When I went to the theater in 2012 to see the original Avengers movie, the excitement erased everything else in my life. It was everything I had been waiting for since the post credit scene in Iron Man four years previously. The jokes about the end of the world between my best friend and I included the phrase “at least we get to see Avengers before the apocalypse.” I went into the theater and sat down, heart racing as I waited for Robert Downey Jr. to grace the screen.
The movie that followed that excitement wasn’t perfect, but any flaws on the screen were overshadowed by Hulk punching Thor and Captain America reflecting Iron Man’s repulsor beam with his shield. If Joss Whedon got nothing else right, he nailed the iconic moments between the heroes. I would go on to see the movie a second time within the week and…
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It’s probably not what you think. Truth be told, I’ve only seen the first couple episodes of the acclaimed series. While I agree it’s fantastic, it wasn’t watching Charlie Cox dish out some brutal justice that won me over. It was the Comixology sale timed to match the release of the series that introduced me to the Man Without Fear.
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Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew #1 released last week from Cosmic Times Publishing. Written by Nate Hill with art by Mervyn McKoy, the comic book is mostly what you’d expect from the title with a few nice surprises.
Giant humanoid robots have been around since the mid-1950s and most of us have at least some experience with the genre. Shows like Voltron: Defender of the Universe and The Power Rangers brought about their rise in popularity in America. Around the world giant robots have permeated all forms of media. This book is a satire of shows specifically like Voltron.
The robot in this story is aptly named Herotron and he travels the universe defending humanity and their empire. However, this story doesn’t focus on Herotron’s battles. We’re instead following Erica, a new engineer working on the robot’s maintenance crew. A lifelong admirer of Herotron, Erica joins the crew when she is rejected by the pilot program. It’s through her that we find out the cracks in Herotron’s facade.
The pilots are led by an egomaniac who nearly kills the crew during every fight. Herotron is described as over-budget and underperforming. The sole reason the robot hasn’t been decommissioned is that it looks cool and people are willing to pay for that. It’s clear that the creators are familiar with the tropes of the campier shows. A lot of these ideas are amusing and the satire works well.
The book falters a little when it comes to Erica. She’s a brilliant and capable engineer. She comes through when the crew needs her and she’s unquestionably brave. However, some of her dialogue falls a little flat. She’s pretty consistently upset that she chose this job. She brings up that she could have had any job she wanted. Then rather than leave when given the chance, she simply decides ‘ah what the hell’ and stays with the crew. I didn’t feel like moment was earned through the story.
The art in the book is fine for the most part. McKoy’s layouts assist in pacing the story properly and the action sequences work really well. However, I found some of the character’s expressions to be too over the top. I recognize the book has a light tone, but a little restraint would have been appreciated.
All in all, this is a fun book. It’ll make you grin, if not laugh out loud. It’s good, but it’s not as good as it could be. However it’s an idea with a lot of promise and hopefully issue #2 brings it home.
Recently, I started reading Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. I thought I knew what to expect going in, as I had seen the film a half dozen times in middle and high school. Now, I love Will Smith and any time he graces the screen I get a little giddy, but I’m incredibly thankful this book is nothing like the movie. Instead of a detective predicting the robot apocalypse, the book is actually a collection of short stories involving the Three Laws of Robotics and robopsychology. This book isn’t action-packed. This book is a collection of eight increasingly complex logic puzzles that must be solved by Dr. Susan Calvin and the employees of U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc.
I had a lot of fun reading this book. I don’t think that it’ll appeal to everybody, but I have always enjoyed logic puzzles and solving them along with the characters of the story made the book all the more engaging. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys logic puzzles or anyone who wants to see the source of the legendary Three Laws of Robotics. If you’re looking for something like the movie, I’d recommend checking out some of Asimov’s other works.
Also, I read the first volume of Jim McCann’s Mind the Gap. I enjoyed the read but it didn’t blow me away. I was a little disappointed because I thought it had a lot of potential and I’d heard the series was really good. There are a ton of plot lines being weaved together here involving the comatose Elle and her friend, her boyfriend, her family etc. The characters are brought together in interesting ways, and McCann expertly ends each issue with a cliffhanger. These cliffhangers were enough to keep me reading and make me want to move forward, but I didn’t feel like the plot lines have really come together yet. Hopefully volume 2 will start to weave the plot lines into a cohesive whole.
Also, I just watched Matt Smith’s first episode of Doctor Who and I already miss the old intro sequence. But I think I’m going to like the eleventh doctor.
So that’s where I’m at currently. If you want to discuss some robotics or Will Smith movies, or if you want to assure me that Matt Smith is a worthy doctor, feel free to message me or tweet me @left4turtle.
The Amalgam is officially available for purchase. It can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Agustin-Guerrero/e/B00HGIWU0W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1