Article

1 2 3 24

E3 2021 Wrap Up

Written By Jospeh Flores

E3 finally made it’s return this year after cancelling it’s 2020 show due to the pandemic. This year though, they went with an all digital format supporting many publishers’ own smaller, individual presentations. There were still some heavy hitters doing a more traditional E3 presentation though, such as Xbox/Bethesda (who combined their presentation) and Nintendo. Alongside E3, video game personality Geoff Keighley put on a separate show going head to head with E3 called “The Summer Games Fest”. This all digital format with so many individual live streams and presentations may have been a bit jarring and unorganized but nonetheless, it was definitely cool to get a look at new games that are on the horizon. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the stuff that was shown.

Xbox/Bethesda

The Xbox and Bethesda presentation delivered us new reveals and updates on their upcoming game releases. They showed 30 games (27 of those games will be on Xbox’s Gamepass subscription). 

Opening the show was the highly anticipated new IP from Bethesda Games Studios called “Starfield”. The reveal was accompanied with an in-engine cinematic trailer and capped with a release date of November 11th 2022.

The next big reveal was the newest installment in the Halo franchise, “Halo Infinite”. The game was supposed to accompany the launch of the Xbox Series X/S last holiday season but eventually got delayed. The game was presented with a cinematic trailer for the game’s single player campaign and a gameplay trailer for the game’s new multiplayer. They continued the presentation by revealing that the multiplayer component of “Halo Infinite” will be a standalone Free-to-Play experience with a single purchase battlepass. They did make it a point to note that all microtransactions will be cosmetic only and have no impact on performance of the game.

Many other games were announced such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2, 12 Minutes, Replaced, Outer Worlds 2, Forza Horizon 5, Arkane Studio’s Redfall, Psychonauts 2, and so much more.

Square Enix

Square featured a much smaller show but did have a few new things to reveal. The show opened with a really big look at Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy game. Guardian’s is a story focused single player game coming to ALL platforms. You take control of Starlord and he is also able to call on the rest of the Guardians to string in the middle of combos. The game seems to have dialogue choices that affect the story. The game is set to release on October 26 2021.

The other big reveal at this event was Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins. The trailer features a protagonist that seems to REALLY hate a character named Chaos. He wants to kill Chaos, which he states repeatedly over this trailer about 7 or 8 times. Other than the hilarious trailer, the game is kind of a souls-like game with story connections to the very first Final Fantasy.

Nintendo

In true Nintendo fashion, they came to E3 with a “Nintendo Direct”. The Direct featured games such as Shin Megami Tensei V, Advanced Wars 1+2 Reboot Camp, Warioware Get it Together, and a Zelda themed Game and Watch device.

One of the big announcements from this event though is Metroid Dread. Metroid Dread is a classic style 2D Metroid game (i.e. Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion). Seems like instead of aliens, Sammus is going to be up against these sentient robot creatures called EMMIs. Nintendo also made it a point to let us know that Metroid Prime 4 is still in development but did not provide any other information.

The other big announcement was at the tail end of the Direct. Nintendo revealed another look at the highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. This trailer featured a mix of in game cinematics and gameplay in the BOTW world. The game looks beautiful and it seems in addition to the game world from the first entry, Link will have to explore new Sky Islands hovering above Hyrule. No type of release date was announced but Nintendo did come out and say that they are shooting for 2022.

Ubisoft

The Ubisoft show was another one of those smaller events but they did provide a look at several games. Of course they revealed their 2021 installment of their Just Dance series, a new entry in the Mario + Rabbids series and they also gave us a look at Rider’s Republic, an action sports shared world game.

Rainbow 6: Extraction, which was previously known as Rainbow 6: Quarantine (name changed for obvious reasons) was shown. It’s a cooperative shooter kinda based on a R6: Siege event from a few years ago where you fight off waves of zombie-like creatures. The game features characters from the Siege universe and will be set to launch on September 16th, 2021.

