Marvels First Alliance: League of Losers

hiscorek

I want to do this, but I’m not going to. I have way to many other projects, and I really don’t need another one.  That being said, I was day dreaming today about how much fun it would be to make an expansion story / set of levels for Marvels First Alliance.

For those unfamiliar, MFA is a fan made video game for PC that is based on the Capcom side scroller games you remember from the late 80’s and early 90s video arcades.  The game has something like 50 playable characters, including some that are more obscure except to the more hardcore comic fans.  Characters like US Agent and Dark Hawk would be examples.

U.S._Agent_Vol_1_1

The game is fun for the same reasons the X-men arcade game and Captain America and the Avengers were fun.  Having all those characters makes it even better since you get to play with heroes like moon night or black widow who you never would have thought would be in a game when you were a kid.

My Mod - 0789

I downloaded the program that you use to create and edit these games, and started to think about which characters I would lie to add in.  Then I unpacked MFA so I could see all the sprites.  I tried to alter the magneto Sprites to resemble another character and it was just way beyond my abilities. The programing side of things might be way easier, but without the ability to make the characters look good there is not really a point to doing it.

Still, I wanted to come up with a list of characters that if I was talented enough, I would put into the game and how the levels and story would be structured.  Since this is me we are talking about, it has to feature Dark Hawk pretty heavily.  I thought about adapting the League of Losers storyline from Marvel Team ups, but a lot of those characters are more recent and I don’t know much about them.  Instead I thought I would come up with a new story that is really simplistic and probably not that well thought out…. so basically it will be like a lot of comic book video games.

Darkhawk_2

The cut scenes start with Chris Powel having a night mare where he is being tested on by scientists with flashing lights and loud music going off all around him. As the nightmare fades out he sees a partially formed Sleepwalker reciting a series of numbers over and over.  When Chris wakes up he tries to find Rick Sheridan (the host of sleepwalker) and sees that his apartment has been ransacked.

Marvel_Team-Up_Vol_3_9_page_17_Sleepwalker_(Earth-616)

I guess to build in some action he could go over to one of the smarter characters like beast or spiderman or mr. fantastic to ask for help deciphering the numbers, and when he goes to them he helps them with a fight but, whatever.  Either way he finds out the numbers sleepwalker was reading off were coordinates to an island in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida  Darkhawk goes there and finds a massive underground complex.  So the first level could actually be a jungle level that he fights though to get to the entrance, which maybe is just an air intake thing.

Once inside Darkhawk is captured immediately.  So far I’m thinking there haven’t been any real villains, but lets have savage steel be the one to capture him probably without much of a boss fight. Like a mini boss fight where save steel is torn up and looses and is shown to be completely a robot with no one inside and Dark hawk causes some kind of damage to a control panel or something just as he is over whelmed by several more Savage Steels who lead him off screen.

darkhawk-more-great-comic-adaptations-the-studios-need-to-make

A cut scene shows that the control panel caused damage to whatever was keeping US 1 / US Archer in his cell.  If you don’t know….  which you probably don’t, US Archer was a truck driving themed super hero that came out a little after Smoky and the Bandit.  The times were different. So archer only has one quasi super power and that is a metal helmet or skull or something that allows him to control certain machines via CB radio…. holy shit were the 70s stupid as hell.

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Next level would be archer doing more of a metal gear sneak mode to unlock some other rooms so he can figure out what is going on.  He can only control certain machines since there are dampers every where to prevent someone like him from taking control.  Maybe he can fight some normal dudes and then use his “powers” to control some automated robots to aid in his fighting. Like that would be his special moves.

So US 1, gets us to a room where we find a football uniform that is being studied by a big as robot with a bunch of arms and what not. So this will be the mini boss.  After it is defeated we find out that it is the uniform/armor of SuperPro who is also being held at this facility.  Now that he is freed US 1 says he will hang back and use the computer system to find out what is going on, while SuperPro goes to free Rick Sheridan/Sleepwalker.

superpro-2

I don’t have anything specific going on here for SuperPro, but I’m thinking at some point he has to go through a manufacturing center that is trying to replicate his near indestructible armor, and the robots being made are slightly different versions of him and his uniform.  He finds the cell holding rick which is basically a tourture chamber. He now has to get Rick back to US 1, without Rick getting hurt/killed. Right before he gets Rick back to US 1 there is a mini boss battle with a dark hawk clone that was made with some of the Superpro uniform designs.

