Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jim Bunning - Single Handedly Ruining People's Lives

My father has been unemployed for more than the last year. He's a Release Engineer, and it has been very hard for him to find a job. He has not rested on his laurels either, going to workshops, networking meetings - everything to help increase the chance of him getting a job. It doesn't help that he's also fighting against age discrimination, being over 60 years old.

What has helped our family has been the unemployment my father has been getting. It has single handedly helped keep our family afloat and helped make sure we never fell behind on our mortgage payments. We've had to cut down on things, reducing our costs and even excepting food from our Church's programs.

It's been tough, but we've been doing well - and eventually my Dad will get a new job. But until then the unemployment, and the various extensions of it, have helped tremendously.

Now comes in Jim Bunning, the republican senator from Kentucky. He decided to take it upon himself to single-handled block the bill that would extend million's of American's unemployment. The republican party does not support this move, and other senators where begging him not to do this. But he did it anyway. News reports say it will probably take over 20 weeks to work around Bunning's obstruction. In the mean time my family will be out $500 a week. Not only that - but there's not going to be any catch-up with that money - it's just going to be a total loss for our family's budget until the unemployment renewal is reinstated.

Oh - but you might ask, why is Bunning doing this? He apparently wants the money to pay for the extension not to be added to the national debt. Fine, fine - a very nobel idea - trying not to exacerbate the already huge national debt - but Bunning decided to do this with the elegance of a baboon. This extension is literally the life-line to millions of unemployed Americans during these poor econmic titles.

And, this isn't even the worst part. It seems, in this inane attempt to not burden the national debt any more - it will have the reserve effect, costing the government even more money in having to reinstate the unemployment extension.

I was happy with the thought that, at the very least, the over 10% unemployed voters in Kentucky would throw Bunning out of office for doing something this stupid. But, nope - he's not planning on running for re-election to begin with.

So, way to go Mr Bunning - you have single handedly shoved our family off a cliff! Your legacy is going to stained by this single, mind-numbing idiotic act. Bunning should be ashamed of his actions. He has hurt the country, the voters he represents, and has made me loose total faith in the government and politics.

UPDATE: Good news! Not only is another senator pushing the bill through, but my Dad isn't going to loose any week's payment of unemployment. That is really such a relief. It doesn't absolve Mr Bunning's actions, but I'm glad to see Government business did work out in the end, despite one small minded man's attempts to thwart it.

Here's a Clip Showing Bunning's actions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Zatch Bell!


Zatch Bell (Konjiki no Gash!! (金色のガッシュ!!, Konjiki no Gasshu!!?, lit. Golden Gash!!) is a manga and anime seres about a young man, Kiyo Takamine, who partners with a Mamodo (demon) to win battles against other Mamodo, and eventually be the last one standing to win Kingship of the Mamodo World.

It's a very formulaic series, using the tried and true story elements of Pokemon along with a traditional Shonen Manga action series. Action is typical, where characters discover things about themselves or their friendships. A variety of spells and rules about the Mamodo begin to emerge and the characters progress through increasingly powerful enemies.

The series is, in short, very formulaic, and some might say unoriginal -- BUT (There was a "But" coming), despite this, the series is wonderful and charming, with an abundance of memorable wacky characters and very original and exaggerated art work and character design. It's really what saves the series from being mediocre. I simply can't help but enjoy the smiling faces of the characters, and funny and exaggerated artwork often times switch to character's eyes bulging from their faces when rushing. It's utterly unique and wonderful artwork, and I've now found myself quite a fan of Makoto Raiku's artwork.

The characters in Makoto Raiku's series are as unique as his artwork. The Mamodo are usually diminutive in stature, and are partnered with equally funny and bizarre humans. One of the standout characters of the series is Ponygon. He's basically a horse, not talking, who behaves like a dog. His dog like personality is also helped by his diminutive stature, since he's the size of an average dog. He's an incredibly cute and funny character.