Ubisoft also gave a new look at Farcry 6. The presentation gave a new look at Giancarlo Esposito’s villain in the game and some new wild looking gameplay that the Farcry series is known for. They also announced a season pass with a game mode that features the villains from past Farcry entries. The game comes out October 7th, 2021.

They closed the show with a reveal of a completely new title set in the Avatar universe. The game is called Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The game was shown with an in-engine cinematic trailer but no actual release date was shown. The game is being developed by Massive, who are known for The Division series of games.

Summer Games Fest

Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest went first out of all the conferences and featured a look at a wide selection of games. Geoff checked in with his good friend Hideo Kojima to see how he was doing and talk about 9/11 a little bit? It was definitely a strange exchange but Kojima did leave us with something before he signed off. Death Stranding: Director’s Cut was shown off with a trailer featuring some super heavy references to Kojima’s previous series Metal Gear Solid. No date was shown for this new edition but it was revealed that there would be more information on this game in the coming weeks.

The announcement that everybody seemed to be waiting for though was Fromsoftware’s Elden Ring. The game has been in development for a long time and seems to be getting story and lore written by George R.R. Martin. Elden Ring seems to be building on the very popular Dark Souls formula but adding a complete open world to the mix. Your character also has a summonable horse at their disposal and a jumping ability absent from previous Dark Souls entries. The game was also given a release date of January 21st, 2022.

E3 this year was definitely interesting with it’s new format. There were many other presentations from the likes of Capcom, Bandai Namco, Devolver Digital and more. Playstation opted out of being present for E3, as they did last year but we can only assume that they will have something planned in the near future. EA will be hosting an event in July to showcase their lineup of games which will include Battlefield 2042, Madden 22, and they recently announced that they will be reviving one of their old IP’s (please be Dead Space). That does it for E3, it’s always good to learn about new and awesome video games on the horizon.

Follow Joseph Flores on Twitter (@Crozen_)
And listen to his podcast Podcast Ultra

Hey Mitch! Interview With CJ Anderson

Author of Beckoning Of Aethurius: The Feminist Part 1

Earlier this week our staff writer and podcaster Josue Aguayo reviewed the indie comic, ‘Beckoning Of Aetherius: The Feminist Part 1′ after it was sent to us. The author CJ Anderson then agreed to an interview which was conducted via email, by Mitch Punpayuk of the “Hey Mitch’ podcast.

Mitch: First I want to say thank you again for giving us a follow up interview after reviewing of your comic book, ‘Beckoning Of Aetherius: The Feminist Part 1’.

CJ Anderson:
No problem, and thank you for being interested in reviewing my book, and setting up this interview.

M: For those who haven’t read it yet, please explain what is the book about?

CJ:
This first chapter is about two women who have opposing views on what it means to be an authentic person. This puts their friendship in a tough position, and the results will affect much greater events that happen in the near future.

M: Why did you want to tell this story?

CJ:
I wanted to tell this specific story for chapter 1 because I am fascinated with “identity”, and what that means for people. I also think that “identity” is a great way to set up meaningful characters, and see how their future decisions are affected by how they identify.
Just about everyone identifies themselves based on various biological factors, as well as social constructions that they’ve learned from society over the years. Whether that be based on religion, sex & gender beliefs, sexuality beliefs, race, class, attractiveness, etc.
In this case, Methy identifies as a range of things, and Sienna plays the role of questioning it. I want people to wonder why Sienna is so concerned. Does Sienna hold onto identity herself? What drives Methy to hold on to how she identifies, because later on this plays a crucial role in their near future. I also want to see how the audience feels . What’s also exciting to me is that this is a sci-fi / superhero series. It will be great to see how the audience responds to what I’ve previously said about “Identity”, and how that unfolds within the frame
of the superhero theme. Without understanding the reasons behind your own identity, how can one truly be an authentic hero? Let the drama begin.

M: How long from inception of the idea to making it public did it take you?

