Wednesday, September 10, 2008

File # 23: Aint No Love in This Park

So I was in Love Park Sunday night, when a fight broke out between a group of wild animals-- I mean teenagers from North Philly. One kid had a knife and another one hurled a cigarette butt holder at him. I eventually left for my own safety.

But it got me thinking. Love Park is in line sight to City Hall. How does Nutter not notice how filthy it is? Between the Skateboarders, the homeless and the Be-Be's kids who trash that park and the murder that happened a month ago, when is someone gonna clean this park up and enforce it?

Do I have to wait for a white tourist to get slain on the Love Fountain and a pre-packaged angry Michael Nutter speech before the park gets cleaned up and the rules get enforced? This crap wouldn't fly with the rich people at Rittenhouse, so why should it pass here?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

File # 22: Wielding the Hammer of Destruction

A few years ago, SEPTA, the transit agency in Philly, began installing video cameras on the subway cars of the Broad Street Line as a measure to "deter crime", or a least give an excuse to defend themselves when they are questioned as to why Transit Police aren't patrolling the trains more often.

I've always wondered if they were operational. Well today, I no longer have to wonder about that.

On Monday afternoon, a seemingly normal man walked with his child on board the Subway at City Hall station. Minutes later, he was going "THIS IS SPARTAAAA" on some innocent 20 year old and started wailing him with a hammer like he had the power of Thor. Then he took his kid and left. The scariest part is this can happen to ANYONE. And he's at large.


Friday, September 5, 2008

File # 21: Return of the Armed Intervention in Thirty

This is hands down my favorite one-sided fight.
Ali, you're magnificent. I just wanted you to know that.

Thirty Days.

After a very long wait In Thirty short days, the Second Season premier of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 will hit the airwaves (in Japan, anyways)* on Sunday October 5, at 5:00.

While I've been gladly enjoying Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (and Macross Frontier, now that its finally starting not to suck), I'm in a fever pitch for my V-Fin Fix and I need it now.

It's time for the return of the armed intervention.

It's time for more Gundam.

While I'm generally a big fan of the franchise (the UC series, in particular), I've been pretty fond of 00 not because its the New Kid on the Block, but for the way 00 has been able to deconstruct many of the tropes established in the Gundam Franchise while telling a more seinen style story that fits in our post 911 culture. While the protagonists are presented as well intentioned and heroic, they're still terrorists.

To elucidate, Celestial Being's goal are not to destroy the world (really, they're not), but to influence the political landscape to bring peace to the world under one big frikkin' gun... dam. However their goal, though altruistic, actually bring terror to the world, instead of peace.

While this type of "Lawful evil" has been presented before (See New Mobile Report Gundam Wing or Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY for similarities) it's the way this story is handled that makes me quite fond of it. Setsuna and company are quite aware what they are doing is hypocritical, yet they believe in they're own will that they are doing the right thing. To compare it to Geass, its kind of like Lelouch's original intentions for destroying Britannia, without the heaping amounts of FABULOUS.

Another point of interest is the civilian aspect. While many of the fanbase have their own opinions about Saji Crossroad, I'm glad his role was included. So many series that focus on war usually cast their perspective from the solider and/or the civilian turned pilot. When non combatants who aren't interacting with the cast are featured, its usually a three second reaction shot to some event on screen. With Saji, you get to see his life and experiences pre and post destruction from the conflict of Celestial Being vs. The World. Best of all, he doesn't even know his neighbor is a Gundam Meister! His scenes, while brief, were snapshots of how life is affected by events out its reach. Its going to be interesting to see where Season 2's conflict takes him and how that will affect Setsuna. Will he be influenced to see the good in Celestial Being and possibly aid them in their cause? Or will he let his hate consume him and try to lend a hand to destroy it?

Okay, I'm rambling, but I'm excited.

So yeah, Thirty more days. WHO'S READY?

*For you viewers who refuse to look at subs or don't speak Moon, Season one of Gundam 00 will air on Sci-Fi Channel, Monday, November 17.