The manga series ran for 33 volumes, and had an Animated series. Both where ported over to America, though I don't know how well they did here. The Anime series didn't last long on the air, and even the Anime never completed in it's home country. There's a lot of competing Manga for shelf space, but this series is a nice and fun gem that I'd encourage anyone to read. It's formulaic, but utterly enjoyable.

I think a lot of people just over looked the series, and perhaps also dismissed it because of it's formulaic storytelling, repeated in many other similar Manga. I in fact would never have bought the series myself, but was lucky enough to have won it in a Free Manga in a contest. Now I think I'd definitely like to see more of it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Super Street Fighter IV: SF3 Characters

I initially voiced my complaints about Super Street Fighter IV when I heard that Final Fight characters Guy can Cody where being added to the the existing line-up. I was really rather disappointed by that, because additional characters are much fewer than if this was a 2-D Street Fighter game, it seemed like a waste to give two spots to Guy and Cody. They aren't bad characters, but they also aren't characters I'm burning to play. I was beginning to think I just wouldn't buy the game at all.

Well, consider by position reversed! Three new characters have been announced for the game, and all Capcom needed to do was go into the Street Fighter 3 roster. Ibuki, Makoto, and Dudley have been announced as new fighters, instantly pushing this game from "wondering wether I'll buy it", to a "must own" experience! I really adored Street Fighter 3, and it seemed like such a waste not to use the characters from SF3 because of the continuity-story line. (As if anyone buys these games because of the story) The SF3 cast just seemed perfect for this game, with their already fluid fighting styles and design. Well, my wish was granted - so I'm mighty happy now, and am definitely going to get the game!

BTW - There is one fighter left to be announced. The end of this trailer features oil dripping down the screen at the end. I'm somewhat afraid we're going to get some oily fighter... Oh well ---- with Ibuki, Makoto, and Dudley, I'm good for Round Two of Street Fighter VI!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Agents of Atlas


Sometimes comic companies can really disappoint you. Small time affair books can have a hard time getting off the ground or find an audience, and before you know it you're fan favorite series has been canceled. SWORD is a good recent example, being canceled in 5 issues because nobody knew what to make of it, and by the time we all read and liked it, it was already too late - the sales couldn't sustain the title.

This being said, sometimes comic companies can surprise you as well. Agents of Atlas has been one of those small-time fan favorite books, getting greats reviews but low sales. Marvel has not only supported this series, but seemingly has refused to let it die - despite holdouts like me. Relaunches and Mini-Series have kept the series going, and once again Marvel is giving the series another shot with another new on-going, simply titled "Atlas". I had been viewing this series from afar, not sure what to make of it. It looked fun - all these 1940s and 50s classic characters being revived, creating a kind of B-Movie mash-up adventure series! Yet I didn't pick up any issues, which I regretted. Even when I became more interested in it, I thought I was too far behind to get into the series. Well, Marvel did a smart thing by giving another receptive audience, Hercules readers, a taste of the series with a few back-up tales tying into Herc's recent adventure of storming New Olympus. Not only did I find the art incredible, but I found it instantly accessable. There has been stuff going on before-hand, like the Agents of Atlas acting like villains during the whole Dark Reign saga - but in general nothing that came before stopped me from enjoying and understanding the back-up stories in Incredible Hercules.

As far as I see it, here's what you need to know, in it's most basic form, about the characters (I need to learn more as well as time goes on)

Jimmy Woo
Former Government Agent and Leaders of the Agents of Atlas


Marvel Boy, Robert Grayson
Alien from Uranus with lots of Sci-Fi gadgets. Also has a sweet flying saucer!

Namora
Atlantian beauty and power house. Under sea adventures guaranteed!

Gorilla Man
Man transformed into Gorilla. Gorillas are awesome!

M-11, Human Robot
The 1950s Sci-Fi Classic Robot come to life. Doesn't talk much, and has extendable arms.