CJ:
This is a good question because this first chapter is a part of a much bigger story. I wrote the full complete story (200 pages in screenplay style mostly) years ago.
After I figured out the art style, I looked at the full story and separated it into smaller chapters for comics. I then started to refine the writing for this chapter.
So the time it took me to write the full story was about 2 years. One year to dream up the idea, and one year to organize the info and write the story.
It then took me a few weeks to refine the writing for this chapter, and several others. I couldn’t have written this chapter without first writing the 200 page screenplay, because it all connects.

M: Is Part 2 available now? When can readers expect further editions after part 2?

CJ:
I’m working on Chapter 2 now. I refined the writing for that a few years ago, so now I’m working on the art for the comic pages, and concept art for new aspects of the story. Readers can expect a lot more chapters as this is a pretty long story that I broke up into 3 big story arcs. Chapter 1 & 2 is a part of the first 15 or so books. There is a big ending and a cliffhanger. Then there are the second 15 or so books. I then have a rough outline for the third 15 or so books. If Chapter 1 and 2 do well enough, I can continue to finalize these future chapters, and get them to audiences.

M: What other stories, writers, and artists have inspired you in the past?

CJ:
I’ve been mostly inspired by various specific films & music when it comes to story and writing. It’s a very long list so to name a few, ‘Pulp Fiction’, for it’s interesting dialogue. ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, for it’s story pacing and big reveals. ‘The Virgin Suicides’, for it’s feel, especially the music soundtrack and certain visuals. The, ‘X-Files’, for it’s mystery, and character chemistry. The music band, “Earlimart” for its overall feel, especially songs like ‘Happy Alone’. Han Zimmer for his creativity in epic musical themes. I’m inspired by various visual artists such as “Norman Rockwell” for his detail, style and scene designs. Specific Anime & Manga like ‘Battle Angel’, and, ‘Ranma 1/2’ for it’s very interesting style. Specific Disney films such as ‘Tarzan’ and ‘Lilo & Stitch’ for its colors, line, and overall expressions. Old painters such as Singer Sargent and Bouguereau for their very great paint technique.

M: As the artist and the writer for the book, is there one aspect you feel you need to tackle first when telling the story?

CJ:
Yes, for me, what comes first is the right overall feeling. Then exploring those feelings and figuring out what I’m trying to get across with them, and what excites me about them. Then it’s the visual moments that I can see in my mind based on those feelings. Then, it depends on what the quickest way is to express that in a rough draft. Whether that be rough writing, or a rough sketch. Usually it’s rough writing so I can quickly put down some notes. If words will take too long to explain, I do a rough sketch. Sometimes a rough sketch along with rough writing together. The next step for me is to write down the whole story, sketching certain scenes here and there as I see them in my mind. Once I’m satisfied with the writing, I refine all the sketches, add new art, and start the storyboard process. Then concept art. It starts to become more visual art heavy. Then back to the writing for refinements. So I’d say it’s a combination of both for me.

M: How much back story for “Metheena” and “Sienna” is there when we meet them in the bookstore? Will we get to see that at some point?

CJ:
There is a lot of backstory for Methy and Sienna when we meet them in the bookstore. For me, backstory is so important because one off detail in the backstory can dramatically affect the current story you’re telling. That is the core reason I focused a great deal of time on writing the 200 page screenplay. I wanted to make sure that all the elements worked. I see some writers kind of drop the ball on that, like forgetting the character traits of their own character, which creates a lot of inconsistency in character behavior. I want to avoid things like that as much as possible. You will definitely be seeing their backstory. In fact, that actually happens right in the beginning of Chapter 2. I figured, after presenting the drama of chapter 1, now let’s get to the juicy stuff in chapter 2. Not all
at once though. I want to slow burn a few things for greater impact later.

M: How do you like your environment when you are creating? IE., music playing, white noise TV, complete silence, etc.

CJ:
I like a lot of music playing while I work. Music that reflects what I’m drawing/painting, or writing. Music is a huge part of my day. I get so many ideas listening to, for instance, instrumental soundtracks. The feeling certain songs give me makes many ideas appear in my mind instantly. Sometimes the melodies I hear can either make or break an image I’m creating, or part of a story I’m writing.