Friday, August 29, 2008

File #20: The Dub of The Rebellion


While Johnny Yong Bosch (the second Black Ranger!) doesn't have Jun Fukuyama's range of FABULOUS, he still does a hell of a job as Lelouch. His interpretation plays up the mischief of the role while making him sound more... manly. Thankfully Lloyd's VA makes up for it with TWICE THE FABULOUS!

Yuri Lowenthal does a great job retaining Suzaku's lovable dopiness from Season 1.

C.C. doesn't sound quite so right, Kallen's dere dere is good, but verdict is the waiting on the Tsun Tsun part. Plus she gets some of the clunkiest lines I've heard ("I'll show you what this badass mother can do!") this side of a newer anime.

Mao, Clovis, Lloyd and Rivalz are pure win. And Christian Freeman is wonderfully smooth and pompous as jerkass Jeremiah a.k.a. "Orange-Kun" Gottwald.

The only one who really sounded a little "off" was Steven Blum as Touhdo. A rare miss for him.

When I first saw the trailer, I was a little put off by the voices. But now I'm glad the actors are doing this entertaining series with justice.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

File #19: He Who Fight's Monsters

"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein".
"He who fights monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
-Nietzsche aphorism, taken from Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Beyond Good and Evil)

Or to put it simply...

"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
-Harvey Dent, Batman: The Dark Knight

You know, this is how it really happened

Truth Can Really Be Stranger Than Fiction

In one of the more ironic and stupid scandals to hit the local Television market, no one fits this above quote better than former KYW news anchor Larry Mendte.

As a television reporter, it was his job to keep the public informed about events in the world and in the community while maintaining a high degree of integrity and professional candor. However, due to his jealousy of his younger female collegue, Mendte became the type of person he used to investigate in his early carrer.

By obtaining Alycia Lane's e-mail password, Mendte constantly snooped Lane's email acount a recorded 537 times in a attempt to derail her career by leaking sensitive personal information about her.

The irony is, Mendte didn't have to go through the trouble. She was able to sabotage her career all on her own.However, it seems Mendte still wasn't finished with his alleged vendetta.

Last Friday, during his guilty plea, he made a statement that reaked of large hammery this side of the infamous "Checkers Speech" by the late President Richard Nixon, Mendte alleged that he and Lane had a "flirtatious, improper relationship." Note: he did not use the word "affair". With all of the rumored bickering between those two, I really can't picture those two being "improper." Plus he wears his news makeup in public.

It is very likely for now Mendte will at least recieve some legal punishment. And that comes before the eventual Civil Suit from Lane and, who knows? Maybe a divorce from his wife WTXF anchor Dawn Stensland (that's only speculation of course)?

However, for now, in the quest to protect own his interests, Mendte destroyed two careers and KYW's reputation. While not a full blown villain, Mendte acted antagonistic enough that he might as well be.

For he who fights monsters...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

File #18: Swan Song For Fumo

To update on a story that I haven't done in a while, Vince Fumo is going down.

Next month (Sept. 8th to be exact) is the official start of what will appear to be a long circle-jerk of a trial to bring down the most powerful PA State Senator in history.

So far, two computer aids have plead guilty, testifying that they were ordered by Fumo to purge computer records. Said records were the ones which lead the FBI and the IRS to investigate Fumo.

Meanwhile, Fumo is still doing his job, flip-flopping against the Casino issue and basically getting involved in any PA vs. Philly legal herp-a-derp. I guess when he gets makes his statement during sentencing (if he gets acquitted, I will drink my own pee), he'll want a fresh full list of good deeds that he made for his constituents recently in a attempt to keep his stay in Club Fed as short as possible. That is, he doesn't croak before then. Honestly, I don't see him seeing a day in jail.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

File #17: Believe in the Sign... Now in Blu-Ray

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam to be Released in Blu-Ray

Memorial Box Set 1 of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, the 1985 sequel to the original Gundam series, will be released Blu-Ray format in Japan on December 19th under Bandai Visual's (Japan) Honnnamise Label.

