All posts by Blond

MTG Monday Night Modern Vol.2

A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to make my triumphant(?) return to a Monday night Modern event at one of the local game stores near me. I won’t name them because they haven’t thrown us a sponsorship along with a lifetime supply of gaming goodies. C’mon! You know I’m in this for the free stuff! I kid! I kid! Ahem.

The one part of going to game nights that causes me anxiety is picking which deck to play. I basically went back and forth between Bogles and Storm for the entire week before. Bogles is annoying and one of those Tier 2 modern decks that sneaks into Tier 1 from time to time, while Storm is more fun to actually play with and can lead to some quick kills if your opponent doesn’t recognize the important cogs of the deck but I did have the “Weird Paradise Mantle” combo in the deck and always felt slightly sheepish playing it. In the end, after talking with (at?) Shawn (Modern isn’t his thing), about which deck I should play, I decided to go with Bogles.

Having played at the same spot many times, I know who the regular attendees are and which deck that they tend to play. Unfortunately, Lantern Control is one of those decks that always seems to be present. I can’t stress how much I HATE Lantern Control. I loathe it. Ensnaring Bridge is such a piece of ******* ****. You know a control deck is too controlling when Shawn, king of the blue mages, hates it too. I fully support a new rule that says if your opponent brings Lantern Control to a game night, you are well within your rights to take that deck outside, light it on fire, and then piss on it to put the fire out. I had joked with Shawn about having crap luck and knowing that I would have to play against someone who was running Lantern Control….

Round 1: Lantern Control. Yup. Very. First. ****ing. Round.
My opponent, who was actually the judge of the event, was a really nice guy. I think people at these game nights tend to think that they are going to be paired up with “Serious Sam” and just get down to business with no friendliness. He was very formal to begin with but once he plopped down a Codex Shredder only to be met with a stream of expletives from the other side of the table, he relaxed and joked around a bit with me which made playing this piece of crap deck bearable. The first game was actually close because he had trouble getting his hand empty and I had stopped pumping up my Bogles and was just swinging with 1/1’s. I was able to get him down to 8 life before he was able to get that last card out of his hand and then lock me, and the game, down. The 2nd game went worse for me, he started with the necessary pieces in his hand and basically had me locked down by the 4th turn. Just to be a dweeb about it, I made him play the entire game out instead of conceding. God, I hate this deck.

0-1

Round 2: Druid Combo
From Lantern Control right to an infinite combo deck! LA DEE ****ING DA!

I made several misplays in the first game and he beat me without even getting the infinite combo of Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies out on the table. For those of you not familiar with the combo, Devoted Druid taps to add 1 green mana to your pool but also has the ability to untap if you put a -1/-1 counter on him. Vizier of Remedies basically prevents your creatures from getting -1/-1 counters. Yep. Infinite Mana to do fun things like use Duskwatch Recruiter to search endlessly through your deck until you hit the stompy favorite of your choice and play it. In this case my opponent went with Walking Ballista, which gets infinite counters on it, which in turn does infinite damage to me. I don’t think I even hit him once in this game. Complete and utter blowout.

0-2

Round 3: Elves
Ok, I’ll be honest, this isn’t an official match. My buddy and I both had byes this round and decided to play each other instead of wandering around aimlessly for an hour waiting for the next round to begin. Against Elves you know you have to take it down quick by either outracing it or remove the little guys immediately once they hit the table. Since I was running only 2 copies of Path to Exile in my deck, (mistake), I had to outrace it. I lost the first game but won the next one and we left it as a tie.

0-2-1

After our match, we both decided to pack it up and call it a night, we both were in the running for last place as he had gone 0-2 as well and wasn’t really happy about it. Most likely we would have ended up paired with each other in the last round anyways. I wasn’t surprised at all that I had not done well. Modern is like swimming with the sharks. Some nights you eat and some nights you get eaten. Hindsight is a cruel mistress and I realized that if I had brought my Storm deck I would have done slightly better against Lantern Control since I had burn spells along with Guttersnipe. So basically, I could have just used all of my one mana cantrips and pinged away at my opponent with ‘Snipe’s ability. Most likely I would have still lost but damn it, I can dream of putting up a better fight than I did.

