And so it begins…

Okay. I’ve never been to the San Diego Comic Con….

So I’m making it my mission to go to the CON in 2014!

I’m also planning to construct a costume of one of my favorite black heroes for the event.

Care to take a guess who?

  
  
     

So I have a year. I will be posting on my progress, stay tuned…



If you love superheroes as much as I do, you should check out the DC deckbuilding game by Cryptozoic Entertainment.

This game is like the opposite of Magic the Gathering. Instead of making a deck and playing a game to win; the deck creation is actually the game. DC deckbuilding utilizes the Cerberus engine (whatever that means).

First you choose a DC superhero champion or avatar; Your options are Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Green Lantern, or Flash. Each hero gives the player some static ability to assist with the deck building.

   


 After you have your hero, you are given 10 starting cards. 7 PUNCH cards and 3 VULNERABILITY cards.
 

 There are 5 basic types of cards available for “purchase”. These types include: heroes, villains, super powers, equipment, and locations.

          


   

While you are getting your cards for your starting hand, the remaining cards are set up in different stacks with the majority of the cards in a stack called the main deck. The first five cards from the main deck are turned face up and these are called the line up. As cards are removed from the line up, cards are drawn from the main deck to replace them.

So how do you build your deck? You shuffle your 10 cards and draw 5 of them. This is your starting hand. Some cards “produce” POWER when you play them. POWER is the currency a player uses to buy other cards.  So on your turn you play your hand (lay down your cards). Lets say you have 3 PUNCH cards and 2 VULNERABILITY cards in your hand. That turn you have a total of 3 POWER to “spend”. The order in which you play your cards doesn’t really matter at the start of the game, but it can make a difference on your later turns.

 

Different cards give the player different options for building his/her deck. For instance, the SUPER POWER card “KICK” to the left costs 3 POWER to purchase and when played produces +2 POWER.

As you play and purchase cards, you put those into your discard pile. Once you have no more cards to draw, you shuffle your discard pile and use it to draw from. So you are constantly recycling your cards.
 

 

Game play continues with players purchasing basic cards until players can produce enough POWER to purchase a SUPER Villain card. The JOKER card to the left costs 10 POWER. The game ends when the last SUPER villain card is purchased. 

 
 Every card in the game is worth a number of victory points. Let’s look at the JOKER card again; its worth 5 victory points (the number in the orange star). The winner of the game is the player whose deck “produces” the most victory points.








 

There are a few other game mechanics not mentioned in this review, but this covers the basics.

PROSE AND KONS

PROSE
Game play and rules are pretty simple.
Card art is visually pleasing.
A decent game could be played under 2 hours.
Rules are flexible enough that allow variations.

KONS
After a while the game can get monotonous.
Need to have at least 3 players for a decent game.
$40 price tag.
Game packaging is a bit cumbersome for storage.

THE VERDICT
Being a superhero fanatic, I love DC deckbuilding. While I listed monotony as a con, it’s only because that’s what some of my friends said to me; as I could play this game forever without boredom (ok, maybe not forever…). The reason for this review is that a new expansion for DC deckbuilding called HEROES UNITE is coming out. This expansion is said to have new hero champions/avatar including Batgirl, Hawkman, and others… Stay tuned for more info

Does the black guy live? Movie reviews….This week IRON-MAN 3

Iron Man 3 Does the black guy live?
SPOILER ALERT!

Yes.

Iron Man 3 went in a different direction than the other 2 films. I’d almost call this one “The Ballad of Tony Stark”. The first 2 films involve a vocal Tony Stark full of wit and personality, but when the action starts he dons the armor and becomes Iron Man. In Iron Man 3, the majority of the film deals with Tony Stark in and out of action. He shows why he was “the guy” who developed the armor as he plays “Macguyver” and incapacitates foes and takes on terrorists using everything BUT his armor. Some might complain that he didn’t spend enough time in he armor. I liked it for that.

I also liked the treatment of the Mandarin. Being an Iron Man fan, I was wondering how they would pull it off. I like the avenue that was chosen. It didn’t spoil the Mandarin to me; as his origin is complicated and would’ve needed a bit of retooling.