Venus
Siren of the sea, Venus is able to influence men to do her bidding. Great for crowd control!

Now the new Atlas series is coming out in May, in addition to a reprint of the first Agents of Atlas issue #1 for only $1. I also like the new addition to the team in that of 3-D Man (aka, Triathlon, from the Avengers) 3-D Man became a stand-out favorite in Avengers: Initiative, being one of the first heroes to realize and fight back against the Skrull Invasion. It's good to see him coming back, and with a team he has history with, as the original 3-D Man was one of the original Atlas members.

So I'm going to get on board and try this series. I'm sure the book could use all the support it can get - so give it a go and try the book out you're self too. Here are some images I've collected of the series so far.





Boycotting Southwest Airlines

It was pretty interesting to hear about the mess with Kevin Smith, being ejected from a flight, accused of being too fat to fit in the seats. (You can read about it here.)

Apparently a rep from Southwest Airlines got in contact with Smith to apologize, but it never sounded like a real apology, especially when they ended their apology with another mention about their Over Weight Passenger Policy. You can read about it here.

I'm glad Kevin Smith fought back against this using Twitter. Let's be honest, if this happened to anyone else, it wouldn't have made a wit of difference how they where treated - nobody would have heard about it or cared.

I was especially concerned with this story because I'm pretty much in the same weight category as Kevin Smith. I'm about the same size, and I can't imagine how mortifying it would be if something like this happened to me. I know I'm not too fat to fly, (which, admittedly, some people really are too big) but just the idea of being accused of it because I have a big belly. As long as those arm rests come down, you should be good to go.

Apparently Southwest Airlines just doesn't get how bad they appear. People are fed up with the high prices and inane policies of the airlines! Yet we need airlines, to get where we're going - so we can't boycott flying in general, right? So I say, let's boycott Southwest Airlines as an example. I'm going to, at least.

That said - I do feel the need to admit that I generally don't travel much to begin with. So it's not a big threat on my part. BUT - anytime I do need to get a flight, you can be sure as hell I'm going to avoid Southwest Airlines. I hope other people do the same.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hercules and Amadeus Cho


One of the absolute best comics out on the market right now is Incredible Hercules. Originally taking over the numbering of the Incredible Hulk (so Red Hulk could take center stage for a while) it quickly became apparent that this wasn't just mere filler while the Hulk was away - this was a major title in it's own right. Right off the bat we where treated to a wonderful mix of more accurate mythological stories alongside a kick butt buddy movie. It was a stroke of genius to simply give Hercules a side kick, in that of boy Genius Amadeus Cho. I know, the strong partner and the smart partner has never been an original buddy-formula, but that never made the relationship between Cho and Hercules ever boring. What I think really stuck with people, and why the series has continued to go on gaining more and more readers, is the fact Amadeus Cho is a great hero in his own right. He was originally one of Marvel's test projects, having a New Amazing Fantasy issue (the same book Spider-Man debuted in so many years ago.) Nothing much came out of that series except for Amadeus Cho, who never got utilized until the World War Hulk saga (where he meet Hercules). Suddenly this ingeniously designed character had a place to shine. He might be a hyper genius, able to do calculations on the fly and bring down a helicarrier with a pebble (if thrown correctly), but his genius was never played as either annoying of self centered.

Hercules and Amadeus have had some great adventures so far


They have Fought Ares God of War, Hercules' Half Brother...

They Formed a God Squad to fight Skrull Deities...

They have had failed romances...

They have fought Amazons...

They have joined the Avengers...

They went to the Under World to Free Herc's Father Zeus...

They have impersonated Thor...

Athena's Champions


During all of these adventures Hercules' sister Athena has been guiding them. As the series progressed, it became more and more clear that Athena has had a lot of vested interest in this duo. Amadeus eventually learns that Athena even manipulated his rise to being a hero - and has plans for him to be her next Champion, after (dumm, dumm, duuuummmm) Hercules dies!