For those of you who are curious, these were the decks that were played that night:

Eldratron, Burn, Elves, BG Elves, Jund x2, Lantern Control x2,
Druid Combo, and my bitch ass Bogles.

I believe a Lantern Control deck won the whole shebang. #banthebridge

Thanks for reading! I look forward to sharing many more stories of getting absolutely pummeled at Modern nights with you all!

Comic Haul! (Midtown Comics) 6/14/18

Hey gang! I’m back to tell you all about my latest haul from Midtown Comics. As always, the comics are rated between 1-10 and more importantly, there are spoilers below. You have been warned. Seriously, don’t whine to us if something gets spoiled. Spoilerific reviews ahead.

Still there?

Let’s do this.

Justice League #1 (Cover B? C? I dunno..it’s the Jim Lee variant)
Here we go! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this issue ever since it was announced that Scott Snyder was taking over JL. Fresh off of Dark Knights Metal and JL: No Justice, you would think that this issue would slow down just a bit so new readers would get acclimated to the characters, but no! Action right from the first page! I can’t stress how good this issue is. Scott Snyder’s script is on point as usual and the artwork is absolutely gorgeous with every panel being as detailed as possible. The Justice League faces a universe altering threat tied to the hole in the “Source Wall” from Metal as Martian Manhunter reflects on his role on the team as well as his past. There are a few funny moments in the book like when the Justice League is telepathically connected trying to figure out who does the best “Batman” voice. Really solid start to the Snyder era. (10/10)

Batman #48 (Cover A and B)
This issue fell a little flat for me. Joker takes over a church and kills everyone in it just to get Batman’s attention. Why? So he can ask Bats if he can be his best man. This is basically a Batman comic where Batman says two words and the Joker has 99% of the dialogue. I think my issue here is that in a couple of key moments, Batman acts way out of character. What are the odds that Batman is going to be caught off-guard and allow Joker to put a gun to his head, have a short monologue, and then allow him to pull the trigger? I was fairly certain that the main power that Batman possesses besides his brain, is his martial arts knowledge. And as if that’s not confusing enough, at the end of the book, Joker asks Batman to pray with him. And Batman kneels down next to him instead of knocking him out, or even restraining him, no, he kneels down to pray with the Joker. Is Joker suddenly Catholic?? He didn’t think for a second that its probably a trap?!? And lo and behold a bomb then detonates to the surprise of no one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that Tom King has a much better grasp of his version of Batman than I do, but all in all, it just seemed too out of character for me. The next issue is advertised as Catwoman and Joker one on one so let’s hope this story gets a little better going into #50. (5/10)

Immortal Hulk #1 (Cover A)
Admittedly, I’m not a huge Hulk fan and for the most part have fallen out of touch with the character. After brushing up on my Hulk history, I ordered the new 1st (not so much) issue of Hulk. I had been looking forward to this issue because it was announced that it would have more of a horror vibe to it. I’m a huge bronze age horror junkie so I was really hoping this would have the same feel to it. First of all, thank you Marvel, for including the legacy issue number underneath the new one. For collectors like Shawn and myself, this is really helpful for cataloging purposes since collecting an entire run can get confusing with all the reboots that tend to happen. This book definitely has a darker vibe to it, with Bruce Banner being the Hulk once again, and apparently turns into the Hulk, even if he is “dead”, when the sun goes down. The artwork is really decent, and the story in this issue was tragic but fairly simplistic. Overall an interesting take on the Hulk and I’m adding the title to my pull list. (8/10)

Amazing Spider-Man 800 (Reg. Cover and H.Ramos Connecting Variant)
Here it is, the 800th(!) issue of Spidey, and holy hell it’s a doozy! 80 pages of intense action and plot twists as the Red Goblin storyline wraps up! This issue was simply incredible. Tons of references to classic stories, several jaw-dropping moments like Venom agreeing to help Spidey, to the point of lending him the Venom symbiote to even things out with Red Goblin, even friggin’ Doc Oc lends a hand, and the death of a longtime character. This issue hit it out of the park, and is absolutely worth the price tag. I liked it so much that I bought 2 copies, the regular and the Humberto Ramos connecting variant. (11/10)