Box Set 2 will be released on January 23, 2009. Both box sets will be distributed under a limited release until January of 2010.

Sources: A, B, C

Friday, August 8, 2008

File #16: Let The Games Begin!

So tonight (technically right now, if you follow CST), marks the start of the 2008 Failympics.

You already know about the contreversies; the hush-hush tactics of the commies, their flagrant disregard for human rights and our athletes dropping out like flies from various competitions.

However, putting the drama aside, lets take the next two weeks to watch and support our athletes as the engage in friendly (Read: Badminton is SERIOUS FUCKING BUSINESS) competition against some 200 + nations form around the world and formally welcome China as the new superpower on the block.

And then check your pockets to make sure nothing is missing.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

File #15: Gundam Roundup

Gundam 00 Mecha to be Featured in New Toy Line

Robot Damashii, an new toyline announced by Bandai, will be taking over the development of Mobile Suit in Action and In Action! OFFSHOOT product lines.

"Damashii," meaning spirit is a reference to a phrase mentioned by longtime mecha designer Hajime Katoki. Robot Damashii figures will average 12cm in length and will feature mecha from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Code Geass: Lelouch of The Rebellion, Macross Froniter and Palm of Planets - Eureka Seven.

The first releases in the toyline are:

0001: 00 Gundam
0002: Arios Gundam
0003: Graham Aker Union Flag Custom II
0004: Cherudim Gundam

Original Story
Robot Damashii Page

Gundam 00 Season 2 TV Spot 2

Gundam Academic Think-Tank to Launch On Aug. 24

The International Gundam Society, a Academic Symposium c
onsisting of a group of researchers from colleges, will focus on the world setting of the original series.

Subjects of Focus:

- The feasibility of the Universal Century (the possibility of space emigration due to overpopulation)
- Human conflict on Earth and in space (a historical look at elitism)
- The social psychology of spacenoids (the emergence of the Newtype)
- Love of the Earth and home (the praxiology of being away from one's hometown)
- The Zeon revolution (concerning the perpetuity of fascism)
- The politics of the technocrat (Earth Federation)
- The possibility of reforming human consciousness in the battlefield
- The international spread and economic effect of Gundam

The Society has invited all who are interested to join in Hiroshima.


Gunota Headlines
Manichi Daily News
ToonZone Forum

Mecha Anime To Watch
North America

Code Geass: Lelouch of The Rebellion, Episode 16: "
Nunnally Held Hostage" Saturday, 1:30 A.M. EST, Adult Swim

C.C. departs as a messenger to the Chinese Federation and Milly has a marriage interview with Lloyd Asplund, creator of the Lancelot. Mao returns to kidnap Lelouch's sister, Nunnally, and holds her hostage in the Ashford Academy sewers.

Mecha Anime To Watch

Macross Frontier, Episode 18: "Fold Fame" Tonight, 25:25 - 25:55 JST* on MBS.

Frontier's supplies are dwindling due to the Vajra attacks. Limited energy supplies leads to food and water rationing.

(*Techincally 1:25 - 1:55 A.M., Its Japanese Broadcast Time-of-day notation.)

Code Geass: Lelouch of The Rebellion R2, Episode 18, "The Second Decisive Battle of Tokyo", Sunday 17:00 JST (5:30 P.M.) on MBS

The decisive battle in the Tokyo Settlement begins. With the power out, Tokyo is defenseless against Lelouch and the Black Knights.

Other news can be found at:
The Celestial Blog
Gunota Headlines

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

File #14: The Armed Intervention Returns

Here's a short primer for the upcoming Second Season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00.


