Author Archives: Carman Goodrich

On Your Radar: 7/21/2015

Hey, there! Thanks for checking out the first installment of our new series On Your Radar, a write-up of new comic series we’ve enjoyed that you may have missed.

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8house #1 Arclight

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Brandon Graham (A/CA) Marian Churchland A lady of the blood house has had her mind trapped in a strange alien root-body. She’s hiding on the outskirts of her kingdom until she learns that the alien monster pretending to be her has returned.The first issue of a shared fantasy universe. Sharp genderqueer knights, blood magic, music, dancing, and a goose.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Brandon Graham fan. His take on the Prophet series has been some of the best science fiction I have ever read and the tonal similarities in 8house: Arclight are felt right from page one, all while creating an entirely new fantasy universe. The setting is a large part of what makes 8house so special in that it will be a shared fantasy universe that will be shaped by several different comics creators telling stories for several different characters. Each issue of 8house is subtitled with the character name it will follow. Issues one and two feature Graham and Churchland’s Arclight character, while the solicitations for issues three through five follow two new characters (Kiem and Yorris), led by different creative teams doing their own story arcs.
 
This shared universe is an ambitious one and I am all on board. Churchland has done a beautiful job on the first issue and the bits of lore she and her husband Graham sprinkle in create an intriguing world begging to be explored.
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We Stand on Guard #1
Publisher: Image Comics
 
(W) Brian K. Vaughan (A/CA) Steve Skroce
SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN teams with artistic legend and MATRIX storyboard artist STEVE SKROCE for an action-packed military thriller that will have everyone talking. 100 years from now, a heroic band of Canadian civilians must defend their homeland from invasion…by the United States of America! The hyper-detailed combat between badass freedom fighters and giant f***ing robots begins with a spectacular 40-PAGE FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!
With a writer like Brian K. Vaughan, this one may have been a bit harder to miss. Vaughan’s brilliant work on books like Saga and Y: The Last Man have earned him an immediate purchase for me. I’ll admit, I had some reservations about the book after reading the solicitation. It felt almost a little too silly and over the top. I’m glad I was wrong. The first issue of We Stand on Guard is solid. Vaughan and Skroce have created a very interesting near-future that’s fantastic while remaining grounded in reality. I can’t wait for the next issue. Also, giant robots.STK670270
 Providence #1 (of 12)
Publisher: Avatar Press Inc.
 
(W) Alan Moore (A/CA) Jacen Burrows
You may have noticed that I’ve omitted the solicitation here. That’s because it’s long. Very long (though you can read it here). In fact, the solicitation initially made me unsure of whether I wanted to try the book — opening with the line “The most important work of 2015 begins here” and later ” this is a sequential masterpiece that will serve as important a call to the next generation of comic book writers as Watchmen did 30 years ago:  this is a definitive demonstration of just how good a comic book can be.” However, what little I knew about the actual story intrigued me; taking place in 1919, Providence is a deconstruction piece on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Being a fan of Lovecraft and a sucker for a good horror comic, I decided to check out the book, and I’m really glad I did. The book follows a journalist investigating a claim of a book that drives its readers insane. Providence is a slow burn, but in its first two issues has managed to create that cosmic horror feeling of something sinister going on behind the scenes. The first issue even had a moment near the end (no spoilers) that made me go back and reread several sections. I am really enjoying the book and am looking forward to seeing where it goes.STK671621
Material #1
Publisher: Image Comics
 
(W) Ales Kot (A) Will Tempest (CA) Tom Muller 

A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed.
An actress receives an offer that can revive her career.
A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement.
A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs. Look around you.
Everything is material.
Ales Kot is weird. The kind of weird that I like. His series Zero has been one of my favorites in the past year or so, and he’s a writer I’ve been keeping my eye on. Material tackles prominent social issues including racism, illegal detention, torture, and police brutality. It’s a great example of how comic books don’t have to be capes, cowls, and stories of the fantastic. Comics are a medium of art just as capable as any other to tackle the problems of our world today.Archie1-FionaStaplesRegCover
Archie #1
Publisher: Archie Comics Publications