Now on to what I didn’t like. Ok that I didn’t get to see Tony Stark in the armor, but I wanted to see Jim Rhodes in his. They give me Iron Patriot, but don’t give me any action for him. By the climax of the movie I was tired of seeing everyone but Rhodes in the Iron Patriot armor. And while I was ok with A.I.M. being the “hidden” villain, the extremis heat generating abilities were a little too much. Some human generates enough heat to nearly destroy an armor. I didn’t like that at all. It definitely made them more disposable. While it worked for the direction the film went and the climatic battle scene; I thought it could have been done a little better. Just give them a gauntlet, or some type of tech to disable the armor. The way Iron Patriot got “heated” out of his armor was a little annoying. Still, it wasn’t so bad that I didn’t enjoy the movie.

I was a little unsure how I felt about the removal of the arc reactor from Tony Stark’s chest. I liked how it defined him as a tragic hero. He has all of these resources at his disposal, but couldn’t handle his heart issue. Although it begs the question, if he had all these resources, why couldn’t he cure himself. So I let it go.


The after credit scene was awesome!
B+ grade for Iron Man 3!

Black Superhero Spotlight

Every month I’m going to spotlight a black superhero (although this is more for May/June). If you can’t hear about black superheroes from a blerd…then where are you going to  hear it from? This Month’s Superhero is…. STATIC

Static’s creator: Dwayne McDuffie

Static’s History

Static is a black superhero named Virgil Hawkins that started out in Millstone Comics; which was an independently owned division of DC comics that focused on minority heroes.  Static was created by the late Dwayne McDuffie, who stated that Static was Millstone’s version of Spiderman: a geeky teen who deals with normal teen issues and then has powers and has even more to deal with. He also uses his scientific knowledge as well as his razor sharp wit to battle foes as Static. After Millstone Comics stopped publishing, Static was brought to the small screen as the cartoon Static Shock. The show lasted several seasons. Later Static was integrated into the main DC universe and has since joined the Teen Titans. Also Virgil appeared recently in the second season of the Cartoon Network Young Justice animated series.


Static’s Origin

Virgil Hawkins is a young intelligent high school kid who lets his mouth write a check that his @ss can’t cash. He ends up getting beaten up by a bully. To get revenge, he gets a gun from a friend and sneaks to the site of a huge gang fight planning to shoot the bully in retaliation. Well despite it all, Virgil is not a killer, so he doesn’t shoot the bully. But the city arrives to the scene of the gang fight and uses an experiential tear gas that is meant to be used to track the offenders by marking them using harmless radioactivity, similar to the tracking dye used to track whale. The gas ends up granting many of the gang members and other people involved powers and the event is then referred to as the “Big Bang”. Those who gained abilities from the gas are referred to as “Bang Babies”.

Statics’ Powers

Static’s powers focus on electromagnetism allowing him control and generate electricity with various effects such as electronic blasts, blinding flashes, energy shields, and even flight. Like Peter Parker, Virgil is extremely intelligent and uses his scientific knowledge to augment the use of his powers and/or out think his adversaries

I think my favorite thing about Static is that he’s a fanboy. He collects comics, is a gamer, and uses a lot of pop culture references.

STATIC as a HEROCLIX

This figure isn’t a game changer, but seeing it for the first time almost give me a nerdgasm. Allow me to elaborate. Comics in general have a lack of strong major black characters. For instance, there was a time that the X-Men featured more BLUE characters in its membership than BLACK ones. So when Heroclix gives me one of my favorite black characters…oh believe me I’m UBER excited; regardless of stats. Speaking of which, let’s take a look:

HEROCLIX REVIEW

Static comes out at 98 points with 6 clicks of life, 7 range with 2 lightning bolts and the flight ability. The figure on its one is decent. Alternating between Running Shot and Hypersonic Speed is awesome and allows for a little versatile tactics. Damage not dropping below 2 is also cool. A 10 attack is respectable. Although his attack drops to an 8, we are in the age of the Utility belt and values can always be modified. With Energy Explosion getting the upcoming boost, 3 clicks of it paired with Running shot could be huge. Super Senses provides a decent defense augmented by the Trashcan Lids trait. And Enhancement is just icing.