At least that's what it looks like so far. I wouldn't count Herc down and out yet - but Amadeus, at least for now, looks to be filling in for Hercules as the new Prince of Power. The new series has been announced, and Cho is wielding Hercules' old Mace. While whatever happens to Hercules is of importance, I can't tell you how excited I am to see Cho getting the attention he deserves.

Here's some art from the upcoming relaunching title

This image is labeled as coming from www.tentonstudios.com


This image is labeled as coming from www.tentonstudios.com

I have high hopes the series continues to do well. It's been a great adventure so far, and one of Marvel's most smartly written and fun titles. I highly urge anyone to give it a try. There are some good Oversized Hardcovers Marvel's been putting out of the series. You can find a good price for them at Amazon.com.

Here are some other images, to give you an idea of the great art the series offers as well.

More Images






Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Karas


Karas is a difficult movie to get into. Originally it aired in Japan as a 6 Episode series (brought over here as two movies), and labeled as the 40th Anniversary Project for legendary Anime Studio Tatsunoko. I can only imagine the kind of high expectations coming from this series.

Karas is somewhat symbolized by Yin and Yang. Karas, the armored warrior who protects the city, is Yang, while the cat-themed girl Yurine is Yin. They both serve the city as an organ would serve the purposes inside a body. Another dichotomy is that the city if inhabited by two sets of people, Yokai (Japanese Spirits, or Demons) and the humans who cannot see them.

Two opposing forces clash in the movie, as the former Karas of the city, Eko, has decided to punish humans for their arrogance in forgetting the demons in the world. The city, in an attempt to defend it's self from this threat, creates a second Karas to defeat Eko. Otoha, a gang inforcer who can feel no pain, is chosen when he nearly dies. He becomes Karas and fights against Eko. Eko surrounds himself with Mikura, who are ghosts who have undergone a transformation to become machine-like.

The series is simply drowning in symbolisim and creative storytelling. That both the series' strength and it's weakness. Many people found the first movie (the first 3 episodes) to be confusing and confounding. It would have been so much more successful, if the series had been released all together, because every question you have in answered in the second film.

The story is beautiful in it's simplicity and complexity. It challenges the viewer to pay attention, and rewards viewers with a rich and deeply enchanting world.

While the plot of the movie might be hard to initially grasp, nothing falls short in the artistic beautiful and explosive imagery the movie creates. Using 3-D models alongside traditional animation - the entire film is painted with endless detail. It makes the city come alive, and thus gives you a better sense of why this dark character represent the city.

I'd highly recommend this to any Anime fan, though you'll have to be prepared to be a little confused about certain things when you first view it. Yet the wonderful thing about this movie is that, despite the challenge in understanding the story, you still want to watch it - so repeat viewings become welcome and useful.

The entire film, from it's story, characters, and creation seems to be ingrained in Yin and Yang, two sides, completely opposite from one another, functioning as one.

Karas Trailer

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comic Book Animated Series

It seems like Animated series, based off of Comic Books, are everywhere these days. There are so many on TV now a days, which is a shocking contrast to when I was younger and all I had was Batman The Animated Series and X-Men. Iron Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, Batman Brave and the Bold, Marvel Super Hero Squad are just a few of the current animated comic series, with more to come. It just seems like Comic Based Animated Series have come a long way, especially from the poorly Animated fare like the Super Friends. I thought I'd give my opinion of some of the shows that have come and gone.


Superman Max Fleischer

This seems like the true start of Comic Book heroes being Animated, and what a glorious beginning it was too. Using superb quality animation this series set the bar as high as possible when it came to translating comics to cartoons. It's a hight of achievement not to be challenged for 6 Decades until Batman The Animated series, which in turn was trying to emulate the incredible style of Max Fleischer.