US 1, and Superpro look over Rick who has passed out which bring sleepwalker to our realm.  US 1, sees that the only other hero still trapped is Darkhawk, who Sleepwalk has to go to free.  Not sure who Sleepy has to fight but I’m guessing that there might be some robotic versions of other super heroes that already exist in the game.  his mini boss will be 8 ball, who escapes at the last moment because all he was trying to do was stall while his one machine finished creating whatever it was creating.

Sleepwalker_Vol_1_3

Here we find out that 8 ball had captured US 1, Super Pro, and Sleepwalker/Rick, because he was reverse engineering a new set of weapons and suit for himself from the technology of US 1 and SuperPro.  In fact the reason he had Sleepy was because he knew he could keep him awake and use him to draw out Dark Hawk to figure out his tech/amulet.  He hadn’t planned on the others getting loose though.

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The final mission is a choose which hero you want to use as you battle your way through 8 balls gang and their stupid stupid billards based weapons. Then the final boss will be the upgraded 8 ball.

I’m assuming that would be the end although there are a couple other silly/terrible characters I would have liked to include such as Night Thrasher, Squirrel Girl, D-Man “Demolition Man” , Wonder Man, Gravity, and Garrison Kane / weapon X.  Maybe the ending could be a cliffhanger where the heroes get back to NYC and find out all the other heroes have disappeared and then you can do the league of losers stuff.

But that is a story for another day.

p.s. There also needs to be a cosmic version with people like Silver Surfer, adam Warlock, Star Fox, Drax, etc…

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Recent Series Finalies

Every time a TV series I like ends I usually get a little introspective.  I think it is because it is one of the ways I put context to the random chapters of my life.  Maybe that sounds kind of pathetic in a way, but I don’t think of the TV shows as defining a certain period of my life, but instead it helps me remember where I was during certain time periods.

I will always associate E.R with my high school years. Mortal Kombat Conquest and the WCW/WWF wars remind me of my freshman year of college.  Thinking about The Shield take me back to the couple of years after my buddies graduated from LVC and up to three of them lived at my mom’s house with me at any one time.

Of course binge watching has kind of made it a little harder to really associate a TV show with a time period, especially with a show like The Wire where I never saw an episode until several years after the series finale.  Even though I can remember vaguely where and when I was when I binge watched that show, I still think that there is something about watching a show live and being part of that final episode that helps cement in the memories. It becomes more of an event than when that final episode is the fourth one you’ve watched that day and the 30th of the past two weeks.

This past week Mad Men had its final episode as did The Tonight Show with David Letterman. Several other shows have also signed off for good over the last several months that are all special to me in one way or another. I thought I’d give a few thoughts on each of these shows.

Mad Men

I may be ordering these in order of how good their final episode was. Although with some of these shows being very different thematically, it is like comparing apples and oranges. While I wasn’t in love with the entire episode, I really thought that final scene with Don and the commercial HE TOTALLY CREATED, really put it over the top for me.  I like that most of the main character had a profound final moment or two that really epitomized them. Pete is Mad Men’s Prezbo from the Wire. God you fucking hated him at the beginning, but as he got older he lost a lot of the smarmy shit that made you hate him.  What was left, wasn’t a great person necessarily, but he was good enough and had found some sense of fairness or honor in how he carried himself.

Peggy is continuing her climb or march forward in both her career and now also her personal life.  There is no guarantee that her and Stan will be in love forever, but you can see she is starting to ease into the idea of having a normal balance of life and work.  Joan has always seemed to be just a step beyond her current station.  She was always a little bit better than whatever job she held, even if many didn’t want to try and recognize that.  Her starting a business without the help of pretty much anyone is just another example of her trying to rise above the limitations that others would put on her.

Betty is totally Betty. Going out on her own terms and possibly rewriting her life’s story to make it sound like her end was the culmination of something more dignified and noble than it probably really was. While sad, her final chapter and final scene were really honest for that character.  I don’t care about the kids that much so whatever. Harry, meh, he was kind of a shitty shitty person who kind of was a reverse pete Campbell as the show went on.  Trudy Campbell is hot and cute and lovely and I want to marry her. That is apropos of nothing, but had to be said.

Now lets talk about Don. His final arch isn’t’ really that much of a game changer if you ask me. It has him first hooking up with some random broad in which he plays a savior role even if she doesn’t want or need a protector or benefactor. The he gets everything he wants at work and proceeds to give the new agency the bird. He then goes on a pilgrimage with out any clear goal or motivation in mind. He experiences people living a very different type of life than his own, confronts a personal demon or two, and appears to find some modicum of peace.