Mainichi Broadcasting System & Tokyo Broadcasting System

Sundays at 5:30, this October


Series Director: Seiji Mizushima

Head Writer: Yosuke Kuroda
Character Designs: Michinori Chiba & Yun Koga
Mechanical Designs: Hitoshi Fukuchi, Kanetake Ebikawa, Kenji Teraoka, Kunio Okawara, Naohiro Washio, Seiichi Nakatani & Takayuki Yanase


4 years since the final battle between Celestial Being and the UN Forces. Humanity, having established the Earth Sphere Federation, forms an independent security preservation force, Arrows, separate from the formal Federation army to further unify nations and the will of mankind.

But the reality was the inhumane oppression of anti-government powers, doctrines & ideologies in the name of unity.

Saji Crossroad, who followed the path to becoming a space engineer to keep a promise to Louise Halevy and fulfill a dream, is also compelled to become involved in Federation government reform.

Meanwhile, Setsuna F. Seiei, surviving the final battle 4 years ago, saw the future of the world that had been changed by Celestial Being. With the defeat of guardian Alejandro Corner, he dreamed of a peaceful world without conflict. But before his own eyes was the reality of the continuing strain on peace, the oppression caused by Arrows. He decides once more to fight with Gundam, the power with the potential to change the world.

Where will Setsuna's and Saji's paths take them as the world is set into motion once more?

CONFIRMED CAST (As of 8-5-2008)

Character (Seiyu)

Setsuna F. Seiei (Mamoru Miyano):
21-years-old. A fated child soldier from the Middle East's Republic of Krugis. Saved by the 0 Gundam during that time and became a Gundam Meister with Celestial Being. 4 years after the battle with allied forces, what does he think of as he looks at the world newly unified by the Earth Sphere Federation...?

Lockon Stratos (Shinichiro Miki):
29-years-old. A member of Celestial Being and pilot of the marksman-type Keldim Gundam. Heads into battle with Haro.

Allelujah Haptism (Hiroyuki Yoshino):
24-years-old. From the HRL's Superhuman Institute and pilot of the retired Gundam Kyrios. Went missing after the fierce battle with allied forces 4 years ago. He seems to have had a past with super soldier Soma Peries from the same Superhuman Institute...

Tieria Erde (Hiroshi Kamiya):

Age unknown. Injured in the decisive final battle with allied forces 4 years ago, he was rescued by Celestial Being and did his best in their reconstruction. While he once followed Veda's judgment absolutely, he now looks for the meaning in combat through his own decisions.

Saji Crossroad (Miyu Irino):

Saji, who was affected the most by the resulting strife caused by the Gundams, overcame various hardships in his grieving youth to become an adult. He works in space development, continuing to wait for another meeting with Louise. When will he achieve his dreams?

Left to Right: Lasee Aeon, Ian Vashti, Fel Grace, Allelujah Haptism & Tieria Erde

Feldt Grace (Rie Kugimiya):

Escaping in an assault container with Sumeragi and Ian, she concentrates the life saved by Chris into the resurrection of Celestial Being. Though she was rarely emotional as a young person associating with people before, the 4 years span of time has largely matured her human nature.

Ian Vashti (Hideyuki Umezu):

Boarded an assault container in the decisive battle with the UN Forces and narrowly escaped. Afterwards, he began development of a new Gundam, the 00, at the request of Wang Liu Mei. Serves as an engineer in the resurrection of Celestial Being.

Mileina Vashti (UNKNOWN)

Ian's daughter. A 14-year-old girl with innocence to spare but who participates in the reborn Celestial Being. She is an operator but as she exhibits her father's genius, she is also active as a mechanic.

Lasse Aeon (Hiroki Touchi):

Went missing with the downed GN Arms during the decisive battle with Alejandro. But he miraculously turned up alive and returned to the reborn Celestial Being. After Lichtendahl's death, he is in charge on the bridge of not only the gunning but as the helmsman as well.

Notable Comments from Mizushima:


To sever the distortion caused by the false peace from the world.

Director's comments -
Setsuna has greatly changed internally in the last 4 years. He resents the state of the current world and is conflicted about whether his actions were correct.