(W) Mark Waid (A) Fiona Staples

Comic superstars Mark Waid and Fiona Staples reimagine an icon! Change is coming to Riverdale in this can’t-miss kick-off to Archie’s new ongoing series! Familiar faces return in new and unexpected ways in this must-have #1 issue! As the new school year approaches, you’d think Archie Andrews would be looking forward to classes and fun – but nothing is as it seems in the little town of Riverdale. But is this a one-off or a sign of bigger changes awaiting for America’s favorite teens – and the entire town? Find out in this exciting and remarkable first issue!
Full disclosure, this is the first Archie comic book I’ve ever read. I know some names. There’s Archie, Betty, Veronica, and the guy who likes hamburgers is Jughead, right? I’ve never had much of an interest in the classic character, but Archie Comic Publications has been making some interesting changes in their lineup and it seems to be culminating in this relaunch. The creative team of Mark Waid and Fiona Staples is 100% the reason why I decided to check this book out.What does Archie look like in 2015? It looks like fun. With the team attached to this book right now, I can’t say that I’m surprised I enjoyed it. Taking the classic feel of Archie and the gang into the modern area invoked a feeling of nostalgia that was somewhere in between American Graffiti and a John Hughes film. If you’ve never read an Archie comic, now is a great time to jump on.STK677323
Island #1

Publisher: Image Comics
(W/A) Brandon Graham & Various (CA) Brandon Graham
 
PRETTY DEADLY artist EMMA RIOS and KING CITY, PROPHET, and MULTIPLE WARHEADS writer/artist BRANDON GRAHAM bring you a new ONGOING COMICS MAGAZINE. Each issue holds three issue-length chapters of new work from various creators around the globe. PRINTED OVERSIZED WITH NO ADS!
Island is a new comics anthology curated by Emma Rios and Brandon Graham (yep, he makes the list twice). The aim of the anthology is to showcase creators from around the world and give them the freedom to make whatever they want. Each issue will feature one story that continues from the previous one (for the first issue, we get a new installment of Graham’s Multiple Warheads), while also introducing a new series that will continue on in the next issue. Island #1 features comics by Emma Rios, Brandon Graham, and Ludroe as well as art by Marian Churchland and an essay by Kelly Sue DeConnick. I love what Rios and Graham are going for in this ongoing anthology and I really enjoyed everything in this first issue. I’m really looking to discovering creators I may have never heard of.

July 2015 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Plutona #1

Plutona #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Emi Lenox

A brand-new heartfelt super-hero series by JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Hawkeye) and amazing newcomer EMI LENOX!

This is definitely an easy one for me. Jeff Lemire is one of my favorite writers, and the art in the previews looks really cool. Also, with a premise that seems to be a superhero twist on the coming-of-age tale Stand By Me, I am definitely in for this one.

From Under Mountains #1

From Under Mountains #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Claire Gibson, Marian Churchland (A) Sloane Leong (CA) Marian Churchland

In the first issue of this new fantasy series, old feuds and new monsters rise up to haunt the isolated northern fortress of Karsgate.

The solicitation for this book doesn’t give us much to go on, but it doesn’t mean I’m any less excited. The recent release of 8house #1: Arclight was the best debut issue I’ve read in a long time, and Marian Churchland’s art was wonderful in it. She’s not doing the art in this issue of From Under Mountains, but just having her on the team and the possibility of being tied into the shared 8house universe makes it an instant add to my pull list.

Jughead #1

Jughead #1

Publisher: Archie Comic Publications

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Erica Henderson

In the grand tradition of comic book reboots like Archie #1, Archie Comics proudly presents Jughead #1 from the comics dream team of Chip Zdarsky (Howard the Duck) and Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl)! Riverdale High provides a quality education and quality hot lunches, but when one of those is tampered with, Jughead Jones swears vengeance! Well, we mean, he doesn’t “swear.” This is still Archie Comics after all.