He has done this to varying degrees before, and always returns home, which for him is advertising.  He gets away with all of this because he is supremely talented. And you can’t tell me that this storyline for Don wouldn’t work as the ending of any other season in which you know he will be back at his old job at the start of the next season.  that is why I think it is obvious that he wrote the Buy The World A Coke ad.  The smile on his face in that final scene wasn’t one of fulfillment and satisfaction. It was more a smirk from suddenly realizing that what he is experiencing would make a great Ad. Plus he was smiling cause he knew it would be good enough to get back into his old job.

That’s not to say that we should view the ad in the context of a Don creating it as being disingenuous. I think he honestly believes a lot of what he says in his advertising pitches, at least for a period of time.  after all it is hard to sell something you don’t believe in.  still I see Don carrying on in advertising for the next 30 years till he takes up an almost Yoda like role similar to Burt Cooper.  He may have a wife or two more during that time, but I think as he goes on he will start to curtail more and more of his more lascivious activities. It’s not that he doesn’t still have the same desires, it is just he doesn’t crave them to the same extent and isn’t controlled by them like he once use to.  Now he might look at his hot secretary and think, “If only I was 15 years younger. Or just had more energy.”   I think he will become wistful as hell, and once he has some grandchildren he will turn into the loving parent to them he should have always been to his kids.

So where does Mad Men fit into that whole speech at the beginning about the passage of time?  I’m not sure.  I think I missed the first 3 or 4 seasons of the show, and only started watching after binge watching those seasons and picking up with live episodes in season 5.  The entire time I watched it I found it hard to explain why I liked it so much.  I just felt like it was just about the most well done show you could do that was still very grounded in reality and didn’t feature a lot of true life or death drama.  That being said, I think I’m probably going to think of it as the show that filled that “This is the best show on TV right now” gap after Breaking Bad went off the air.

David Letterman

I will admit that I didn’t watch the final episode.  I have no idea why. I guess it is because I was super tired that night and figured I’d watch the highlights or download the whole thing later.  I still haven’t but I heard it was great.  With him retiring, it puts Conan Obrien in the position of the patriarch of the late night family now.  I don’t think I could have imagined that 15 years ago when I think I first saw Conan, but it is well deserved.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/late_show/video/

Letterman for me will always remind me of the summer before my first year of high school.  My best friend / next door neighbor and I would watch TV Nation and then Letterman just about every other night during that time period.  I don’t think I always found Dave to be the funniest, but I honestly thought he was the coolest even if that wasn’t the aura he was trying to project.  He just made me think of someone who was completely comfortable with themselves and let the audience come to him instead of trying to chase the audience and ratings.  He would rather do something he knew was truly funny but might not draw in new viewers as opposed to do a lesser bit that was guaranteed to get him ratings.

Maybe I am being overly generous with my analysis, and ignoring major gaps of time and the evolution of his show, but this is what Dave is to me.

Boardwalk Empire

This show is one of the few shows that is more recent that didn’t involve any binge watching.  When they first announced a show about a gangster in A.C. in the roaring 20s that was backed by Martin Scorsese, I was hooked immediately with out needing to see an episode.  The show was so fantastic and in another time would have garnered much more attention if it hadn’t been going up against so many other heavy hitters.

This show will remind me of that period just after I got tired of poker.  I still liked stories with gambling as a backdrop but didn’t need it to be the main focus.  I think I went on and on about how great the final turn in the final scene was in another post so I think I’ll skip to the next show.

Californication

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY5ITxY7gWU

I don’t know what the cut off should be for when these shows ended, but since it was less than a year ago, and is on my mind at this moment, I’ll give it a shout out. When I first started watching this show (binge watch) I didn’t think it was going to have much depth.  It seemed more like a vehicle for crude jokes and Tits and Ass than it did a vehicle for character depth and real emotion.  Although the crude jokes and naked women were a staple throughout the entire run, and is something that I love in a show, there were enough moments of real heart sprinkled among the 7 seasons that it became one of the few shows I actively tried to get other people to watch.

The time period this takes me back to was one just three or four years ago when my friends first started to enter into the baby making/having periods of their lives.  The main character on the show is a bit of a man child who can’t grow up (despite having a teenage daughter), so I kind of could relate to that when I compared myself to my buddies who were going in a different direction in their lives.  Plus one of my buddies in the position spent a long weekend in HBG and watched a few episodes with me, and it was probably the last time I got to hang out with him one on one since the business of family life has kind of pulled him away.