The bullet that shoots the spark, shakes history again heads to the battlefield with his partner Haro. Pilots the Cherudim Gundam.

Director's comments -
He is here after shouldering inevitable circumstance and joining CB. This time, to visually showcase the confrontation with the "Arrows", the Meisters' uniforms are seen.

What does the will to unite see in the new world?

Director's comments -
Allelujah is changed by his surrounding environments. Whether the cross that previously killed his comrades affect him will become an important point.

One chooses and starts to walk the road to the future

Seriously injured in the decisive final battle in which he flew the Gundam Nadleeh but he was rescued by an organization and his life saved. Afterwards, he did his best to rebuild Celestial Being. Presently he looks for the meaning of his personal struggle.

Saji & Louise:
Saji and Louise are the representatives of the normal people. Saji was unexpectedly caught up in Celestial Being's battles and it will gradually become clear why Louise was in that kind of place in the last part of the First Season. The part about their relationship is an axis will not change.

(As of 8-5-2008)
Celestial Being

Left to Right: Seravee, Arios, Cherudim & 00 Gundams

GN-0000 00 Gundam (Pilot: Setsuna F. Seiei):
Gundam Exia's successor unit. Its greatest feature is its 2 GN Drives equipped on the shoulders. This allows it to boast particle emisson volumes surpassing all other units.

- Arios Gundam (Pilot:Allelujah Haptism):
Gundam Kyrios' successor unit. Similar to the Kyrios, it has the ability to transform. It can be said that it's suited for high-speed movement.

GN-007 - Cherudim Gundam
(Pilot:Lockon Stratos):
Gundam Dynames' successor unit. It also supports sniper combat to reflect the characteristics of its pilot.
(NOTE: Neil Dylandy, Lockon Stratos from Season One, is dead)

GN-008 - Seravee Gundam (Pilot:Tieria Erde):
A heavy armament model piloted by Tieria Erde that largely carries over features of the Gundam Virtue. Furthermore, it was developed with the intent of strengthening offense and while the 2 shoulder-equipped GN cannons are simple in form, their firepower far exceeds the Virtue's.


Newtype Magazine August & September '08 issues
Gunota Headlines
The Celestial Blog

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

File #13: Not so Uncanny, 500

Story: Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction
Art: Greg Land & Terry Dodson
Inkers: Jay Leisten and Rachel Dodson

A 500th issue in the world of comics is a big deal and should be treated like such.

From trying to gain its fanbase while trying out new concepts and ideas, while staying true to its core story (and make money while doing so), making it past the 500 mark in comics, while not a uncommon feat, is a major accomplishment.

The X-Men franchise, specifically Uncanny X-Men, or X-Men Vol. 1 is the last of Marvel's heavy hitters to hit the 500 mark. With over 4 different variant covers & two well respected writers, does Uncanny 500 establish itself as a well done and memorable issue to 45 years of history?

Yes and No. Okay, definitely no.

The story, which focuses on the reappearance of two classic foes from the X-Men's past felt somewhat lame compared to the underlying B-plot, which is the city of San Fransisco giving mutantkind sanctuary status. The first, a trio of
Sentinels, set up Chekov's Gun style as an instalation in an art project generates expected hostility from the X-Men. The other cameo which I wont spoil will either depending on the reader, will either bring out your inner fanboy shriek of glee, or make you bang your head against the wall when you think how out of character this is, if you've been keeping up with current continuity.

The major weakness for this issue is the art. I am not a fan of Greg Land by any means. While he is a talented artist in his own right, his art suffers from the worst character design this side of
Hisashi Hirai (think "same face different hair", even on Storm). His inspirations, mostly from images on Google, skew from his preference to have his women look as if they're performing porn. There are also some glaring gaffes in continuity in continutity from hair design to proportions. Dodson on the other hand, is much better, however the incosistency of placing his art beteween Greg Land's is jarring and at times grating. Lastly, in a minor nitpick, the X-Teams seem to be making a return to the "FABULOUS" costumes which dominated the 90's. I was hoping the "Big Red 'X's everywhere and all over" phase would've been gone forever, but thanks to bad editorial decisions, it looks like in short time, everyone's gonna be wearing hideous blue and yellow tights with 15 pockets. Ugh.

