Exciting times!!!

Hey everybody!
Exciting times are coming, as I’ve got the week off work! Couldn’t have come at a better time, either, given how crazy things seem to have gotten lately. So, lots of r&r is planned, and most likely you’ll all be treated to multiple blogs over the next few days – yes, I do spoil you.

The week off started really excellently, too, as I had an impromptu visit from my longtime gaming partner Tony on Friday night. What had up until that point been an evening of housework (so rock and roll) turned into this!

Games Night

New games for us, all – well, DC Rivals is just a different take on the regular DC game, but yeah! The Hobbit was my birthday present from Tony last year (we’re born on the same day; I got him Doomtown Reloaded), and Lords of War was from the year before. He has another Hobbit game that is even older, and has been a lot of fun for us, so we tried this and it was a really great experience! And, of course – shiny jewels! Lords of War is a great little game, much like Summoner Wars, very quick and enjoyable. I’ve been playing Alhambra a lot in the Android version, so it was great to finally play the game proper! No doubt all of these will make it to future game day blogs, anyway!

Speaking of DC…

Earlier in the month, I’d bought this pair of books in something of an effort to rekindle my love of comic books. See, Star Wars aside, I don’t read that many other comics, having spend thousands on Marvel and suchlike about ten years ago. So last year I bought one or two things, such as Buffy Season 8 and Judge Dredd, but having recently been enjoying the DC deckbuilding game, I thought I should get back to what’s probably my first love of comics, The Flash.

One of my first ever comic books was the Terminal Velocity series, which was just awesome! However, I somehow managed to lose the last issue, so had an incomplete series for years. When I managed to sell all of my comics, I didn’t really give it much more thought, but since Cryptozoic’s DC game, I’ve been off-and-on thinking about reinvestigating!

Is any of this interesting? Well, anyway. Last week, I read the first volume of the new series, Move Forward. For the uninitiated, DC had a massive shake-up in summer 2011, when they cancelled everything and pretty much relaunched themselves with 52 new series, each starting from #1 (previously, issue numbering had apparently remained unbroken since the 1930s). The New 52 was born, though it wasn’t a complete reboot, as internal histories were retained. Seems like a good idea, to me at least, as the DC heroes are so well-known they don’t really need origin stories being told again. The New 52 is set to end in May, however, with 25 books continuing alongside 24 new books. I’m pretty excited to see The Flash continue, but we’re set to get new books for Cyborg and Martian Manhunter, two of the more interesting heroes!

The Flash

So let’s move forward to the actual book I read last week! It’s a really enjoyable story that only presupposes you know that the Flash is a guy who can run really fast. The tale involves an EMP blast on Central City that sends the technology there back forty years, as Flash battles the clones of his old friend Manuel Lago, who collectively call themselves Mob Rule. The clones are eventually defeated just as another threat appears – the EMP-induced blackout has allowed the inmates of Central City Prison to escape, and Captain Cold is running amok! Turns out the EMP blast has caused the hospital equipment to be useless, where Cold’s sister is dying from a now-inoperable brain tumour. Cold takes on Flash, but is eventually defeated.

Something that’s really, really interesting here are the ideas around the nature of the Speed Force. First, we see Flash grapple with the fact that he can move faster-than-sound, but not think that fast. Then comes the problem of his moving around as a likely cause for wormholes opening up in space/time. When investigating this, Flash enters a wormhole and discovers the true nature – that he is in fact a release valve for the built-up energy of the Speed Force. Someone else stuck in the wormhole has been causing problems like the EMP blast, a new character called Turbine, driven mad by being trapped there for 70 years.

The story ends with Grodd defeating his father to become King of the Gorillas. Volume 3 of the graphic novels seems set to have him in a starring role, anyway!

I really enjoyed this book, I have to say! While there is still the sense of prior history there, most obviously between Flash and Captain Cold, it doesn’t feel like there’s anything in the way of telling what ends up being a pretty great story. As such, then, I think DC have definitely succeeded in making their stories more accessible to a new audience with this “soft reboot”. The art was a little sketchy at times, and I suppose I’m not that used to seeing so many double-page spreads that I sometimes got confused, but there’s little else I can say against it. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what’s next with this series, anyway!

Highly recommended!

Captain Cold

Finally, I’ve been doing another bit of painting to the Saurus Oldblood I started last weekend. It’s hardly my best work, but then I have had a month off!

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