Comics Books: How Marvel is Killing the Industry One Gimmick at a Time

For the last few months, I’ve been in denial. In denial of the slow decline of comics. There, I said it: Comics are declining. Shawn had texted me a couple of times in the past saying as much once he left the hobby behind. I didn’t want to believe it, and in those cases agreed with his observations but not necessarily that the entire industry was in trouble. After all, DC Comics was still putting out quality books. Well folks, the industry is in trouble. DC Comics is still chugging along producing really great stuff (Batman, Batman: White Knight, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Dark Nights Metal), but Marvel Comics has stopped pulling its weight.

If you remember it was only last August that Marvel announced their “Legacy” initiative after Secret Empire concluded, which was essentially just a fancy term for going back to original numbering on their line of books and “bringing the fun back to comics”.

I gritted my teeth and said, “Ok, it feels like a reboot-ish thing but I’ll try a few titles out.”

I fell under the spell of the Lenticular covers, fully aware that it felt all too familiar. It felt like the same mistakes that were made back in ’96, when the industry essentially collapsed and Marvel declared bankruptcy. Gimmick covers, reboots, character deaths,..etc, it turned off both the casual reader and the collector. Cripes, I still remember standing in line just to pick up Superman #75 because it was the end of Superman. At that point we were not yet conditioned to the fact that a death isn’t a death in comics. A little while later after enduring the painfully crappy “Funeral for a Friend” crossover and the god-awful Four Supermen crossover, Superman was alive and well and the industry was, well, not.

So what happened this fall? Marvel puts out their fancy little covers and we all flock to buy them. Wrong. We actually didn’t all run out and buy them. I mean, I did because I’m an idiot but a majority of people realized that a cover doesn’t matter. It’s what’s between the covers that matters. And what was between those covers was of the same quality that existed before Legacy, and that quality wasn’t great in comparison to what DC was putting out. Sure, there were a few good storylines, but as a whole Marvel was in trouble.

One of their most talented writers, Brian Michael Bendis, decided to jump ship and joined the competition. He later revealed that Marvel tried to convince him to stay by offering him a Deadpool or Wolverine book. Typical Marvel. This brings me to my next point: riding the hype wave of a popular character until people stop caring. How many Deadpool books can they pump out? Again, sins of the past..Do you remember how many Wolverine books were around in the 90’s? How many cameos he had in other books? It was mind-boggling. Deadpool is being treated the same way. You can’t base an entire company off of one frickin’ character. I’ll be honest with you, DC is starting to fall into the same trap with Batman. Since Scott Snyder wrote the hell out of the “New 52” series and sold a ton of books, there has been a real focus on Bats in the DC Universe. Are the books good? Absolutely. Just yesterday, I told Shawn to give White Knight a try. However this doesn’t mean that every month there should be a new Bats series, and its starting to be that way. DC just released Brave and Bold: Batman & The Wonder Woman #1 as well as Batman: Sins of the Father #1. That’s two new titles in the same month. So while DC is putting out better quality, I do get worried that they will fall into the same traps that Marvel has.

One thing they haven’t done is raise their cover prices, which in the end is what most people care about. They even lowered the price on their Dark Nights Metal books once they saw that the sales were so great for the first two one-shots a dollar. Maybe it’s just me but that shows that they listen to and appreciate their audience. I read an interview with Marvel chief Joe Quesada where he takes the exact opposite approach and defends the $4-$5 cover prices essentially saying that the fans have enjoyed underpriced books for too long and Marvel charges what they think the creativity in their books is really worth. My guess is that he feels untouchable because Marvel Studios is an absolute juggernaut in the box office, and soundly kicks the bajeezus out of DC. Fun fact: Did you know that Black Panther has already surpassed Justice League in total domestic sales in its first week?! So while, Quesada might feel untouchable in that aspect of the business, he, unfortunately for him, only runs the comic side. The lesson that is being learned as we speak is that movie viewers do not turn into comic readers.