Overall, for a landmark issue, Uncanny 500 does everything mentioned in the first paragraph. Is it a memorable issue? No. Is it a well done issue? Hell no. But It will please the hardcore fanboys while seting up a status quo for future events. How well will those ideas will develop and play out in the long run remains yet to be seen.

Hopefully, Fraction and Brubaker can work the kinks out. But for the time being, I'll be happy with a single artist.

Even if it's Greg Land. Ugh.

3 Out of 5 Stars

Monday, August 4, 2008

File #12: Movie Reviews - The Dark Knight

Directed by:
Christopher Nolan

Written by:
Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan (Screenplay) David S. Goyer &
Christopher Nolan (Story)

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman & Maggie Gyllenhaal

Produced by:
Legendary Pictures

Distributed by:
Warner Brothers

More high intensity action thriller than superhero flick, Christopher Nolan turns what could've been a schmaltzy morality play of good and evil into a deep study of action and consequence and their interplay between order and chaos.

What can be said about Heath Ledger that already hasn't? He wasn't a guy playing the Joker. He WAS the Joker. He was terrifying, brilliant, hilarious and completely revolting at the same time. He stole the show.

Aaron Eckhart, as District Attorney Harvey Dent was equally marvelous. His transformation from the stalwart, "White Knight of Gotham" into... well you probably already know who, was tragic and at times had me mesmerized.

The rest of the supporting cast, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and newcomer Maggie Gyllenhaal handle their moments in the spotlight quite nicely. Oldman's Jim Gordan almost had me leaping out of my seat when he pulled his "just as planned" magnificent bastard maneuver midway through the film. Freeman's Lucious Fox is as smooth as silk as Batman's version of James Bond's "Q". Gyllenhaal, replacing Katie Holmes as the perennial damsel in distress Rachel Dawes, makes her interpretation of the character believable as the woman that Bruce Wayne wishes he could spend the rest of his life with.

Last but not least, Christian Bale remained incredible as his portrayal of the caped crusader. His portrayal of Batman is intimidating and fearful, while his public Bruce Wayne was a lovably aloof jerkass. The true Bruce Wayne though, the one at home with Alfred is haunted and somewhat unsure of himself. Compared to Batman Begins, His struggle is no longer one of searching for personal justice and revenge, but whether he can continue that fight as a vigilante while men like Harvey Dent and Jim Gordan fight within the borders of the law and succeed. Bale nails all of the roles admirably.

Also check out cameos from Prison Break's William Thatcher and a reprisal of Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow, from the previous movie.

The revelation in the finale that Batman can continue the fight for justice in a city where his greatest ally is binded from helping him just to protect the reputation of the DA who was driven to ruin by a amoral terrorist gives him bigger brass ones than most in the genre.

So yeah, easily the best action movie of the year and one of the best sequels ever made.

5 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, July 31, 2008

File #11: The Armed Intervention on Blu-Ray

The Official Mobile Suit Gundam 00 website has pictures of the box set for the Blu-Ray edition, also Volumes 1 & 2.

Official Site:

Also Check out:

The Celestial Blog for the other Gundam 00 related news
And The Darkness Files on MySpace, the original greatest blog in the universe.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

File #10: Crisis Of The Lame

Final Crisis # 2
Story by Grant Morrisson
Art by J.G. Jones
Coloring by Alex Sinclair

So here it is, yet another "crisis crossover", this time, DC's Final Crisis. DC have spent at least 2 years (?) promoting and tying in books to lead in to this. Any DC book you open up in the last 6 months has some advertisment with a splash page of their A-List Rouge's gallery grining like it drunk sorority chicks at a strip club with the tagline: "The Day Evil Won," or something like that. To cut to the chase, DC has dumped a TON of money into promoting their Final Crisis crossover, luring fanboys and non-fanboys alike to this epic.