There have been a lot of interesting changes going on with Archie titles in the past year or so. Rebooting the main Archie title with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples is definitely the biggest news to come from all of that, but the newly announced Jughead book is another attention-grabber. I never thought I’d be reading a Jughead book, but with Chip Zdarsky writing this one, I will certainly be checking it out. After really enjoying what Staples and Waid have done in the new Archie #1, I’m looking forward to see where they go with these classic characters.

Mirrors Edge Exordium #1

Mirror’s Edge: Exordium #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Christofer Emgard (A) Mattias Haggstrom, Robert Sammelin (CA) Robert Sammelin

Leading up to the events of the highly anticipated new Mirror’s Edge game comes an exhilarating comic prequel that delves into the story of Faith, one of the most celebrated heroines in video games! Dare to enter the fast-paced, high-stakes world of life on the mirror’s edge!

I don’t know a whole lot about this title other than what’s in the solicitation, but I am so ready for next year’s release of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst (the follow-up to 2008’s cult favorite, parkour video game Mirror’s Edge). I’d love for them to flesh out the world shown so beautifully in the first game. Some might say I’m just riding the hype train for the new game, but what can I say? I bought these tickets seven years ago.

E3 2015: Sony’s Press Conference

We’ve made it! The fourth and final press conference of the day is upon us. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the show floor for E3, so we’re not done with news just yet. Also, Nintendo will be having one of their Nintendo Direct conferences tomorrow, as well. But for now, let’s see what Sony’s got in store for us this year.

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E3 2015 — Sony’s Press Conference

  • The Last Guardian
    • It looks like the elusive game originally announced back in 2009 will actually be coming out. Here’s the trailer.
    • Coming in 2016.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
    • New independent property by Guerilla Games.
    • Announced with this trailer.
  • Dreams
    • New game from developers Media Molecule that shares a creative, collaborative space with all of its players. Here is the trailer.
  • Firewatch
    • New trailer shown, and will be console exclusive to PS4.
  • Destiny
    • Trailer shown for The Taken King expansion, to be available September 15, 2015.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
    • “Dreadful Crimes” missions exclusive to PS4.
  • World of Final Fantasy
  • Batman Arkham Knight
    • Scarecrow Nightmare Missions exclusive to PS4.
  • PlayStation Vue
    • Channels will be a la carte.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III
    • Gameplay shown.
    • Available November 16, 2015.
    • PlayStation users will be the first to have access to all map packs.
  • Disney Infinity 3.0
    • Twilight of the Republic announced — a new playset taking place during Star Wars episodes 1-3.
    • Rise Against the Empire announced — a new playset taking place during Star Wars episodes 4-6.
    • Limited edition starter set exclusive to PS4 a month before other platforms.

E3 2015: Ubisoft’s Press Conference

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E3 2015 — Ubisoft’s Press Conference

  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole
    • Announced with a trailer, where the characters ditched their medieval garb for capes and cowls.
  • For Honor
    • Announced with a cinematic trailer.
    • 4v4 live multiplayer demo.
    • Third person melee combat pitting two armies against one another.
  • The Crew is getting an expansion called Wild Run.
  • Trials Fusion is getting an expansion called Awesome Level Max on August 4, 2015.
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
    • New gameplay trailer featuring the “dark zone.”
    • Players will have the option to betray their teammates to take more loot for themselves.
    • Available March 8, 2016.
  • Just Dance 2016
    • The game will be available to all consoles and can integrate the use of smartphones.
    • Just Dance Unlimited announced, a “dance on demand” streaming service.
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
    • Single-player campaign will feature acting by Angela Bassett.
    • Terror Hunt mode will be returning, pitting a cooperative team (or solo player) against AI enemies.
  • TrackMania Turbo
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands

Check in later tonight for the Sony conference!

E3 2015: EA’s Press Conference

Y’all ready for some Star Wars?! I know I am. Here we go.