So how does Marvel try to remedy this problem? By rebooting. Over and over again. Y’know to give any new readers a “jumping on point”. So in May, coincidentally when Avengers: Infinity War is due to release, Marvel is going to, yup, reboot again! All that Legacy “bringing the fun back to comics” stuff? Gone! Long-term readers? Eh, go screw! I don’t understand the mentality of this decision. Do they really think that because a gazillion Avengers tickets will be sold that it will translate into a gazillion issues of Avengers #1 being sold? What happens when the second Avengers: Infinity War flick is released? Another reboot? This logic alienates current readers in order to possibly attract new ones, which obviously hasn’t worked.

They are calling this upcoming reboot their “Fresh Start” initiative. (Shakes head)

After many conversations with Shawn combined with the points I’ve made above, I believe that your buddies at 2 Guys has a solution to save the industry, or at the very least, save Marvel Comics.

-Drop cover prices to $2.99 to be even with DC. Your books currently suffer from low quality writing and art, so the excuse of us having to pay for their creative value holds no water.
-For the love of ****ing God stop rebooting.
-Hire some new talent, get some unknown pencillers, some unknown writers, colorists,..etc, who knows? You might discover the next Scott Snyder or David Finch.
-No more Lenticular covers, no more shiny covers, hell, I wouldn’t be sad to see variants go away in general.
-No more cheap gimmicks like mish-mashing ****ing characters like “Weapon H” or “Red Goblin”. Do we really need another Wolverine-like character? No. No, we don’t.

Well, that’s my two cents as far as the comic industry goes, agree? Disagree? Let me know. I think that one thing we can all agree on as comic fans is that our hobby needs to be protected from cash grabby schemes and we deserve better than what Marvel is selling us. DC? Well you’re doing fine, but watch those Bat books and the foil covers, we’ve got our eyes on you….

Rapid Fire!..Random Thoughts 2/19

-To buy a box of M25 or not? I wish the spoilers were flowing a little more freely since the boxes are below $200 at the moment and while the thought of possibly pulling a Jace, the Mind Sculptor out of a pack is dancing in my head, ita��s not quite enough to make me jump and preorder. My prediction for the big ticket cards in the set: Enemy fetches, Tarmogoyf, Aether Vial, Liliana of the Veil, Wurmcoil Engine, Force of Will, Mana Drain and Crucible of the Worlds.

-The first DLC characters for Dragonball FighterZ have been announced; Borly and Bardoc. Bardoc is Gokua��s pops so ita��s essentially another Saiyan which is a little disappointing. While I have gushed uncontrollably about the game, I do wish they would bring in some more non-Saiyan characters. On the other hand Borly should be the largest character in the game so ita��ll be interesting to see how powerful the character actually is.

-A Japanese bike company (Khodaa-Bloom) designed a really cool Megaman themed bike. It can be yours for the low, low price of $2700 USD. For that price, it better come with a friggina�� Buster Shot on the front.

-Not sure where Ia��ve been, but somehow I missed the fact that Gamestop managed to swing a deal to have a Secret of Mana remake for the PS4 be a Gamestop exclusive. Interesting to see if this becomes a thing, (i.e. Target gets exclusive games, Walmart gets exclusive games,..).

-Only 59 more days until God of War 4 is released. But whoa��s counting?

-For all of my Star Wars fans out there, you can preorder the largest Star Wars toy that Hasbro has ever made, Jabbaa��s Sail Barge, for a mere $499.99! This monstrosity is 4 feet long, a little over a foot wide, and a 1 A? feet tall, and comes with either divorce papers or a letter from your child expressing their undying love and gratitude. There is a catch, Hasbro will only start production if they get 5,000 preorders by 4/3 (currently, as of this post, they have 1,259 orders). You can place your preorder at www.hasbrolab.com.

-Finally, I want to thank everyone who follows us on Twitter and/or Instagram!