Why did they bother, I don't know.

Maybe I'm missing something, but when a major crossover event is planned, shouldn't there be some kind of hook to lead in readers who aren't major fans of the franchise? May it a be a simple concept, decent action or comprehensible writing?

Final Crisis seems to toss those ideas out, this book is strictly made for ultra fanboys, the ones who know 60 + years of comic lore inside and out and would not mind shelling out four dollars an issue for something as boring as this.

Two issues in, I still don't know what's going on other than the Martian Manhunter and D grade hero Orion getting killed, Hal Jordan getting framed for beating up John Stewart, Batman getting experimented on in an "evil factory" and Barry Allen, (the third Flash) runing from the Black Racer harder than a crackhead in a looting spree.

Throw in subplots about the Super Society of Super Villians going on a membership drive and a group of Japanese supers (without the sentai or the giant robots? I don't buy it) upsurping their older American counterparts (hoo boy, is it 1941 again?) and you get a very mediocre exposition story that strangled me with bordom and a hell of a lot more questions then answers that can only be solved by a relaible wiki.

Grant Morrison's dialog is okay but not anything to shake a stick at. However, his handling of the plot flat out sucks. All of this could've been compressed in issue one with some of the more lame subplots dropped or pushed to a later issue. The only saving grace is the art by J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair. The art and the epic covers save this book from going completely into the crapper.

Part two ended with Barry Allen runnig for his life and a epic reunion of three of the Flashes. Hopefully part three will pick things up, or at least, become more comprehensible.

2.5 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

File #9: Return Of The Invincible

While I'm not a hard core fan of the character (I haven't seen the movie yet), I loved a lot of the Iron Man books from the 70's and 80's. The whole "Rich Idiot With No Day Job who fights crime with Money (Ironically, Tony Stark is a major subversion of it)" trope combined with the over the top light drama and those "Blasted Boot Jets" dialog always made it a fun read...

Which really disappointed me when I got back into comics a year ago, to see Tony Stark charactered derail
ed into a political soapboxing douchebag that shepherded Marvel's Civil War crossover into a new low of the Dork Age of Comics.

However, Invincible Iron Man, which deals with the more Repulsor Rays aspect of Tony Stark, is one of the better comic debuts of the summer.

"The Five Nightmares", penned by Matt Fraction and drawn by Salvador Larroca, opens with suicide bombers using Iron Man technology to lay down massive damage. The man supplying the terrorists happens to Ezikiel Stane, son of Obediah Stane (not the movie Version), the famed Magnificent Bastard who damn near destroyed Tony in every way possible in the 1980's.

Issue three, which is out now, finds Tony using a "familliar method" to save "his girl Friday", Pepper Potts. Plus theres a new retread on the Tony's origin story.

Fraction's writing is in good form here. He keeps the story on pace while maintaing the drama. Larroca's photorealistic art is very tight and he handles action scenes with a slick, cinemeatic flair.

Overall, a tight start to what will hopefully be a decent series.

4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, July 28, 2008

File #8: A Screen Made to Amaze

The other day I had the opportunity to check out the 27 by 87-foot LCD Video Screen installed in the lobby of the Comcast Center. The video below does not do it justice. You have to see it in person, preferably at night to capture the experience. Seriously, it's worth it.

The content delivery system and overall conceptual design was done by David Niles, of Niles Creative Group, based in New York.

More info from Youtuber stephanparidaen:

The LED-system consists of a Barco NX-4 LED product, a Barco DX-700 imag processing system and Barco Matrixpro image switching solution. The architectural mechanical integration (flush with wood-pannels, front access, etc) was designed by "Innovative Designs" an in-house Barco-group yet independent creatively active, led by Frederic Opsomer active in architectural, themepark and Concerts.

Glad to see Comcast's high cable fees go to something not too shabby.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

File #7: Unusual Play May Revolutionise Sport

California High School team utilize two Quarterback play to win game. And it's legit.

