Bond is back – seemingly this time from the death – Mendes at the helm, creepy ass bad guy with a hair colour that doesn’t quite suit him (Javier Bardem, apparently moved on from being a lone pressure gun killer in No Country For Old Men to being MI6’s greatest nemesis to date).
Rumours of the scene, provided by Danny Boyle from excess footage left over from the Olympics, in which the Queen fly kicks a bad guy in the neck at Sandringham, does appear to have been left out of this trailer.
For those who missed it at the Olympic Opening Ceremony (you were one of the 2.3 Billion who missed it, eh?) here’s the quintessential moment in which two icons of the British Empire met for the first time and threw themselves out of a Helicopter….
It has come to our attention that we are beginning to become a depository for other people’s cool. At the risk of becoming an advertising space for a company that frankly doesn’t need it I have to post this however. Lucasarts have released 3 trailers (in the wrong order) featuring gameplay from Star Wars 1313. It’s first mature rated game – I think it’s first mature rated anything – it features a breakout at the titular level 1313. These are the three trailers together – in the right order.
Whether mature content is a move that Lucasarts intend to investigate more is unknown but as much as it pains me to say it, Lucasart’s incredibly well funded design shop have done it again. It looks monumental, with (assuming the extended scene is indicative of general gameplay) beautifully developed sequences and fairly seamless and exciting gameplay. Rumours of Leisure Suit Jabba : Tits on Tatooine or the the new TV series X-Wing, a view of daily life and conflicts in the Senate by Aaron Sorkin are most likely grossly overstated.
Never the less head over to the Star Wars: 1313 site if you’d like to hear some moody music, look at this image and follow it on Facebook.
As if we helpless Elder Scrolls fans need any more reason to be hyped up for the Friday’s release of Skyrim, gamer and musician Dan Bull has produced this somewhat epic rap tribute to the game.
You can download a copy of the song for free by going HERE!
Peter David is an American writer of comic books, novels, TV, Movies and Video Games. In part One we looked at how Peter David came to arrive in comic books, in Part Two we arrive at how he changed the fcae of comic histories most prominent characters.
Having been given an unpopular and derided title like the Hulk David discovered that he had greater creative control so far away from the central, more popular titles. This enabled him to investigate and test out his storytelling with impressive results. Within his first 12 month run on Hulk, David had reintroduced his estranged wife, destroyed the Hulkbuster base, sending several characters turn-coat and on the road with Bruce Banner (trying to contain his other persona), introduced X-Men – for a rematch with Wolverine, and X-Factor (who he would write for in the mid-nineties), effectively kill Hulk and have him return as the more cerebral Joe-Fixit, a figure in contention with the less intelligent Green persona. David concentrated on the recurring theme of the Hulk/ Bruce Banner’s multiple personality disorder, his periodic changes between the more rageful and less intelligent Green Hulk and the more streetwise, cereral Grey Hulk, and of being a journeyman hero, whicxh were inspired by Incredible Hulk 312 (October 1985) in which writer Bill Mantlo (and according to David himself Barry Windsor-Smith)had first established that Bruce Banner had suffered childhood abuse at the hands of his father. These aspects of the character would later be used in the slightly misaligned but well-intentioned 2003 film adaptation written by Michael France and directed by Ang Lee. In his 12-year run as writer of Incredible Hulk, in which he worked with luminaries and upcoming talents as Todd McFarlane (there when he got there) Gary Frank, Liam Sharp and Adam Kubert he developed the character further, revealing a third, and potentially less engaging Hulk. Banner and the Hulk merge in a more balanced character, retaining the intelligent characteristics of Bruce Banner and the strength and power of the Hulk. The effect was impressive. The now intelligent Hulk found a new relationship with his former wife Betty Ross and along with friends Rick and Margot found himself in control of a secret cabal of immortal heroes known as the Pantheon. David gave Hulk everything he wanted, access to his intelligent mind, strength and access to a private jet and technology bordering on magic. This is where David excels. He puts no limitations on the potential for change in his characters in order to explore possibilities in the story and is fearless in progressing the story at a break neck pace. He also listens to his artists, asking the newly signed Liam Sharp, fresh from success in the UK and US with Marvel Uk’s Death’s Head 2, what character he would like to draw. Gary Frank’s first comic book project with Marvel Uk was drawn upon as well, as the Marvel UK characters Motormouth and Killpower arrived in the pages of Hulk. Using the newly empowered Hulk as a platform to deal with difficult issues such as AIDs, false political imprisonment and homophobia. Not forgetting who was reading the book however, he soon brought the furious, sub-intelligent Hulk back to the pages of Hulk, leaving him lost and alone in the Everglades, effectively restarting the story of the only journeyman struggling with his own demons. Not to say he didn’t throw in Swamp-Thing and Speedfreak for good measure.
And was after he had been freelancing for a year, and into his run on Hulk, that David felt his career as a writer had been cemented and he began to make approaches to DC, being offered a four issue mini-series of The Phantom by Mike Gold. Finally – and astonishingly given that he had been employed on a Marvel title for a year, David only then left his sales position to become a full time writer.
David took on Dreadstar during its First Comics run, with issue 41 after Jim Starlin left the title, and remained on it until issue 64 (March 1991), the final issue. David’s other Marvel Comics work in the late 1980s and early 1990s includes runs on Wolverine, the New Universe series Merc and Justice, an excellent run on the original X-Factor, including issue 92 (with Joe Quesada), as part of the Fathers and Sons crossover which incorporated X-Men 25.
Peter David launched the future universe of Marvel with Spider-man 2099, a beautifully realised, dystopian tale of Miguel O’Hara, a futurist scientist who develops powers comparable to a spider in the corporate-run streets of a monolithic New York. Intelligent, witty and deliberately referential of the original without touching directly on its predecessor thematically or literally, Spider-man 2099 helped launch the entire 2099 Universe which lasted for the better part of a decade and took in almost every character in the Marvel Universe and redeveloped them. David set the tone for it all.
At DC Comics in 1990, David wrote an Aquaman miniseries, The Atlantis Chronicles, detailing the history of Aquaman’s home city Atlantis. This has since been cited by David as one of the works he is most proud. His following Aquaman mini-series Aquaman: Time and Tide and the subsequent run of 46 issues on the ongoing series gained notoriety as Aquaman lost a hand early in the series, which was later replaced with a harpoon, a feature of the character that lasted David’s full tenure on the book. He also wrote DC’s Star Trek comic books (though openly opined that Star Trek is better served in novel form as they’re not particularly visual), as well as Supergirl and Young Justice, the latter cancelld in order to transfer the assembled characters to the newly reformed Teen Titans monthly.
David’s work for Dark Horse comics has included the Spy Teen Adventure, SpyBoy, which appeared between 1999 and 2004 and a 2007 mini-series. Other independent work includes Soulsearchers and Company, which is published by Claypool Comics and the Epic Comic’s Sachs and Violens, which he produced personally with co-creator George Perez.
David returned to Marvel with Heroes Reborn: The Return for Marvel, in which the Marvel Universe’s lost characters that had disappeared in an event a year before returned to the Marvel Universe as well as a run on a new series of Captain Marvel, which was critically acclaimed.
David and his Second wife, Kathleen. wrote the final English-language text for the first four volumes of the manga series Negima for Del Ray Manga. In 2003, David began writing a new creator owned title , Fallen Angels, for DC Comics, using material left from development of the now-defunct Supergirl title as well as writinga Teenage Mutant Nija Turtles Mini-series for Dreamwave that tied into the animated television series broadcast that year. After Dc cancelled Fallen Angels, David relaunched at IDW the same year. He went on to produce Spike: Old Times one-shot and Spike Vs Dracula mini-series, based on the character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Tv series.
In 2005, David briefly returned to the Incredible Hulk but only lasted for 11 Issues due to work pressures. He also developed a new title Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-man, beginning witha 12-part ‘The Other’ storyline in which Spider-man discovers he is dying, lost a fight during a traumatic fight with Morlun, underwent a metamorphosis and developed new powers and greater understanding of his abilities. Yet again whenever experimental alterations are made to popular characters, this proved controversial with readers, who were bemused perhaps by the extended stingers coming out of Spider-man’s arms and the association of a Spider totem from which his powers were derived. David’s run ended with issue 23.
Following on from David’s original and successful run on X-factor in the early 90s, he wrote a successful MadroX (Multiple Man) title for Marvel the same year which led to the reintroduction of the X-Factor title, using characters from David’s original tenure Multiple Man, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane) working as private investigators in a detective agency of the titular name. David’s work on the title proved popular with Ain’t It Cool News and David found that the new Opt in/ opt out policy on Crossovers and greater forward planning on titles made his second tenure much easier. However, his decision to create a homosexual storyline between established characters, Shatterstar and Rictor (a confirmation of clues that had been established in X-Force years earlier) drew criticism from Shatterstar’s Co-creator Rob Liefield, though Editor-in-Chief and former creative partner on David’s original run on X-Factor supported the story. The title eventually won a 2011 GLAAD Media Award for outstanding comic book for his work on the title.