Super Friends

Like I said, Super Friends was a poorly Animated series, but it was the first time comic fans got to see the likes of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman fight crime together. It's much loved by fans, despite it's flaws. This show seemed to give prominence to characters that would otherwise go unknown by the general public, like Aquaman. He might be the butt of people's jokes because of the Super Friends - but it got him attention I doubt he had before.


Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends

Marvel like-wise had their own poorly animated cartoon fare. At first it was almost panel-to-panel recreations of classic tales. Marvel also had Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. It starred Spider-Man with his crime fighting friends Firestar and Iceman. Why those two - I don't know. It makes no sense to this day, beyond that fact that fire and ice are cool powers. It's still nicely remembered by fans, especially special guest episodes like when the X-Men guest star. You can even find shades of the concept to this day, with Spider-Man, Iceman, and Firestar Toy Three-Packs, and team ups of Ultimate-Versions of these characters in Ultimate Spider-Man.


X-Men

There actually was a failed pilot for the X-Men that never got off the ground. It was wonderfully animated, and it was shame it didn't get off the ground. Yet in that single episode we were introduced to Kitty Pryde - and shown how visually stunning the X-Men's powers could really be. The episode had it's faults, though. The plot was a bit more simple (fight the bad guys) than regular X-Men comics. Also it's notorious for getting Wolverine's voice wrong, giving him an Australian accent.

It would be awhile before the next X-Men got another chance. In the 90s the X-Men returned, and they simply blew everyone away. The stories where serious, grounded, and much more mature than you'd traditionally expect from saturday morning cartoons. It became an incredible hit, going on for five seasons, and retelling some of the X-Men's most famous battles. This show informed me so much about the X-Men - and helped get me into the real comics as well. The Animation was never the best, trying to be very detailed, but you could always feel the sense of seriousness the show was intending.


Amazing Spider-Man

You have a hit with the X-Men, so what's next? Spider-Man! While the series suffered from re-used Animation and weak CGI building effects - it still managed to do what it intended: show us Peter Parker's life as Spider-Man, just like in the comics. The running monologue of Spider-Man helped ground the show and give us insights into the complicated life of Peter Parker. Spider-man wasn't just fighting villains, but also dealing with Aunt May, Mary Jane, and his job. That, by definition, is Spider-Man. It did start to spiral out of control, near the end, by having a version of the Secret Wars, but it was nonetheless a wonderful introduction to Spider-Man, and one I used as a basis to get into Spider-Man comics in general.


Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Avengers and the Silver Surfer

With the success of the X-Men and Spider-Man, Marvel naturally wanted to capitalize on it and introduce more Marvel properties to TV. There where mixed results, to say the least. These series where poorly Animated. With the X-Men, what it lacked in fluidity, it made up for it detail and atmosphere. With these shows that seemed to be entirely dropped, with characters often times moving like rubber. These shows at least introduced us to these characters, but the quality of the shows simply wasn't there. I look at reruns of the Hulk, and shudder as it uses every old and cliched concept from the 90s Hulk comics. (It was great in comics then, but not in Animation, and not without the wit of Peter David) The Avengers was an even worse flop, changing Hawkeye's signature costume - to putting Ant Man in charge of the Avengers. If you're going to have the Avengers - why not try putting someone like Captain America in charge. The only series worthy of praise was the space-opera of Silver Surfer, which sadly only lasted one season.


Batman The Animated Series

This is where Animated Comic characters really took off. This wasn't just a Batman TV show, it's the show that defined Batman in general. It was the 90s, and while Batman was back in full swing with his grim and gritty roots - it's this series that added a noir style to the formula. The episodes where classics, with musical scores for each episode (a rarity back then), with incredible voice talents, and storytelling that was second to none. The show was so good, in fact, that it got away with things you wouldn't expect, like the use of bullets and guns. The quality of this series set a new bench mark for Animation to achieve from now on, and that legacy still continues to this day.