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E3 2015 — EA’s Press Conference

  • Mass Effect Andromeda
  • Need for Speed
    • New trailer shown.
    • Releasing November 3, 2015.
    • Open world.
    • Gameplay footage and FMV cutscene shown.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
    • New expansion called Knights of the Fallen Empire, coming October 27, 2015.
      • Free for all subscribers.
      • Going to back to roots of BioWare’s plot/character-driven narratives.
  • Unravel
    • Puzzle platformer where you play as a character made of yarn.
    • Gameplay trailer shown.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
    • Plants are on the offensive, for first time in the franchise.
    • Live multiplayer demo shown.
      • Four player waved-based cooperative mode shown.
    • Single-player and local splitscreen modes announced.
    • Players of the first game can transfer their unlocked characters over to the new game.
    • Releasing spring 2016.
    • Free DLC updates.
  • New installments coming for EA’s hockey, football, basketball, soccer, and golf franchises.
  • Star Wars: Galaxies of Heroes
    • Star Wars collectible card game for mobile platforms announced.
  • FIFA 16
    • For the first time in the franchise, female teams will be available in the game.
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
    • Game world will be an open, free-roaming experience without loading screens.
    • Story will feature protagonist, Faith’s, origin story.
    • New trailer shown.
    • Available February 23, 2015.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront
    • Will contain a single-player campaign mode.
    • First gameplay footage shown, featuring the Battle of Hoth.

 

Next stop is Ubisoft’s press conference. See you then!

E3 2015: Microsoft’s Press Conference

Here it is! The first major press conference of the day. At the time of this writing, we are about ten minutes away from the show, and I’m looking forward to it. In case you missed it, I did a write up on Bethesda’s Pre-E3 Showcase, and you can view it here. In the meantime, let’s get to it!

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E3 2015 — Microsoft’s Press Conference

  • Halo 5: Guardians
    • Story trailer featuring Nathan Fillion shown, followed by live gameplay demo.
    • Release date of October 27, 2015.
    • New mode announced called Warzone, featuring 24 players.
  • Trailer for ReCore, a new sci-fi game by Koji Inafune and the makers of Metroid Prime, Armature Studio.
  • Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, announces Xbox One backwards compatibility
    • 100 games available, with 100 more to come.
    • Retail discs will work, as well. Put the disc in the tray, and then the game will download (if supported).
    • Available for everyone this holiday season.
  • Fallout 4
    • Some new footage shown.
    • Xbox Exclusive: Fallout 3 included with Fallout 4, and mods made on PC will be playable on Xbox One.
  • EA Access (EA’s game subscription service)
    • EA Access available for free to Xbox Live Gold users for the week of E3.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 announced with a trailer.
    • Available spring 2016.
  • Dark Souls III
    • Announcement trailer shown.
    • Available early 2016.
  • The Division
    • New trailer shown.
    • Xbox One players will have an exclusive beta this December.
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
    • Rainbow Six: Vegas and Vegas 2 will be available for free with Rainbow Six: Siege for Xbox One using backwards compatibility.
    • New trailer shown.
    • Available October 13, 2015.
  • Gigantic
    • New trailer shown for free-to-play third-person action MOBA, Gigantic.
  • Tacoma
    • Timed exclusive to Xbox One and PC.
    • New trailer shown.
  • Ashen
    • Announcement trailer shown.
    • Xbox One console exclusive.
  • Beyond Eyes
    • Announcement trailer shown.
    • Timed exclusive to Xbox One and PC.
  • Cuphead
    • New trailer shown.
    • Xbox console exclusive.
    • Available 2016.
  • Xbox Game Preview
    • Xbox early access program announced (play games in an unfinished state before they officially release).
    • Can try out early games with free trials before committing to the early access purchase.
  • Ion
    • New sci-fi game from creator of DayZ.
    • Will be available through Xbox Game Preview.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
    • New trailer shown featuring gameplay.
    • Available November 10, 2015.
  • Rare Replay
    • Collection of 30 classic Rare developed games.
    • Available August 4, 2015.
  • Sea of Thieves
    • New multiplayer first-person pirate game announced with a trailer.
    • Developed by Rare.
  • Fable Legends
    • New trailer shown.
    • Free-to-play on both Xbox One and PC.
    • Cross-play between Xbox One and PC.
  • Partnership with Valve VR announced.
  • Microsoft HoloLens (augmented reality headset)
  • Gears of War
    • Gears of War Ultimate Edition to be released on August 25, 2015 on Xbox One.
    • Will run at 60fps.
    • Gameplay shown for new installment in the Gears of Wars franchise.

