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This Week At Work 11-04-11

Welcome aboard new readers! This is our weekly column about what we have been up to the last week, and plan on doing this weekend. You’ll find out what we’ve been playing, what we’ve been reading and what we look forward to next week.

What I’m playing:
Currently working through the first Dead Space and then I’ll be moving on to Dead Space 2. I’m right near the end so hopefully I can finish it up this week. A little bit of a nerd confession, I’ve never played Pokémon, so last week I picked up a Pokémon FireRed ROM on a GBA emulator and have been working on that. All I’m going to say is, Man, FUCK Mt. Moon. Fucking zubats! It probably says a lot about me that I’ve enjoyed my time on Pokémon more than the 40+ hours I spent drudging through Dragon Age:Origins.
What I’m Reading:
Finished up Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain Trilogy with The Night Eternal on Saturday. Super depressing and an excellent end to one of the best, if not the best vampire story I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read this series yet, you should get on that.
In the comic book front I’ve been checking out DC’s New 52, and I’m not much of a DC fan to begin with. I can’t believe I’m going to endorse this, but dammit, the new Aquaman is bad ass.

Aquaman vs Weird fishpeople
Seriously, Aquaman fighting a bunch of weird brain exposed fish people?! Go ahead, argue with that.

Jimmy Palmiotti is doing a bang up job on All-Star Western. Following Jonah Hex through early Gotham as he investigates a series of gruesome murders, unveiling a huge plot involving some of Gotham’s most important citizens is good fun. Jonah’s wild west attitude clashing with Dr. Arkham’s city slicker sensibilities is hilarious.
I,Vampire is one of those new titles that really shocked me. I’m a sucker for vampire stories involving true monstrous vampire characters. Mary, Queen of Blood fills that desire quite nicely.
What I’m Watching:
Finally got to see Thor and Captain America and both were excellent. I was expecting a lot from Thor but it easily impressed. Plus, Natalie Portman, being adorable, always worth a few extra points. Chris Helmsworth does an excellent job and Loki is downright diabolical at times. Captain America has to be hands down one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen in a long time. Nearly as good as Iron Man. A lot like Iron Man we don’t actually see much of the titular character until over halfway through the film, but then we realize that the hero building is the important part. Yeah, the actual action scenes are cool, but they’d be meaningless without the scenes of little Steve Rogers trying to join the army and being denied 5 times before being given a chance that makes us realize how worthy he really is to be Captain America.
Been trying to keep up with Fringe and this season is really delivering. Caught the first 2 episodes of American Horror Story and liking it so far, kind of bizarre and hopefully they quit the really annoying camera zooming in on people’s faces while they’re talking thing soon.

ravnos (Ian E. Muller):
What I’m playing:
Well, I finally got around to finishing Arkham Asylum this week, fantastic game. By finishing I do mean all the Riddler Challenges as well, including The Spirit of Arkham, although I had figured that one out by clue #14… Still, fantastic game – I’m looking forward to playing Arkham City once I get it. For now, I’m jumping back into Assassin’s Creed II. You see, I have a bad habit of picking up a game, playing about half of it, then starting a new game. Which is why, officially, the only games I’ve beaten for the 360 are Fable 2, Castle Crashers, CoD: Black Ops, and now Arkham Asylum. Although I could go beat Fallout New Vegas at any time, I just really like exploring in that game, haha. As far as Assassin’s Creed II goes… it’s really weird going from Batman to Asassin’s Creed… I’m spending way too much time trying to leap between buildings that are too far apart and rushing into combat… I’m not the armored Dark Knight damn it!

What I’m reading:
Actually, not much right now. I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, so I’m spending most of my time coming up with character and plot idea’s currently. Though internet-wise I’m reading Warren Ellis’s blog (writer of Transmetropolitan, Doktor Sleepless, Fell, The Authority, and a wide variety of other amazing comics), as well as John Scalzi’s blog – Whatever (author of Old Man’s War and a variety of other sci-fi and awesome books).

NaNoWriMo 2011 Badge
That's right, insanity ensues!