The Death of Marvel vs Capcom

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is dead. Leta��s just get that out there in the open. I know, you know it, Capcom knows it. Capcom knows it so much that they omitted MVC from their Capcom Pro tournament. Think about that. The company that designed, marketed and released the game is saying that their own game is not good enough for their own tournament. Holy hell, people. This is a sad day for me as I have been a huge fan of the MVC series and to see it get the ola�� Street Fighter V treatment, aka releasing an unfinished game, and then to basically lose support from its studio, is a travesty to me. At least Street Fighter V has been updated and Capcom supports it. Do you know how many Twitch viewers MVC gets? A few hundred at a time. Really. A few hundred. Which essentially means that the general gaming community has lost interest in it. To pour another pile of crap onto this growing mountain of fertilizer, it wona��t be included in EVO this year. For those of you not familiar with EVO, ita��s essentially the World Series of fighting games. This is a death sentence. If the game is now not going to be in any noteworthy tournaments thata��s a wrap folks. It appears that Dragonball FighterZ has taken its place as the premier 3v3 tag fighter on the market (rightfully so).

So with all that doom and gloom out of the way, Ia��m really trying to find a way to look at this from a positive point of view. Is this the wakeup call that Capcom needs? Are we as a collective group saying, a�?Stop releasing beta versions of your fighters or your product will sit on the shelvesa�?? God, I hope so. Enough is enough. Capcom has always been guilty of performing the blatant cash grab (re: releasing the same game over and over again with a new mode, or with a couple of new fighters that you have to download), but to knowingly release an unfinished game and forcing the consumer to download massive update files to patch it, is unforgivable. They have done it twice in a row with Street Fighter V and MVC. By the way, Street Fighter V was rereleased as Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, which is the exact same game as the original version but comes with a download code for more characters. Yup. Cash. Grab. I love Street Fighter, I really do, and I was so disappointed when I bought SFV only to find that I needed to download a 9gb file just to play it. With that said, I love the MVC series even more, so ita��s even more of a travesty that Capcom, well, Capcoma��ed it, and released the game with a weak roster which has led to weaker sales. So what better way to remedy poor sales then bya��rereleasing the game in a steelbook case and a download code for more characters. You know what? With some games this would be okay, and by some games, I mean any game that feels like a finished product. I know that in the past I have complained about DLC as being greedy but I know thata��s the way the gaming world works today: companies have to try to get as much revenue off of a title as possible and if ita��s by selling digital content then ita��s easier to increase their margin and also cover the production costs of eventually rereleasing the title with everything included. In the case of MVC, it feels like the download code should have been given out for free in order to decrease the unhappiness of the community, instead of trying to sell another copy of the game with everything that was missing from the first version but in a metal friggina�� case. Capcom, clearly youa��re able to release quality games, you *literally* just did with Monster Hunter World, why cana��t you show the same love for your fighter fans?

I hope this isna��t the end of the MvC franchise but I have a hard time believing that Capcom will be in a hurry to invest money and resources into another title after they have essentially pulled support from the franchise. Who knows? Maybe after Avengers: Infinity War is released and sells a bazillion and a half tickets, Capcom will be inspired to ride the hype wave. Ah well, either way life goes on, so Ia��ll dry my eyes and then play some Dragonball FighterZ.


Also, MvC 2 is the best of the MvC series. I don’t know why people say 3 is. 52 characters! 52, people! *drops mic*

Deck List! Hearthstone Secret Aggro Hunter (Standard)

I discovered this little gem online and decided to give it a whirl. I went 6-1 with it only losing to a Warlock deck (shocking..). Regardless it’s very cool, and you can quickly overwhelm your opponent right out of the gate. As far as mulligan tips go, try to get a Secret Keeper in your opening hand along with some of the 2 drop Secrets in order to pump it. You can also look for an Alleycat and a Cloaked Huntress. The Alleycat puts instant pressure on your opponent and on T3 the Huntress comes out and your secrets are now free. It’s a very synergistic deck that can put up a fight against anything out there, besides Warlock apparently. I definitely recommend you try this one out and let us know what you think.