 

That’s a wrap, folks! Next up is the Ubisoft press conference.

 

E3 2015: Bethesda’s Press Conference

It’s that time of year again, and I am excited as ever! What’s that you say? Summer? No, I’m not talking about muggy weather, melty ice cream, and trips to the beach. I’m talking about E3. Video games, folks. Get ready for industry jargon, marketing buzzwords, awkward gesticulation, and strange celebrity cameos. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve heard that watching software/hardware press conferences is not everyone’s idea of fun. That’s where I may be of service. I am dedicating myself over the next couple of days to watch these conferences live and relay the important stuff to you. Ever since being a kid, E3 has always gotten me excited and this year is no different. Without further adieu, let’s get started with the first press conference — Bethesda Softworks (publisher for game series such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout).

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Bethesda Softworks — Pre-E3 Showcase

  • Doom
    • First gameplay trailer of the newest entry in the Doom franchise, simply titled Doom.
    • First multiplayer trailer, showcasing classic Arena FPS combat.
    • Mode and map editor called Doom Snapmap showcased.
    • Release date to be in Spring 2016 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
  • Battlecry
    • Signups are now open for Battlecry, the third-person multiplayer action game.
    • Promotional trailer.
  • Dishonored 2
    • Announcement and trailer for the follow up to Arkane Studio’s first-person supernatural stealth game, Dishonored.
    • Player has the choice to play as Corvo Attano (the protagonist of the first installment) or Emily Kaldwell (another returning character).
    • Will be available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
    • Dishonored Definitive Edition, a higher-resolution DLC-bundled version of the first game, to be released this fall on current-generation consoles.
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
    • The Elders Scrolls Legends announced with a trailer. It is a strategy card game existing in the Elder Scrolls Universe.
  • Fallout 4
    • Game to start in the “pre-war” era, before the nuclear apocalypse.
    • Player character can be male or female and speaks for the first time in the series.
      • Player will have multiple choice dialogue options.
    • An abridged version of early parts of the game shown — character creation, fleeing to the vault, exiting the vault 200 years later.
    •  Player character can have a companion dog and give it contextual commands.
    • The VATS targeting system has returned.
    • New PipBoy shown — can play in-game tapes of audio logs, DOS-like games, etc.
    • Fallout 4 collector’s edition to include a 1/1 scaled PipBoy that can hold your phone.
      • A “second screen” app will be available that makes your phone’s screen look like that of a PipBoy.
    • Fallout Shelter announced — a simulation game for iOS where the player manages a fallout shelter existing in the Fallout universe.
      • No “paywall timers,” and no internet connection needed to play.
      • Available tonight!
    • Player character can salvage materials in the game and can build their own settlements with said materials.
      • Settlements can be attacked by raiders, but the player can install defense systems.
      • Player can have several settlements with caravans running between them.
      • Settlements can have stalls for traders, and be manually wired-up for electricity.
      • The same salvaged materials can be used to craft weapons, armor, and modifications to both. There are at least 50 weapons with over 700 modifications available for them.
    • Power Armor with a jet pack shown.
    • VATS trailer shown.
    • Fallout 4 to be released November 10, 2015.

That’s it for tonight, folks! Overall, I feel like Bethesda did a nice job on their first ever pre-E3 showcase. I am excited to play another Dishonored game, especially with the prospect of playing Emily as the protagonist. The heap of Fallout 4 facts and the 2015 release date was great. The base-building, salvaging, and crafting additions to the game are ambitious to say the least. If Bethesda can pull it off, Fallout 4 will be quite the game.

Thanks for reading, and join me tomorrow as I write about the Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and Sony press conferences!