Superman The Animated Series

Following on the heels of Batman, the Superman Animated series also set new ground for DC Animation. The style of the series was more stream-lined that Batman. To help make Superman easier to write, his powers where diminished quite a bit - but it never detracted from how great a hero Superman was. He was the first, and still is the definition of the term "Super Hero".


Batman Beyond

A revolutionary show, that easily could have turned into a disaster. The idea of a new and younger Batman in the future was a great concept, and even better it was expertly pulled off. The Animation style of the series was wonderful, giving us a dark and rich concept of the future, while never getting bogged down from the core concept of Batman: fighting villains.


Justice League and Justice League Unlimited

Where do you go after doing both a Batman and Superman Animated series? You go to the Justice League, where you can introduce all sorts of other DCU characters while always having the big sellers of Batman and Superman. The series got off to a slow start, but the quality and amazing writing was right there all along. The only real hurdle the series needed to over-come was the perceived notion that it was another Super Friends series. The show developed some wonderful stories, not the least of which is Hawkgirl's revelation that she was a spy. The series then utterly reinvented it's self by opening the doors of the DCU wide open. Now EVERYONE was a member of the Justice League, which allowed the likes of Booster Gold, The Question, Huntress and Green Arrow their time to shine. It truly was the end of an era, finally coming to a close, somehow managing to tie everything since Batman the Animated series all together into one universe.


Static Shock

For me this series somewhat came out of left field, as I didn't know anything about Static. I knew it was being done by the same team who did Superman and Batman, but beyond that I didn't know what to make of it. It was good to see they where portraying an African American Super Hero well, and doing so without seeming like a token series designed for the network to be PC friendly.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Before they rocketed to fame in the 80s, the Ninja Turtle where first and foremost an indy comic creation. The series, while having little to do with the Comic books, still opened the way for everyone to get to know these wonderful characters. First written as Comic Book satire, the Ninja Turtles quickly became a legend unto themselves. The series went on longer than anyone could have expected. What was even more stunning was the revival of the TV series, this time following the comic book source material much more closely, giving us the perfect Ninja Turtle series. Sadly things started to go downhill after the 4th season. The 5th season didn't air for many years, and the Turtles where being needlessly reinvented for adventures in the future and then cyber space. It seemed to end on a high note, though, giving us a movie team up between the original animated turtles and their current counter parts. Toss in the Black and White Turtles from TMNT #1, and you have a wonderful ending note on the entire Turtles franchise since it's beginning.


Teen Titans

This series was a wonderful, yet strange, take on the Teen Titans. Heavily influenced by Anime - the series seemed like a great mix of humor and action, using both Western and Eastern Animating philosophies. It seemed fitting that the series ended with the characters taking a trip to Japan - the source of the series' inspiration.


X-Men Evolution

This was another take on the X-Men, setting them in a normal human high school (which, frankly, sort of defeats the purpose of going to a private school). The show was different, with some less than well received reinterpretations of characters - but nonetheless grew into a wonderful series.


MTV's Spider-Man

Coming off of the Spider-Man movies, there was an attempt to have a CGI Spider-Man series on MTV. Despite comic creators like Brian Michael Bendis helping, the show was a flop.


The Batman

Not content to let Batman rest, we saw a new TV series appear showing us a younger and less experienced Batman. This did give the show a youthful edge while not compromising what it means for Batman to be Batman. The series employed many wonderful new concepts and reinterpretations of villains. It did shock many fans of the original Animated Series, but eventually became it's own entity. It was simply Batman, but a different take on him.


Legion of Super-Heroes

This was a cool series giving us a fun and adventurous team of heroes, all trying to live up to the legend of Superman. It was sadly hindered by having to call Clark Superman, instead of Superboy. The show's second season changed things, giving us a second Superman from even farther in the future. This easily could have been a horrible thing, trying to give us a cooler and ruder version of Superman - and he essentially was just that - but it still came off well, playing against the real Superman. Beloved Legion characters like Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, and others finally got a chance to shine here as well.