Currently Playing…Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PS4)

I’m hoping that all my fellow comic nerds out there remember the late 90’s comic series, Battle Chasers. It was created by one of my favorite artists on this planet, Joe Madureira, who is known for mixing Anime designs with really detailed American-style shading techniques. His style blew my mind when he was drawing Uncanny X-men, but once he started to work on Battle Chasers, he really started to hit his stride as a penciller. He was and still is one of the major influences of my pencil work, which makes this review a little hard to do. But my job is to give unbiased opinions for you guys, and I would be doing a crappy job if I told you that this game is amazing.

Battle Chasers starts out promising. The visuals are really sharp and you can tell that a ton of time was put into character design, the environments as well as the cut scenes. I was a little annoyed that the beginning of the game was a longer cut scene that lasts several minutes before you can actually play. Once you can actually play the game is pretty decent to begin with. It’s an old school JRPG with some unique elements that work well. There are two different kind of maps in this game: one that is an overworld view with different map points you move between and enemy encounters that are clearly identified, and the others are Diablo-esque dungeons. I really liked the dungeons and love the idea of mixing dungeon exploration with a turn-based JRPG. Each character in your party has different abilities that help you get through the dungeon. Before you enter a dungeon you have the choice of difficulty level, the harder the difficulty the better the loot you can pick up. The majority of Nightwar is actually spent in the randomly generated dungeons. But there is also plenty of side quests, crafting, and exploring to do in this game, I still haven’t become disinterested in the game because there is always something to do.

Ok, so what else did I like about this game? Other than the visuals and the dungeons that I mentioned above, the combat feels old school, which I love, yet also had a fresh feeling with the Overdrive mechanic. Usually you pay mana to use spells and special abilities, but by doing attacks you build up your Overdrive meter, which when fully charged, lets you use abilities for free, increases damage, etc. It adds an additional element of strategy to each fight, do you use the Overdrive early and try to build it up again? Or do you hold off until you have a boss on the ropes? I also like that random enemy encounters are not a thing in this game. It’s one of my pet peeves about other RPGs. Nothing worse than trying to walk somewhere and getting constantly bombarded by random enemies.

Okay, so now onto the bad stuff. The game crashed a few times on me. After some interwebz research, I wasn’t the only one that this happened to. I was very, very thankful that it autosaves so much so I didn’t really lose much. Still, this is something that is unforgivable in a finished product. I also found the inventory screen to be clunky and confusing, as well as having tiny font (I played this on my 60″), and the font was still on the smaller side. If it wasn’t for these issues, one being major, this game is actually decent as far as a JRPG goes. So back to the end of the first paragraph, I can’t say this game is amazing, don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly one of the better JRPGs that has been released in the past couple of years, but the bug and the menu design hold it back from being great. Is it worth the $25 price tag? Absolutely. Is it perfect? No, but still fun.

Buy it: If you’re an old school JRPG fan, like Diablo and used to be a fan of the Battle Chasers comic. It’s really neat seeing the characters come to life so to speak.

Try it: If you like JRPGs, this game is worth giving giving a shot. Is it Final Fantasy 3? No, but you might want to consider adding it to your collection anyways.

Walk by it: If you’re looking for a perfectly polished game. Or you have kids. Seriously, don’t buy this for your kids. Red Monika’s outfit is a bit much, and hers is not the only one, there is a witch in the game that leaves very little to the imagination.

Deck List! MTG Budget Bogles (Modern)

Hey gang! Today I wanted to share my take on a MTG Modern format mainstay, Bogles. Since I’m a cheap gamer, this is a budget-conscious version that cuts several of the more expensive pieces of a typical Bogles deck. Gone are the fetchlands and Horizon Canopy ($60 a piece?!), and they have been replaced with cheaper, but still reliable, mana options. I’ve also added in a couple copies of Sram, Senior Edificer which I’ve found to be a really useful piece that not many people run in other Bogles decks. Since this deck is essentially all aura spells, his ability to draw a card every time you play an Aura will help you find the cards you are looking for. So what do you do with those Auras? Well you play them on your hexproof creatures early and pump them up, since your opponent can’t target them individually it’s hard to deal with them. I’m aware that the lands I’ve added in to replace the fetches are painlands as well as City of Brass and Mana Confluence which will drain your life after awhile. Fortunately, with Daybreak Coronet, its really easy to regain that life. I’ve had really great results with this budget version and highly recommend that you give it a shot.