Only a black character would get a trait called Trashcan Lids. Honestly for most of Static’s appearances (comic or animated), Static would use a trashcan lid or manhole cover to fly. The trait is cool, but they could’ve though of another name. Enhancement could work nicely as Static could carry a ranged attacker, use Running Shot or Hypersonic to attack and setup the sniper he carried for a shot the following turn. My only real, but MAJOR gripe is the LACK of keywords and team ability. Static is just as much a scientist as Peter Parker and he’s a teen that’s been hanging out with the Teen Titans. With theme teams becoming more and more part of the meta-game…this is a major disadvantage. And it wasn’t like there weren’t options. I would have given perplex instead of enhancement as well.

Final analysis of STATIC
SCULPT – 3 out of 5 stars. It’s ok, but room for improvement. TWO WORDS: FORE-HEAD!
CREATIVITY – 3 out of 5 stars. The trait is cool, there could’ve been a bit more.
PLAYABILITY – 2 out of 5. No keywords or team ability really hurt this figure for competitive. Which is a same as it could have been better
ACCURACY – 4 out of 5. Even though there could’ve been a bit more power-wise, what the figure has fits and works!


BLERD RAGE!

Its not what you might think. I admit to being a superhero fanboy and when I found out about the Mission Marvel that Disney was doing with their Phineas and Ferb show; only one thing came to mind….. AWESOME!

I have loved the Phineas and Ferb show since the first time I saw it. But I’ve been a Disney nerd since my wife and I started dating (she was and it became something we could share). So this amalgamation has me very excited. So I bet you’re wondering, where’s the nerd rage… Well here goes…

As I read the comments over youtube about this “crossover”, some of the fanboys are hating. And I don’t mean regular hate… like oh this is going to suck rocks, I’m not going to like it, or something. No, I mean little girlie boy, cry baby hate. Oh wah wah… I knew Disney was going to do something like this…wah wah… F#*$ Disney, they better not mess with Star Wars. wah wah…

Oh geez…really guys? I mean I have just as much fanboy lovin’ for Mavel heroes as the next nerd…But the level these guys are taking it to is ridiculous!

Let me give you a little backstory so you can understand. Phineas and Ferb is a kids show about 2 brothers who have fabulous adventures and create impossible devices; all while their older sister is trying to prove to their mother what the boys are doing. And in Disney fashion, after a song or two, everything is gone by the time the mother appears. The show also includes….wait for it…an evil scientist and a platypus that’s a secret agent. So yeah, we’re talking really serious stuff…lol.

Well in the Mission Marvel story, the heroes lose their super powers.  Would you believe the fanboys are cursing like sailors over continuity issues like “Iron Man is in a suit, how can he lose his powers? If the Hulk loses his powers, why is he still green?” These guys are almost making me ashamed to be a nerd. Its one thing not to like the story. Its another thing to b!$#* and moan about something that has the lasting effects on continuity of an SNL sketch.

Let’s just be real here. Marvel was dying. All of my fanboy love and the love from my fellow fanboys wasn’t enough to save it. Things like this “crossover” only help to keep our heroes alive. Through the show, our beloved heroes will be exposed to a totally different audience (and their parents) which will undoubtedly create a new legion of fans that will grow up loving the heroes. How is that a bad thing?

And frankly, with the way Lucus was messing up Star Wars; you guys better hope that Disney does similar endeavors.

My advice to those ultra crybaby fanboys is leave the sanctity of your mother’s basement, put down their still mint-in-box limited edition action figure, walk around in the sunlight for a short while and quit treating your/OUR favorite heroes like sacred cows.

Welcome to BLERD WORDS! This blog will be focusing on many different nerdtastic pleasures including gaming, cosplay, comics, movies, and more.  I hope you enjoy it…