Justified

I really feel like Justified was the more low key version of the show that Sons of Anarchy tried to be but without all the attempts at symbolism. It has a confident main protagonist that acted more based on his own sense morality than by what society felt he should do.  He wasn’t above violence but didn’t seek it out.  He was a big talker who was clearly more intelligent than his foes, although he didn’t use that intelligence to intimidate, and instead could do that just by being a real bad ass in the truest sense of the word.  He had an eccentric group of allies and enemies. The show was often funny, but didn’t do thinks just for the humor, but instead let the jokes come organically.  There were plenty of impactful deaths, but they were never cheap, always earned. Greatest of all was the exquisite dialogue, that never came across hackneyed.

Although Sons of Anarchy was suppose to fill that post Shield void between me and a few of my LVC buddies, it was Justified that stood the test of time and remained a great show the whole way through.  Unlike the shield, where the two figure heads of the show (Shane and Vic) ruined each others lives, and those of people around them,  Boyd and Raylan ended with a decisive victory for the one over the other.  that victory took many years to happen, but was originally dictated by the choices the two of them made early on, with Boyd staying in Harlan and pursuing a life of crime while Raylan took the tougher road out of the county and into a life in law enforcement.

Parks and Rec

Parks and Rec reminds me of 30 roc as a show I will look back on and think, Holy shit, why wasn’t that show a bigger deal to me.  It was a great comedy, one of the all time greats, and I was really into it especially as it came to an end over the last two seasons. But I just was at a place in my life where I was more focused on dramas, and didn’t really take the time to appreciate the comedies. That might be a common thing though, where comedies are only appreciated once several years have passed and it has been show to be able to stand the test of time.

Sons of Anarchy

I have talked about this show so many times it would probably be reductive to try and sum it all up here.  I will say that the first few seasons were great, and that while I will try to always appreciate it for that fact, I’m probably going to remember this show as the first series I ever really hate watched.  Even when it was bad, it was still much much better than a lot of shows. But, the later seasons were also much much worse than the first few seasons.  The last episode was kind of painful, especially with all the blatant Jesus symbolism. I think it would have been more subtle if during the final episode he had a scene where he asked the other gang members to refer to him as J C for the rest of the episode and to ignore the blood pouring from his palms.

Star Wars New Trailer !!!! Whooooo!!!!!

The latest Star Wars Episode VII teaser trailer came out and I think it may be even more awesome than the first one.  Just like the first one, I have watched it way too many times.  With each successive viewing I find myself feeling more and more like a younger version of myself back when I was super into everything Star Wars.

I honestly don’t know a time that I was this excited for a movie.  Maybe I was this excited about Episode 1, but I kind of doubt it.  See, when that movie was getting ready to drop, I never knew of a bad Star Wars anything.  So this time around I have a ton of faith in J. J. Abrahms based off what he did with Star Trek and these teasers, so that high expectation seems even higher when compared to the low that was episode I, II, and III.

I could probably go on for a while about my excitement compared to other upcoming or past movies, but instead I want to over analyze this trailer. First of all, here is the narration that plays over the trailer that sounds a lot like Luke Skywalker :

“The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too.”

Eventhough the voice sounds like Mark Hamill, it also sounds like a younger version of him; more of a circa Return of the Jedi Hamill than a present day Hamill. Another reason I don’t think that is Luke Skywalker narrating is because he says his father “HAS” the power of the force, not “HAD.  That is an important distinction since *spoilers* Vader died in Return of the Jedi.

Could this be one of Han and Leia’s kids talking?  Maybe a sith lord talking about his family.  Maybe it is a clone of Luke, which is probably a real thing in this movie universe, borrowed from the original extended universe.

Lets run through each scene in the trailer so I can give my initial thoughts for when I first saw them.

Downed_Star_Destroyer

This is just such a bad ass shot.  I love the fact that something like this really give a sense of scale to not just how massive a star destroyer is, but also by extension how big and powerful the empire was and there fore how far they have fallen.  Can you imagine if on earth there was a wrecked deserted space ship the size of a mountain reminding us that we are just a small part of a much larger conflict.

Darth_Vader_Burnt_Helmet

Another pretty bad ass shot, although it is one of those times where I am kind of reminded that there might be some rewriting of the source material, even if it is just subtle.  When I saw the helmet, melted as it is, I initially wondered if they first used a helmet based on the original vader helmet, or if they changed it slightly to make it better some how.  I think they probably didn’t tweak it, and hopefully won’t do much if any of that, but there is always that thought in the back of my mind.