Fantastic Four

A new take on the Fantastic Four, this Anime-Stylized FF seemed like a cool concept, but sadly fell a bit flat. The characters where written correctly, but I think what was more troubling for the series was the show's over-use of moving cameras and digital effects. Also, it brought back a problem I had with the FF TV show from the 90s - that of the FF having a Landlord. What? The FF should own the whole Baxter Building - not rent space there! Someone, somewhere, finds it funny to have some crotchety old lady banging on the door, demanding Reed Richard's keep the noise down. I don't find that funny; I find it annoying.


Spectacular Spider-Man

Like "The Batman", Spectacular Spider-Man is simply another take on the web-swinger, and I thought it was a remarkable achievement. The Animation style of the show was made less detailed, but this allowed the show to have wonderfully elaborate set fights. All the battles Spider-Man had seem to be like a mini-movie event, like the Rhino tearing into the Daily Bugle. Spider-Man himself was portrayed wonderfully, and the tone and feel of the series seemed like it came just out of Steve Ditko's comics. Venom, though, was the one character they sort of messed up. It ended at season 2, with the revelation of the Green Goblin's identity (they really left you guessing for a long while), but it was a great show while it lasted.


Krypto the Super Dog

Perhaps not like the other serious Animated Comic shows, this series seemed like a nice and funny take on the idea of Superman's Dog. It was a cute concept and a good use of un-used secondary characters.


Batman: Brave and the Bold

This is the latest show coming from DC Animation, and what a wonderful series it is too. Yes, it's yet another take on Batman - but it helps mix in what we all loved about Justice League Unlimited, once again giving us a tour of the DCU. Under rated heroes are once again being given a time to shine - and I've simply never seen a more fun interpretation of Aquaman in my life. The series is very comical and doesn't take it's self too seriously, but - it's not suppose to. Very rarely do these episodes disappoint at giving you a wild and fun adventure.


Iron Man: Armored Adventures

With Iron Man a hit in theaters, this seemed inevitable. But instead of a proper Tony Stark, they decided to depict a younger Iron Man. Instead of using Animation, the series is completely computer generated. Not my taste, but it seems to be doing well.


Wolverine and the X-Men

Yet another take on the X-Men, but one that is just as much a winner as the last one. There's a definite story being told here, with wonderful concepts like Xavier lost in a destroyed future Earth, and the X-Men trying to prevent that future from happening. A great series, and one I'm looking forward to seeing again next season.


Marvel Super Hero Squad

This is purely a kiddies' show, but I can definitely see Comic fans getting a kick out of Super Deformed Marvel characters. It's definitely not for most viewers, but it's not suppose to be. It's suppose to be for the kids, and I think it might help get them interested in comics, which is good.


Direct to DVD Animated Movies

The new trend for both DC and Marvel are Direct to DVD Animated Movies. Some of the films have been hit or miss, but as time goes on it seems like both Marvel and DC get better and better at their craft. I simply hated the two Ultimate Avenger movies, finding them a horribly watered down version of the Ultimates. The movies came back stronger, though, giving us nice versions of Doctor Strange and Iron Man - and now making their best movies, Hulk Versus, and Planet Hulk. For DC it seemed to take a bit longer for them to get rolling, with The Death of Superman, a very ambitious place to start, and since then it's been one hit after another. Series like New Frontier got more than a Animated interpretation, but got a companion piece to the real comic. Green Lantern was excellent, and while Superman/Batman was treading on old water with the original voices of the old Animated series, it still was a wonderfully action packed movie.


Suffice to say, there have been a LOT more choices in Comic Book Animated Series since the beginning of the 90s. In addition to the current shows, there's a new Avengers series in the works (which looks like it's going to be done right this time), a new Young Justice League series (?), and the Black Panther series, which I frankly don't have the foggiest when it's going to get here.