M: What pushed you to ultimately publish?

CJ:
I always wanted to be in charge of my own story project, that I can then entertain people with. Not just entertain, but connect to a wide diverse range of people with. So publishing was a part of the plan. I feel like in the end, I’m a storyteller, so I needed a way to do that.

M: What is the next step?

CJ:
The next step is to continue finalizing more chapters to this comic series, and getting that to audiences. This includes building a big enough audience fast enough to sell more copies so that it is apparent that working on this series is financially feasible. Another aspect of this is creating clothing and other merch for this, as well as an artbook, which both are on the way. Overall I want to build this into a big business where I have a platform to also create other stories besides Aetherius. I have a ghost story, as well as a heavy sci-fi fantasy story I want to finalize and get to audiences. It all starts with Aetherius first though.

Check out the first chapter on Blurb.com. And follow CJ Anderson’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more updates.

On The John: Godzilla Vs Kong: King Of Punches?

Review By John Camarena

…we get to see what it would be like for a radioactive dinosaur to throw down with a giant gorilla.

The time has finally come, and one of the most anticipated movies by a very small faction of specific fandom can finally rejoice: ‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ has arrived and it is good!
After a couple of delays and uncertainty due to the still ongoing pandemic, Warner Media and Legendary Pictures has allowed us to stream this movie from the safety and comfort of our own homes through HBO Max for 30 days after its release date, though this one would be worth watching on the biggest screen possible; it looks absolutely gorgeous and sounds fantastic. This movie is everything it sold itself as: Godzilla and Kong have a couple of showdowns and we get to see what it would be like for a radioactive dinosaur to throw down with a giant gorilla.
Spoiler alert: It’s awesome!

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment from “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

But not to get too ahead of ourselves, there are a few problems with this film and with this being the fourth entry in the American Godzilla series which started with ‘Godzilla’ (2014), followed by ‘Kong: Skull Island (2017)’, and ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ (2019), let’s just say that if you’re not already on this giant monster train, this movie is not going to suddenly make you love the kaiju genre.
There will be spoilers from here on out so watch it first if you do not want it ruined for you.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment for “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

It is explained that both Kong and Godzilla are both alphas, so any meeting between the two would result in a fight to the death, and for some reason this would be a bad thing.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Millie Bobby Brown in a scene from “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

This movie picks up a couple of years after ‘King of the Monsters’; Godzilla is still the alpha monster and the world seems to be relatively at peace, though everyone is acutely aware that a monster attack could theoretically happen suddenly and without warning.
Kong, on the other hand, is now full grown on Skull Island, which has been converted into a protected habitat to keep him away from Godzilla. It is explained that Kong and Godzilla are both alphas, so any meeting between the two would result in a fight to the death, and for some reason this would be a bad thing. Then the unexpected happens expectedly; Godzilla attacks a tech company in Florida.
Meanwhile, Bernie Hayes, played by Brian Tyree Henry, a conspiracy theorist, engineer at said tech company suspects the company is doing something shady. Coincidentally, Millie Bobbie Brown’s “Madison Russell” (one of the only two returning characters from any of the previous movies), also listens to the conspiracy podcast and figures out how to find the engineer with the help of “Josh Valentine” played by ‘Deadpool 2’s’ Julian Dennison, and they investigate what the company is hiding. After the attack, the media turns on Godzilla as the savior of mankind and the CEO of the company is suggesting terminating Godzilla once and for all.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Kaylee Hottle in a scene from “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

Back at Skull Island, Kong becomes aware of the artificial sky creating his prison. A MONARCH research team keeps an eye on him, and “Jia”, a mute little girl played by Kaylee Hottle, is the last living member of the indigenous people that used to inhabit the island; it’s stated the rest of the villagers were wiped out in a storm. Kong has formed a bond with the Jia, and acts as her protector.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Alexander Skarsgård in a scene from “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