R2D2_Metal_Hand_Luke

So you kind of assume that is Luke with R2, but is it?  There might be a lot of misdirection in these teasers which I’m totally fine with. I think Luke is the character I am most amped to see again.

Lukes_lost_lightsaber

As I mentioned above I know that in the comics or books there is a plot line involving a clone of Luke made from someone finding his severed hand on Bespin (the cloud planet).  I’m thinking that is Anakin’s light saber that was given to Luke that is now going to be used by the Luke clone.

xwings

Whooooooo X wings

Sith_with_Light_Saber

Soooooo, this guy has to be a Sith right?  I mean… he looks evil and has a red light saber sooooo, could be a mis direction though.  So remember what I said about subtle changes on iconic things since there is someone new at the helm.  I’m not sure how I feel about the new look of the light saber with the beam looking more chaotic.

New_Storm_Troopers

Also the storm troopers are slightly different but I think I like it. BTW, there is a new theory on why the storm troopers suck at shooting, which is basically that they don’t.  They are mentioned and shown through out the first trilogy as being good shots, except on the death star which they missed their shots on purpose because they needed the heroes to escape with the tracking device in the millennium falcon.

Solos_Kid_Maybe

Michael Bay directed that one scene.

New_Tie_Fighter

Tie Fighters are a little bit different, which once again is good, and also with the exception of something like the light saber and lord vaders helmet, technology and ships and weapons and fashion and armor and just about everything should have changed slightly during the 30 years since the destruction of the second death star.

KABOOM

Hopefully Jar Jar was killed in that explosion.

Black_Storm_Trooper

I…. is…. so, is there two black guys in the star wars universe?  I guess that is something about the original trilogy that they can change. More women, and more non whites!!!!

New_Star_destroyer

Dope looking imperial ship

Chrome_Storm_Trooper

Dope looking empire … something.  I heard someone say it is a chrome trooper and is being played by the one lady from game of thrones, brean of tarth.

Not_R2D2

I think that something people probably forget about the initial trilogy and are maybe to hard on the second trilogy is that it did have a lot of characters that kind of pandered to kids like C3PO and R2D2.  So having the cute ball droid is fine with me, and he looks kind of dope.

Women_in_StarWars

Speaking of things that look dope. Wait, how old is she. I should probably look that up before I make any more comments.

Black_People_in_StarWars

Theatre turn out might be low in some southern states.

Millenium_Falcon_Whooooooo

Whooooooooo!!!!!!  I get goose bumps every time I see the falcon in these teasers.

Chewie_and_Han

Speaking of getting goose bumps, when he says “Chewie, we’re home”. I don’t know what is the next step beyond goose pumps before you get to the point of fan boy fainting but I’m sure I’m somewhere between those two levels.

StarWars_ep_VII

There aren’t many things that I watch and think “Hey, I think that just healed my soul” but these teasers would totally fall into that category.

I don’t know what the plot of the movies will be and I honestly don’t want to know.  I can’t wait for the movies, but I am happy to have them take their time and make an amazing product.

My rankings of everything Marvel ever

The latest Marvel movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, came out Thursday night and I’ve seen it twice so far.  It isn’t my favorite Marvel movie, but I think it is pretty far up there.  I thought about doing a ranking of all the marvel movies that are part of the MCU. Then I thought about including everything that is part of the MCU like the TV shows, but I decided I would rather not put a lot of thought into a difinitive ranking, and instead give a quick, probably inaccurate, ranking of every Marvel thing I have ever seen in one form or another.

This won’t just be limited to Movies and TV, and will only include stuff that I have personally experienced.  I wont go into much if any detail for most of the rankings, and these rankings are based solely on how much I enjoyed, and or hated them personally. Unless otherwise noted, these entries are referring to movies or TV primarily.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

2. Captain America, the Winter Soldier

3. Daredevil (netflix)

4. Avengers

4 b. Infinity Gauntlet Comic book series

5. Spiderman II

6. X-Men

7. X-men:: Days of future’s past

8. Avengers II

9. Xmen First Class

9 b. Silver Surfer Comic books

I have this somewhere in my house, just without the signature

10. Xmen II

11. Spiderman

12. Marvel 1st Alliance II (fan made video Game)

13. Thor

14. Xmen the Animated Series

15. X-men the Arcade game

16. