Detective Comics 1000 Review

Introduction

Okay, this is more like it. Detective Comics 1000. Surely after reading and enjoying Action Comics so much, I am going to love Detective Comics 1000. After all, Batman has always been one of my favorite comic book characters. Plus, there is a lot of crossover as far as writers between the two issues. Well, not so fast.

After reading it, I texted Chris that surprisingly I didn’t like it as much. I will get more into it with the individual story reviews. Overall, though, it just wasn’t as enjoyable experience as reading Action Comics 1000. Read on to find out why.

“Batman’s Longest Case” by Scott Snyder

Wait, they are starting with Snyder? That feels like a bold choice. I mean, I know you want to start strong, but one of the best and longest tenured Batman writers in recent history? This book is going to be great. (Narrator: The book wasn’t great. It was good. But, not great.) The big deal about this story was that the twist actually surprised me. That doesn’t happen often. A good start.

“Manufacture for Use” by Kevin Smith

I wrote “puns” and should have known. I’m not sure if this means that I should have expected puns from Kevin Smith or I should have expected some plot device because of the puns. I suspect that it is the former. This was a great story and the ending gave me goosebumps. Nice. 2 for 2.

“The Legend of Knute Brody” by Paul Dini

I actually liked this story from Paul Dini more than his Action Comics story. That’s not a surprise since he is known for writing Batman. Still, this was a funny story. I liked the idea of the family masquerading as an inept henchman to foil the plans of the villains. Clever.

“The Batman’s Design” by Warren Ellis

This story wasn’t vintage Ellis, but it was a good story. I enjoyed the way Batman psyched out the enemy. It was vintage for the character and one of the things that I most enjoy about Batman.

“Return to Crime Alley” by Denny O’Neill

This is Batman’s defining story, but it is told in a very different way. It was cool to see the bat judged for what he does and has been doing. He doesn’t kill people, but he is still very dark and welcomes others into that darkness.

“Heretic” by Christopher Priest

All I wrote here was “Meh. Tibet.” This is perhaps my least favorite part of the Batman mythos. I know it explains much and fills in some of the details of the character, but it is just tedious at times.

“I Know” by Brian Michael Bendis

A “last” meeting between Penguin and “Bats” (well, an older and supposedly invalid Bruce Wayne. Penguin tells Bruce that he always knew and could have ended it at any time. Bruce pulls one last one over on the old man by showing that he isn’t invalid. This was a cool concept and well done.

“The Last Crime in Gotham” by Geoff Johns

Bat’s birthday seems like a much more solemn occasion than was Superman’s. His wish is all our wish. Well, my wish for him. That he gets to stop being Batman and live his life.

“The Precedent” by James Tynion IV

This is a cool origin of Robin story. Very well done. I’m going to miss Tynion on this title. I enjoyed his run. At least I still have him on Justice League Dark.

“Batman’s Greatest Case” by Tom King

This isn’t his best effort. I can see what Chris means when he says that maybe King needs a break from the main title. DC agrees. Not that Chris gave them his input, but they’ve taken King off of the title. Still, it was okay and there was a great spread of the whole family.

“Medieval” by Peter Tomasi

I’m not a huge fan of Tomasi. I texted Chris when he mentioned something about the story that I wasn’t sure how Tomasi would do. He said that he’s liked it. I enjoyed this intro of him on the title similar to how I liked Bendis getting introduced in Action Comics. I’m definitely sold and I will read the main story now.

The Verdict (Detective Comics is good but not fun)

I talked in the opening paragraph about how Detective Comics 1000 wasn’t as enjoyable as Action Comics 1000. Then I spent 11 paragraphs talking about how good the stories were. Isn’t it enjoyable to have good stories? Well, technically, yes. That part of the book was enjoyable.

However, I feel like the dark and brooding Batman has been done. Maybe I’m just getting older and I want more fun from my stories. I can’t do the dark as much as anymore. Heck, even The Lego Movie made fun of Batman being emo. There’s room for fun and laughs in the Batman universe. Or, maybe not. Comic book nerds can be an unyielding group. Oh well, I think a little less grumpiness could go a long way.

Thaumcraft Check-In (Yer a Wizard, Noob!)

Introduction (Time is Arbitrary)

What is Thaumcraft? Thaumcraft is a Minecraft mod that I played pretty extensively last year. It introduces magic into Minecraft. You could craft wands (since taken out for some reason) and cast various spells. When I played it last year, I became more or less immortal. I lost that save game, so back to the drawing board. Download Thaumcraft here.

I know. Minecraft May is infringing upon June. That’s okay, though, since time is relative and ultimately arbitrary. I mean, time itself isn’t arbitrary. It marches inexorably on into the oblivion of our own deaths and the inevitable heat death of the universe.

However, as entropy has deemed us lucky enough to live in a time and place in the universe where the motions are more or less predictable, we have chosen to use that arbitrary predictability to base our measurements of time. So, May, June, whatever, I want to play and write about some Minecraft.

After all, I once heard Minecraft as “you mine stuff and then craft things” early in it’s life cycle and that’s exactly it.

A Note on this Thaumcraft review

I wanted to play through the mod before posing this article. And, if you’re a regular reader of the web page or a someone who appreciates irony, you will know that this is where I admit that I didn’t play. That’s only partially true. I set up Thaumcraft a few days ago and did play twice today.

After consulting the internet (I know, dangerous) for a brief introduction to the mod, I loaded up a game. I knew that in order to be successful, I had to find some crystals and sleep one night. That unlocks the spell book that guides you through the rest of the magic. I’m not sure if there’s any way to “discover” the crystal/sleep method other than with the pop up that you get when you do mine some of the crystals, but I wanted to get into the mod in order to review any changes.

Well, best laid plans and all of that. The first time I played, I found crystals, but was unable to craft a bed before getting blown up by a creeper. The second time, I was able to craft my bed, but no crystals are near my spawn point. Therefore, the review is based on my experience from last year.

The Good (Thaumcraft is polished)

Thaumcraft is not a mod that is a full reskin of Minecraft. To be honest, I’m not sure how popular those are. I remember back in my DOOM days, people would completely redesign the game from the ground up and create an all new game. I’ve seen a few Minecraft mods like that, but they must be an enormous undertaking as they are few and far between and don’t seem to last very long before being abandoned.

Thaumcraft is also not a mod that just adds a few new items to the game. I’ve also seen those types. Like the old Sims 2 packs that my wife and I would download, these mods give you a couch or a lounge chair or a bathroom set or all of those things. I’m not interested at all in minor cosmetic changes to a game. Well, except The Sims.

Thaumcraft is that rare in between mod that changes the game just enough to make it interesting…more interesting. I love Minecraft by itself. I can’t count the days that I spent staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning exploring a mine that I dug 8 hours earlier. But, it is fun to see what the community thinks the game needs. Magic and technology are the two big factors that I always wanted. Thaumcraft gave me that and in a very polished way.

Plus, there’s this neat puzzle that allows you to discover new spells and interactions.

The Bad (Thaumcraft isn’t always user friendly)

Despite being a mod that mostly just works, it isn’t always obvious what you’re supposed to do. I get that Minecraft is supposed to be about exploring, but if you happen to get dropped in an area with no crystals, then you have no idea how you are supposed to proceed and the mod might just feel completely broken from the beginning. I don’t know how likely that is, but it happened one out of two times for me, so it’s somewhat likely.

Also, when playing last year, I had to cheat a bit to find the silverwood tree to make a wand that was necessary for something or another. Wands are no longer in the game, so this might not be an issue anymore. I don’t know because I couldn’t advance in the game. This is a small thing and might stink of millenial whining, but it is something that I don’t exactly love about the game.

I have seen the trees in both of my worlds, so I’ve gotten luckier or the spawn rate is increased

The Ugly (Thaumcraft is no longer supported)

I understand that people move on and that it can be time consuming to work on these projects. I also understand that the internet is an unfriendly place at times and people don’t always speak with their best voice. But, it bums me out that the developer isn’t working on Thaumcraft anymore. I’m glad that it is still out there in case anyone else wants to work on it. I also am happy that it more or less works. Who knows? Maybe I’ll work to develop it more.

Okay, okay, I get it.

The Verdict (Thaumcraft is still one of the best)

It is no longer being developed. For some reason, you don’t need wands anymore. It isn’t the most user friendly experience. In spite of all that, I’m still excited to get back into the mod and build my immortal armor again. Look for my video series, starting tomorrow, as I become the most powerful being in the Minecraft universe. Well, in my Minecraft universe.

Hopefully I am able to craft a larger living space than this guy had.