Peter David announced in 2005 that he had signed an exclusive contract with Marvel, his independent works Spike, Fallen Angel and Soulsearchers and Company ‘grandfathered’ into the agreement. David wrote the dialogue for The Dark Tower: A Gunslinger Born, a comic book spin-off from Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels, bringing his career full circle. He then wrote Marvel’s Dark Tower comic book adaptations as well.
David took over She-Hulk after Dan Slott left, from Issue 22 to 38, a run which won praise. He also wrote Halo: Helljumper, 2009 Ben 10: Alien Force Manga book published by Del Rey, Ben Fold’s Four, a ‘Little Mermaid’ story in Jim Valentino’s Fractured Fables anthology that won more praise from Ain’t it Cool News, an adaptation of the 1982 film Tron to tie in with the 2010 sequel of the same name and a John Carter from Mars prequel to the film due out next year.
Peter David is a genius. His methodology is to block out different days for different projects, allowing him to be prolific in his work. Assured, well liked and professional, Peter David is a quiet voice in a creative industry but one with an enormous fan base exclusively based on the enjoyment of his work. His writing conveys his enthusiasm, wit and humour as well as never losing grip on issues close to him. Unafraid of controversy and generous in his plotting and pacing, David is a joy to read. A clear reason as to why his works are reprinted through Marvel, available as Masterworks collections and including full runs of his writing.
The end result of the cooperation between game and film industries – led by Pixar and Lucasarts for the most part has given rise to a lesser recognised art form. The reason why games can’t be converted to film is simple. The jobs already done. Here are five (from my very limited gaming experience) of the best I’ve seen. Fun fun.
Lemmings Tribes Intro
Angry Birds: The Mighty Eagle
Star Wars: The Old Republic – Deceived Trailer
Cataclysm – World of Warcraft
The Betrayal of Kerrigan – Starcraft 2
Always, always had a thing for the cinematics in any game I’ve ever played ever since Lemmings 2: Tribes. May they live on long and continue to get better and better. These 5 represent the epitomy of the style and I am more influenced by them than I care to admit. Over the next 5 weeks I’ll go into them in a little more detail but I thought I’d show you them first. For laughs. One thing worth noting. All of them represent the beginnings of stories in which millions (billions in some cases) die. Gotta love gaming!
In the early to mid 1990’s adventure games were king. While consoles focused on platformers about hedgehogs and plumbers (things sure change, huh?) the PC market was all about point and click. It was a glorious time in the short history of gaming, an era when storytelling was king and games lived or died on the quality of their writing. Some of the greatest games of all time came out of the adventure boom of the 90s, Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Kings Quest (and its many many sequels), these were all games that eschewed fast paced action in favour of compelling (not to mention hilarious) stories. Of all these titles (and I’m sure we shall speak again of some of them) there was one however that is generally considered to be one of the finest. The tale of one dog and one “hyperkinetic rabbity thing”, Sam n’ Max Hit The Road.
Sam n’ Max is the brainchild of writer, Steve Purcell, a Californian cartoonist who created the duo for an independent comic book which was later picked up by Lucusarts (it’s a little more complicated than that but that’s the gist). Quick celebrity fact (and please bear in mind that this is very much a wiki fact and so usual scepticism should apply) Steve Purcel is a friend of Mike Mignola (Hellboy) and invented a game with him called “fizzball” that involved hitting a can of beer with an axe handle. Is that true? Probably not, but dammit if it isn’t a funny image.
So what’s it about then? Well Sam is a 6 foot tall dog in a suit & fedora while Max is a borderline psychotic rabbit with a passion for mindless violence. Together they comprise The Freelance Police, a semi-legal vigilante outfit that solves nutty crimes about missing bigfoots (bigfeet?) and giant moon rats. The great staples of a cop comedy are all there: the calm straight man who knows everything and the crazy funny guy who blows stuff up. It’s a golden formula and one that many great stories make use of. The writing in Sam n’ Max Hit The Road (much of it handled by Purcell himself) is razor sharp, frequently satirical and deliriously silly. The game’s humour succeeded in appealing to both adults and children, a quality that we’re used to seeing from the best animation now, but was pretty ground breaking in its time (especially for a computer game).
The duo finally returned to their roots in 1997 when a Sam n’ Max web comic written by Purcell won the Eisner award for best digital comic. A fitting tribute for a pair of characters who were born in print but made their name in pixels.
Finding a copy of the original game that will run on a modern PC can be a challenge but luckily for you there is always the fairly recent episodic game series from Telltale games which once again features Purcell’s writing at the forefront. Sam n’ Max are a rare example of a franchise gaining an insane amount of critical acclaim and fan adoration despite having only appeared in a small range of media. It’s a masterpiece of police comedy and if Moon can succeed in being a fraction as good then I shall be a very happy man.
Now enjoy some of the finest cheesy intro music you’ll ever hear!