Enchantment (22)
4x Ethereal Armor
4x Hyena Umbra
4x Rancor
4x Daybreak Coronet
2x Spider Umbra
3x Spirit Mantle
1x Unflinching Courage

Land (22)
5x Forest
3x Temple Garden
2x City of Brass
2x Plains
4x Sunpetal Grove
2x Fortified Village
4x Brushland

Creature (14)
4x Gladecover Scout
2x Sram, Senior Edificer
4x Silhana Ledgewalker
4x Slippery Bogle

Comic Haul! #3

This haul from the middle of December strays from my usual ordering habits as I usually don’t order runs of one title. Last summer Shawn had mentioned that the Aquaman series was pretty entertaining. Being the comic nut that I am I made a mental note to give it a shot once my pull list thinned out a bit. Once Secret Empire ended, I had the room but then those godamn Marvel Lenticular covers came out and I was suckered. Needless to say Aquaman was an afterthought until a coworker mentioned how he really liked the series. About a month ago I finally ordered the first seven issues since they were all on sale.

Note: I’m slightly tweaking the way I’m writing these posts to include the official solicitation for each comic followed by my thoughts about it. The reason being that I’m self critical and don’t believe that my previous overviews of the plot were giving you guys enough information.

Aquaman vol.6 #1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, Rebirth)

THE DROWNING’ Chapter one Black Manta returns, and as Aquaman attempts to broker lasting peace between Atlantis and the surface world, his greatest foe engineers a plan to destroy everything and everyone the undersea hero loves.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting too much to begin with as I’ve never been a big Aquaman fan, so my expectations were set low. Fortunately, this issue was fantastic. The Black Manta terrorism angle added a serious overtone to this otherwise fun issue. The art of Brad Walker really impressed me and the story was a solid start to the series. I’m hooked. Get it? Because it’s Aquaman…fish?..hooked? Eh, I’m not proud of that one either. 8/10

Aquaman vol.6 #2 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

THE DROWNING,’A�Chapter Two: In issue #2, unity between land and sea is Arthur Curry’s greatest dream. But Black Manta has a dream too: to destroy everything Aquaman stands for, starting with the sea king’s Atlantean embassy and everyone in it.

Again, another solid issue. The Drowning storyline is really good so far. *****SPOILER ALERT***** After the Black Mantis blows up the Atlantean Embassy (issue #1), Aquaman finds himself at odds with the United States military. 8/10

Aquaman vol.6 #3 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

THE DROWNING,’A�Chapter Three: In issue #3, Aquaman’s mission of peace is dealt a devastating blow when Atlantean terrorists attack the surface world in retribution for Black Manta’s deadly assault on their embassy.

****SPOILER ALERT**** The “twist” in this book was very predictable..clearly it wasn’t “Atlantean terrorists” that took out a navy ship. I mean, we just got through 2 issues where the Black Manta made it perfectly clear that he wanted to destroy Aquaman by any means necessary and we all know that he isn’t the only one who shares that sentiment. What better way to take Aquaman down? Frame the guy and let him get locked up or killed. 7/10

Aquaman vol.6 #4 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

The Drowning’A�part four. Aquaman is arrested for a war crime he didn’t commit: ordering an Atlantean terrorist attack on the surface, killing hundreds! The young king is willing to sit behind bars if it means peace between two worlds, but one ally is determined to break Aquaman out, no matter the cost: his girlfriend Mera!

I was really loving this Aquaman series until I hit this book. Pet peeve: switching artists in the middle of a storyline. The art fell flat in this issue, good thing the story is definitely pulling the weight. 7/10

Aquaman vol.6 #5 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

The Drowning’A�part five. Unjustly branded a murderer and a fugitive, Aquaman’s forced to defend himself against the might of America’s military. Meanwhile, Black Manta and the deadly underwater crime cabal known as N.E.M.O. advance their plan for revenge on Aquaman.