File #6: Smackdown in the ZBA, Part 1

In an ongoing story, Lawyers from Information Technology firm Unisys met with the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment to make their case to hang their logo in bright red letters onto Two Liberty Place yesterday.

Taking over 2 hours, Lawyers from Unisys made their argument about the benefits of having thier logo displayed on the skyscraper.

The ZBA has scheduled a meeting for the opposition to make their case against the sign in September. Notable opponents include:
The Center City Residents Association, Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight (SCRUB), Two Liberty Place residents Tom Knox and Richie Sambora and the archeitect of the building Helmut Jahn.

Butthurt Unisys is threatening to walk out of the deal if it falls through.

Yeah, like we wanted you in the first place.

For a first hand look on how a Skyscraper not designed for a sign looks like with one added on, check out the US Steel Tower in Pittsburgh and see how lovely that turned out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

File #5: A Sacrifice for Progress?

The Race Street Firehouse, built in 1925 and the last building slated for demolition for the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center met its unfortunate end over the last couple of days.

Several pieces of art from the building, mainly stone gargoyles will be preserved.

While I'm usually for rebuilding and redevelopment, seeing a whole square block of very historical architecture, offices and homes being torn down, largely for an expansion of a tourist trap kinda sucks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

File #4: We're Taking a Short Break From The Armed Intervention

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Vol 7 Release Friday (Japan Only)

Available Friday
Contains episodes 23-25

15 Miniutes of Extras including:
- An Super Deformed short
- Season 2 promo

- Footage from last years' screening of Episode 1

Audio Commentary from:

- Mamoru Miyano (Setsuna), Shinichiro Miki (Lockon), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Allelujah), Hiroshi Kamiya (Tieria), and Seiji Mizushima.

Originally posted on Gunota Headlines, 5/28.
Reposted on The Celestial Blog and here, 7/22 by SFD.

Monday, July 21, 2008

File #3: A Tree Grows on West Market

SEPTA Market Frankford Line M-4 Railcars approaching the newly rebuilt Millbourne Station in Millbourne, PA. (Bob Vogel, Photo)

Last night I took a walk along Market Street in West Philly from 69rd to 40th Streets to see the results of the construction from the Market Street Elevated Reconstruction Project (MSERP).
What is that?

While I was stoked by the progress of project, I was more impressed by something much more rewarding.

The MSERP has been been a very hotblooded issue to residents in West Philly mainly due to many businesses along Market Street loosing swaths of money and the neighboorhood going to shit (well... even shittier) from the toll of the epic scale of reconstruction of the Market-Frankford line in the neighborhood.

But for the first time, I saw recovery. Businesses are starting to reopen, and a few existing ones have been remodeled. However It will be a long time before the corridor can make a fully recovery, and the likelyhood of it remains yet to be seen.

But for now, seeing freshly planted trees at 60th & Market is a good sign of a future that is coming.

More at the The Darkness Files at
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

File #1: Forced Transfer

By Setsuna F. Darkness

Long Story Short, I ended up here because MySpace sucks.

For a company that makes a crapload of money off of stupid web adverts, you would think that Tom Anderson and his cronies would invest into reliable software that doesn't shit the bed or even worse, crash the users web browser when they're trying to log onto their money-making social-network-site. But that's what happened.

I was going to edit another one of my craptastic blogs on Crapspace when the Home Page crashed both the Mozilla and Internet Explorer browsers repeatedly.

Naturally, I said screw it and decided to pack my "bags" and make the switch to Blogger.

So while I'm raging, for those of you who are into reading crap, I shovel it in spades.

Long Story Short (again), I'm a guy from Philly, so every once and a while, you'll get a story about the happenings in the Kill-A-Delph, or a rant about how "wonderful" it is.. But I'm also a anime nerd, /M/echa anime to be exact, so expect a lot of that stuff too, and some music and vids from time to time.

Keep reading if you're interested...