this time with Delia getting her eyesight back. Because nothing sticks. No dramatic, character-altering moment is allowed to resonate. Sure, her new eyes came at the expense of the two leftover council members - Pembroke and Quentin - but it still just felt like another example of the show inadvertently instructing me to temper any expectations regarding permanence of payoff.
Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
"Death's Door" served as The Tomorrow People's fall finale, but anybody expecting a game-changing episode would be disappointed by this hour. There was no shortage of potentially huge events this week, though: the Founder uses some really nifty telekinesis to put the screws to John, who is freed with the help of Jedikiah and Stephen. Meanwhile, Cara and Russell kidnap Morgan to leverage Jedikiah into helping that escape, the cat's totally out of the bag about John killing (or attempting to kill- semantics!) Stephen's father and it's capped off by Stephen being brought to the episode title. Now that sounds like a jam-packed, rock-'em-sock-'em hour of TV, but in the world of The Tomorrow People it falls flat.
A long awaited release date gets revealed and a glitch from the heavens gets outed in GTA Online. We also have deals, deals, and more deals to announce -- perfect for your family Christmas gift purchases. Or for yourself, which ever.
Here's what we covered:
The growing number of unsatisfied Xbox One Battlefield 4 Premium members has lead Microsoft to issue refunds for the service but getting one may cost you your Premium membership status.
We compare the numbers with how well the PS4 sold.
A new glitch allows you visit North Yankton in GTA Online. Here's how to gain access.
Bethesda's upcoming MMORPG is set to arrive for the PC on April 4th, 2014. When will we see it on consoles? Click for the details.
Warning: full episode spoilers follow.
I think it's a little silly that so many shows are advertising their "mid-season finales" these days. Just because a show is going on a holiday hiatus for a few weeks doesn't mean an episode deserves extra hype. But in the case of Arrow's mid-season finale, it certainly deserved the title, and then some. "Three Ghosts" would have been a perfectly decent full season finale. But I'm glad it isn't. And I'm glad the wait for the second half of the season won't be as long as it was during Season 1's hiatus. There were just too many great developments this week to leave viewers hanging.
"Three Ghosts" had a vague Christmas theme going. Aside from the obligatory shots of Moira decorating the Queen family tree and Laurel and Sebastian doing a little Christmas shopping, there were the titular three ghosts to Ollie's Ebeneezer Scrooge. The writers didn't really opt for the "Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future" motif from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. That might have been a little too on the nose. Though you could probably argue that they simply appeared out of order, with Shado being past, Tommy being present, and Slade being future (more on that later).
While promoting The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, actor Luke Evans was asked in a recent interview about the upcoming remake of The Crow, in which he stars as the title character.
"What we want to do with it is not just do a remake, because the original was brilliant," the actor told Total Film. "What we want to do is tell the story and bring parts of the original source material into the film that was not done the first time."
Evans concluded, "I think people who love the comic book... will be really happy with what we're doing."
Dota 2's much-teased holiday event, Wraith-Night, has finally been revealed. The update includes ranked matchmaking, more accessibility options for new players, balance tweaks, and a new playable hero, Legion Commander.
Yesterday, the Skeleton King hero was removed from the game for "pressing ceremonial reasons." Valve said on its official blog that during Wraith-Night, Dota players will have to "harvest the energy needed to prepare the King for his next coronation." This will be done through a defensive game mode where each beast slain powers up the dormant king.
A hero from the original Dota, Legion Commander, will make her way into Dota 2. Her skills are oriented toward teamfights, and as her name implies, she should shine when played with a coordinated group.
United States law firm Holzer Holzer and Fistel, LLC is conducting an investigation over whether EA mislead its investors during Battlefield 4's development and post-launch.
Specifically, the firm will investigate whether EA complied with "federal securities laws" when making public statements regarding Battlefield 4 between the days of July 24 and December 4 2013.
"The investigation focuses on statements issued during that time regarding the development and sales of the Company's Battlefield 4 video game and the game's impact on EA's revenue and projects moving forward," read a press release issued by the firm. The release then goes on to encourage those who suffered losses on EA common stock purchased between those dates to be in touch.
The podcast returns this week with hosts Mark Ryan Sallee and Scott Lowe as they discuss the latest and greatest in tech, including the launch of Valve's Steam Machine beta program and public release of Steam OS, as well as Amazon's announced drone delivery program. Scott shares his impressions of the new PS Vita slim, as well as the Xbox One and PS4.
As we wish legendary first-person shooter DOOM a happy 20th anniversary, we dissect each of the big game announcements from over the weekend -- including two very interesting ones from Walking Dead creator Telltale Games. Plus: the first major system update for Xbox One, filling up the new console's hard drive, demos on Xbox One, and an evil hoax. Oh, and now we know what day you'll want to call in sick for in order to play Destiny.
Also, big thanks to Podcast Unlocked superfan Rory Fulwell for updating the show's bumpers!
I’m a Vietnam history buff and a flight-sim junkie. Air Conflicts: Vietnam should light my fire. Instead, it just crashes and burns.
Air Conflicts: Vietnam is a pick-up-and-play dogfighting game set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. The best moments are spent weaving through the skies trying to establish an elusive missile lock, taking down an enemy MiG with Sidewinders or short-range cannon. Flight controls are responsive and forgiving, jet fighters feel appropriately zippy, and helicopter steering is easy to master. Most vehicles are durable enough on standard difficulty to survive a few mistakes, and the enemy AI isn't bad at all.
Frank Grillo (The Grey, Crossbones in the upcoming Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier) has been cast in the leading role in Universal and Blumhouse Productions' next horror sequel, The Purge 2, Deadline reports. Blumhouse's most recent "micro-budet" horror release Insidious 2 has already made $150 million worldwide, The Purge director James DeMonaco will return to write, direct, and produce the sequel to the home invasion thriller. The first film earned roughly $90 million dollars worldwide on a $3 million budget.
No plot details are available, but one imagines that the story will once again take place on the night of the imagined annual "purge" in which all crime is legal. Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum, Sébastien K. Lemercier and Platinum Dunes’ Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are set to produce The Purge 2, which is set for a June 20, 2014 release.
PlayStation 4 may be the quickest-selling console in industry history, but Microsoft’s Xbox One kept it competitive, selling a staggering two million units in 18 days, officially making it the second quickest-selling console ever released.
The same report that discussed PlayStation 4’s success also touted Xbox One’s. “Both the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One had very successful console launches in November, 2013,” DFC’s analysis read, in part. But there’s an interesting prediction about where, exactly, the Xbox One will succeed, even if it doesn’t come as much of a surprise.