The final piece of the plot is a disgraced scientist and proponent of the hollow Earth theory: Nathan Lind played by Alexander Skarsgård. Lind is recruited by the daughter of the company’s CEO to continue looking into his hollow Earth theory because there is evidence it may be true, and that an incredible source of power may exist there that could change mankind forever. The hollow Earth plotline becomes interconnected with Kong because they figure that is where the Titans come from and if Kong is taken there, then there would not be any danger of the two meeting and fighting. Oh how wrong they will turn out to be.
Kong is being transported to Antarctica via boat, and this is where we find out that Kong understands sign language. While Kong has been depicted as being intelligent in previous iterations, here he has full on comprehension of what is happening around him and can express his emotions very well, much to the surprise of everyone except Jia. She then acts as his interpreter for the rest of the movie. During the trip he is heavily sedated to keep him under control, and again the unexpected happens expectedly as Godzilla finds the boats and attacks Kong. Godzilla has the upper hand here as they are in his element and Kong struggles to put up a solid defense, but the military is able to send Godzilla away long enough for them to get Kong to the hollow Earth entry point in Antarctica.
Kong doesn’t want to go at first, but they pretty much force Jia to lie and tell Kong he may have family in there. Kong then bolts and they follow him into the pit, which results in a blatant copy of the hyperspace scene from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment for “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

…complete with a throne and battle axes made from the dorsal spines of previous Godzillas!

Now we are in the center of the Earth and there is a crazy ecosystem with more giant monsters and what appears to be temple ruins for Kong’s ancestors, complete with a throne and battle axes made from the dorsal spines of previous Godzillas! The Kongs were smart enough to fashion weapons from their enemies which also have the added bonus of absorbing the nuclear energy and becoming supercharged. At this point, Godzilla somehow senses this is happening and breathes atomic fire so hard into the ground that it bores a hole all the way down to the center of the freaking planet. Kong has had enough of all the posturing and jumps up the hole and the epic fight begins in a beautiful neon-lit Hong Kong.
During this time, the “Stranger Things” team stumbles upon what’s really been causing Godzilla to act out: the company has been using the brain of one of Ghidorah’s severed heads to control a robotic version of Godzilla; a Mechagodzilla, if you will. The company’s CEO monologues that he single-handedly wants to save the world by creating the ultimate Titan killer, and all he needed to fully power it on was an energy sample (what?) from the center of the world to do so. But when Mechagodzilla is fully powered, it kills the pilot and wreaks havoc with a mind of it’s own.
Godzilla was just strutting because he seemingly defeated Kong, but Mechagodzilla proved to be more than he can handle and gets his ass handed to him by his robotic doppelganger. The Kong crew revive Kong with a well-timed explosion and together they bring down robozilla. Kong and Godzilla seem to come to a mutual understanding and respect for one another that wouldn’t seem out of place in a “Fast and Furious” movie, and they go their separate ways. The movie ends with Kong frolicking happily in his new home within the hollow Earth as the research team keeps an eye on him.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Eiza González in a scene from “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

This movie has lots for fans to love. For one, the last time these two mighty warriors exchanged blows was in the TOHO film ‘King Kong vs Godzilla’ (1962), and boy have special effects improved. Gone are the days of the man-in-suit on miniature sets, we now have CGI action in glorious 4K resolution and it looks beautiful. You can see all the individual hairs on Kong and the scaly texture of Godzilla’s face. All the action is great and the individual set pieces are creative. One nice surprise is that the cinematography went a little more experimental and showed off a lot of impressive camera angles. One particularly nice shot is from within the cockpit of a fighter jet taking off from a sinking aircraft carrier while the fight between Kong and Godzilla rages behind it. You just have to see it to understand. The lighting in the Hong Kong sequence is beautiful, it is almost like the director is calling out ‘Pacific Rim’ to say “there, that’s how it’s done.” There are lots of call backs to the history of the franchise as well; for instance, Mechagodzilla has several weapons built it like missile launchers and spinning hands, just like the original. The trope of the little girl who can communicate with a kaiju is also here, except this time it’s with Kong. One of the best things about this film is that it also seems to have learned from the previous entries and realized the movie does not need to be two and a half hours and focus on the human drama. No one watches a giant monster movie and actually cares about the family dynamic of the protagonist. Here everything is streamlined and we get to each following sequence somewhat logically, though logic does get stretched a bit, and that’s going to take us to our next bit.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Rebecca Hall in a scene from “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