This one is basically one long action scene with Aquaman and Mera fighting the military to get back to the water. Also Black Mantis reminds us why he is not one you want to screw with after coming across fairly weak at the end of #2. No real surprises in the issue besides Black Mantis meeting the head of N.E.M.O. 7/10

Aquaman vol.6 #6 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

THE DROWNING’A�conclusion! As this first epic concludes, Aquaman and Mera are on the run for a crime they didn’t commit. They’ve fought through every kind of firepower the U.S. military has thrown. Now all that’s left between them and Atlantis is the Man of Steel.

This was a crazy issue! Who would win in a fight? Supes or Fishguy? It’s not as one-sided as you might think as Aquaman can hold his own. Right when he throws the first punch my jaw dropped and it stayed that way until the end. It didn’t feel like the usual superhero kind of fight though, more of a fight you would have with your brother in the backyard. It was really, really interesting to see how Aquaman views himself within the Justice League as his frustration bubbles to the surface (I swear I didn’t mean that pun). The ending was decent but didn’t feel like the true ending of the story, more of a direct bridge to the next arc. 9.5/10

Aquaman vol.6 #7 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

‘Who framed Aquaman?’A�The investigation into the Atlantean attack on American forces kicks off a mystery as the criminal collective N.E.M.O. unleashes a new and terrible weapon that threatens the existence of Atlantis itself.

This is the beginning of the next arc, where Mantis and N.E.M.O wake up a giant unstoppable creature to tear through Atlantis. Right when the creature wakes up it has a “Doomsday” feel to it as it smashes the Atlantean army flat. Entertaining issue and spoke to the B-monster movie guy in me. 8/10.

Ok, that’s it for the Aquaman portion of my order, I did grab a couple of other comics:

Hawkman Found#1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, Metal tie-in, foil cover)

One of DC’S greatest heroes is missing! No one has seen or heard from Carter Hall-a.k.a. Hawkman-in years. Reincarnated repeatedly since the dawn of humanity, Hawkman has spent his many lives uncovering history’s most fantastic mysteries, and now he has become one himself! Take a journey into the one of the darkest corners of the DC Universe as a mysterious man tries to piece together what happened to Hawkman, and how it all connects to the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL!

I mentioned in one of my previous comic hauls that I felt “Metal” was kinda going off the rails and becoming convoluted. Thankfully, this book is more straightforward than the main Metal books. One of the main plot lines of Metal has been that Hawkman is incredibly important as he is the guardian of “The Forge” of the universe but he is awol. This one shot is focused on reintroducing Carter Hall as he fights to rediscover who he is in order to escape a psychic prison. It’s entertaining and worthwhile to check out but I didn’t feel like it added a ton to the overall story. It did make me think that there should be a Hawkman series though. 8/10

Avengers vol.6 #672 (Marvel Comics, Lenticular cover)

WORLDS COLLIDE Part 1A�
Following the events of GENERATIONS comes the long-promised clash between the Avengers and the Champions! The countdown has started as the High Evolutionary, a twisted scientist determined to create a better world at all costs, sets the Earth on a collision course with destruction! The Avengers and the Champions are ready to meet this threat – but will their first cataclysmic clash deter them from changing theA�world?

Wow! Just look at the synopsis! Looks entertaining doesn’t it? Yeah, I liked the cover. Haven’t read this one yet. N/A

That’s it for this haul, as always thanks for reading!

Deck List! Hearthstone Secret Tempo Mage (Wild)

This is probably one of my most favorite decks to play. The synergy between Flamewaker, Mana Wyrm, Sorcerers Apprentice and all of the cheap spells make it easy to go off for 6+ damage every turn. All of the secrets in this deck give you some breathing room to keep going face on your opponent as well as pump up your Mana Wyrms.

Mulligan Strategy: Try to get a Mana Wyrm in your opening hand as well as some 1 drop spells or a Kabal Lackey with a Secret. Maybe its just me but it’s pretty easy to get a decent opening hand with this deck.