What I’m Watching:
Stargate SG-1. ‘Nuff said. Okay, maybe not, I need to rant.
So, I saw the original Stargate movie years ago. I enjoyed it. Said “That was neat.” And moved on. Then I heard favorable rantings about Stargate Universe, which happens to star Robert Carlyle, who is one of my favorite actors. “Fair enough” I thought, and figured I would give it a shot. Then I did a little research and found out that there are 2 other Stargate shows, one of which was on for 10 fucking seasons!? Really? Okay… well, being a bit OCD about these things I decided I had to watch all of it, and I settled down to start watching Stargate SG-1. I really, really like the show. Fast forward 6 seasons. I could definitely tell when the show switched hands between Showtime and Sci-Fi… I’m also kind of happy it did. Season 5 of SG-1 definitely started to lag a bit. The plots got a bit old, and honestly – the show just wasn’t as good. Then, even with a reduced budget, I think that Sci-Fi picking the show up really brought a breath of life back into it. I’m just dreading the day I hit the season that Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson, aka fucking MacGyver) leaves the show… I know I’m not going to be happy about that. Also, since I just mentioned it – I have officially dubbed the show “Space MacGyver.”

Oh, and I just finished watching all of the Highlander series. Very anti-climatic ending… which was a bit disappointing, but over-all a fantastic series.

What I’m playing:
Batman: Arkham City. Come on, what else would I be playing? Believe the hype. This game is everything Arkham Asylum was, just ten times better. I don’t want to spoil anything as far as the rogues gallery is concerned, but let me say this. The few times I’ve had to explore the city’s underground tunnels, I’ve been dreading turning a corner and running into Killer Croc. You know he’s down there somewhere. You keep running into clues. Each gang of two-bit thugs speaks in hushed whispers that nobody has seen him in months, but that other members of the crew are constantly going missing. However, Croc wouldn’t actually fit into the storyline of the game in any way. There’s no narrative reason to encounter him like there was in Arkham Asylum, but in the back of your head you know he’s still there. You know he wants revenge. This is why Arkham City is so good. Not only does the atmosphere actually inspire dread, but they’ve made Killer Croc a legitimately scary adversary.


You know that whole running away and living to fight another day thing? This is why.


What I’m reading:
I’ve just started getting back into comics after a five year hiatus, and I’ve been catching up on my X-Men. I actually read through most of the storylines of the last few years, and have actually enjoyed most of them tremendously. The only problem I have is that I’m mostly caught up, so now I have to wait for the Schism trades to drop in a couple of months. Until then, I’ll start catching up on the rest of the Marvel universe. I really enjoyed the Mighty Avengers book I read – the B-Team (don’t tell them that!) of Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Quicksilver, Stature, Jocasta, USAgent, and Vision – all led by The Wasp (Hank Pym).  Dan Slott brought a really cool “old school” vibe to the story, and I was a big fan of Hank Pym stepping into a leadership role as Earth’s “Scientist Supreme”. I’m definitely gonna pick up the other few trades from that run.

What I’m Watching:
I finally got around to watching Hobo with a Shotgun the other night, and holy shit, that movie is awesome. It’s tied with Thor for my favorite film of 2011. Yes, I really liked Thor that much. In fact, as a quick aside, I’m a huge fan of the Marvel One Shots that are being added as special features on the DVD releases. Agent Coulson is rapidly becoming my favorite character in the Marvel Films universe. That’s gotta mean Joss Whedon is killing the shit out of him in The Avengers.

this is 2 seconds before delivering the most epic beatdown in any Marvel Film to date

As far as what I will be watching? Well, I have this really bad habit of buying Blu Rays and then just letting them sit on my shelf for months without even opening them. Seriously, I have about 20 movies I haven’t even touched since I brought them home from Best Buy. That being said, just for all you guys, I might make the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE and tear the wrapping off my Blu Ray copy of Star Wars: The Complete Saga. I genuinely don’t know why I purchased this. It’s almost like it was a knee-jerk reaction, or some geek compulsion to buy it because it was Star Wars. Also, I’m positive I was fairly drunk when I bought it (another bad habit I have). After the fact, I figured I might as well have written a check for $90, put “please use lube this time” in the memo line, and mailed the thing to Skywalker Ranch. The infamous Plinkett Reviews have actually connected the dots in my brain as to why I couldn’t get myself to enjoy the prequels. That being said, Harry Knowles actually posted an amazing article about the set not too long ago. It actually has me excited to browse through the massive piles of special features. I’ll let you guys know how that goes. Before I do that, though, I’ll suffer through the one-two sucker punch to the testicles of Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen. Just one more time. Just for you.