If you have low tolerance for giant monster fights, characters who are only there to bridge the scenes between said fights, and some pretty substantial leaps in logic, then this is not going to be the movie for you. Again, if you weren’t already on board, there’s nothing here that will finally make you see the light. The human element has been reduced quite a bit since the studio has learned that no one actually cares about the motivations of the humans. Making the first film about a soldier who loses his father and later has to protect his wife and son from the subsequent attacks are just waste of valuable screen time. Here, the team trying to discover the conspiracy are probably the worst, as the conspiracy theorist is played as a parody and “Josh” is just plain annoying. The crew that rolls with Kong are mostly just in awe all the time and the villainous CEO and his daughter are so one-dimensionally evil that it’s not even really satisfying when they are killed. The movie also takes a hard right turn into some Jules Verne levels of science fiction with the whole hollow Earth plot point. Just like in the previous movies, there are hints of ancient advanced civilizations, and like those previous films, the hints of a greater mythology are destroyed and forgotten about rather unceremoniously. A few too many things happen purely for the sake of convenience, such as the way to get into the hollow Earth being so complicated and dangerous, but to get back out they just go through the convenient hole that Godzilla created, and the power source needed to run Mechagodzilla was just an analysis of the energy in the throne room for Kong, which they simply needed to scan and upload the data. To even get there, they needed state of the art experimental crafts and they had to fly through a gravity well that looked like they went through hyperspace, and yet they could still make phone calls and send data to the surface. OK.
The Godzilla franchise is no stranger to campy levels of science fiction, but these films had the pretense of being taken more seriously. Guess they can drop that now.
Truthfully, the whole point is just to get these two giants of classic monster cinema to duke it out with each other and you had already made up your mind whether you were going to love it or hate it as soon as that first trailer dropped.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Adam Wingard on set of “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

So there you have it. If you are a fan, there’s so much to enjoy about this gorgeous looking and entertaining spectacle. If you don’t like any of the tropes from Godzilla films, there’s nothing new for you here. For being available at the same time as the theatrical release however, it’s hard to argue that this is not worth a watch. Who knows, maybe this could be the one that finally sucks you in.

Overall rating: B+

You can find John on Twitter as @Magic Bollocks and hear him on
‘The Geeks’ Watch’ and ‘VHS Gems’ right here on this network

Beckoning of Aetherius: The Feminist Review

Review by: Josue Aguayo 

Review By Josue Aguayo

Everyone deserves a group that has similar interests, care for you, and respects you.

Growing up is hard. Discovering yourself may take years, even after you think you’ve “grown up.” Adults want to be, and deserve to be acknowledged. Everyone deserves a group that has similar interests, care for you, and respects you. Adults constantly struggle with this, especially when having to learn the ever-evolving social standards of the world. We read about heroes dealing with out-of-this-world nuclear weapons and deities, but sometimes “real-world struggles” comics are not just “good guy gets the bad guy”. 
C.J. Anderson’s ‘Beckoning of Aetherius’ is not about guys but two teen friends, “Sienna” and “Metheena”, who are realizing self-discovery isn’t a straight line. 

Anderson’s comic opens with the teen friends having an emotional public argument, trying to convince each other that there is credence in their opinions, advice, and call outs of one another. Anderson, writes an argument, that depending on what character you gravitate towards, has you agreeing with them but the next panel questioning their opinion, and vice versa. After the argument ends you feel that no one is meant to win and society today is expecting a certain social standard, that society today is not fully sure about or able to keep.

Although you’ve just met the two characters, Sienna & Metheena, Anderson’s art carefully helps depict the surge of their emotions in different forms. The art goes hand in hand to the story, every page is thought out to follow their argument and individual emotions. The shift in art styles make you visually feel like you’ve known their friendship as long as they have and slight caricatures in particular panels drive their emotions in.

Anderson has definitely started to unfold a comic story that sheds light on today’s youth having to figure themselves out while learning social constructs. Can anyone really tell you who are “good” friends? What age do we not look at criticism and concern as hate? If they know their slightly both in the wrong, can they come to admission and apologize? Just asking for a friend. Occasionally, sometimes teen problems are just any age problems. 

Follow Josue Aguayo on Twitter (@JosueReadsJosue) and listen to him on We Have Issues

Ultramega #1: The Grimiest Ultraman

By Stephen Clark

Having to wait for more of the violent chaos jazz they’ve captured here is going to be hard.

Ultramega never stops being a powerhouse of a comic.

It’s a thicker book and it deserves to be. Writer/artist James Harren attributes the length to this being his first time as the writer on a book and not being able to adhere to the 20 page issue format. However, this longer issue is one perfect portion of story. The reader is thrown into the plot in the same way that “Jason”, our main character, is thrown in. He is suddenly imbued with the ability to become an “Ultramega”, the grimiest version of “Ultraman”, to fight against the kaiju who attack the city. In just a few panels, we’re given Jason’s background, the story of the other two Ultramegas and how they’ve all dealt with the responsibility and danger that being an Ultramega presents.

Things aren’t as cut and dry as some big monster stories can be. Often, the kaiju are an invading alien force of floppy-suited baddies like Baltan or Rita’s monsters. Here, the humans of the city will suddenly mutate into kaiju, apparently because of their proximity to the UItramegas. The responsibility of protecting the city, killing kaiju who were formerly humans and the physical and emotional scars of those battles have worn down the Ultramegas. They’ve protected the humans for years at this point, when a new and greater threat emerges, requiring them to throw everything they have at it.

James Harren and colorist Dave Stewart work together to make an already interesting and heavy story burst from panel to panel like the meanest and goriest Kool-Aid man. The action and dialogue push you forward but you want to stop and appreciate the tiny details of the world, the textures of the city and learn everything you can about the future city it is set in. But there is no time for that, at least not on the first read.

I soared along with the high points and crawled through the mud in the lows, enjoying every second of it. I went back to read it again immediately afterwards and found myself reaching for it again today, in a time where I have a “to be read” pile of comics. Some comics are comics because they’re just not yet the movies they’re hoping to become. This? This is a comic that I genuinely don’t know how you would ever do justice to in a series or film, live action or even animated.

The closest experience I can compare this first issue to is how I felt at the end of the prologue to ‘The Last of Us’. It was a complete narrative thrill ride that excited me, gave me a whole new world and made me feel something alongside the characters in it. For ‘The Last of Us’, I decided I was good with that one great moment and never played the rest of the game. With Ultramega, Harren and Stewart delivered that same flawless crescendo but with a tease at something more that’s impossible to call “enough” and put down. Having to wait for more of the violent chaos jazz they’ve captured here is going to be hard.
The next issue comes out on April 21st and you should absolutely pick up that, as well as the first issue,#1 here.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter (@PeppermintGent) or check out his website peppermintgentleman.com
1 2 3 24
Twitter

Twitter Feed:

Going Live!!!

Come join me and see what fresh hell we have today!
#RoadToAffiliate #smallstreamer #SupportSmallStreamers

@GrowURStream
@Streamer_Boost
@rtsmallstreams
@BlazedRTs
@promo_streams
@Twitch_RT
@StreamerWall https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1ypKdgdWkPVxW

Filmmaker Chat live streams are back! This week I sit down with Rick Ives, an indie writer/director and an assistant editor for Marvel! Come hang with us and find out what it's like to work on Loki and more! Set your reminder to watch here: https://youtu.be/tWGwiTofcXI

Load More...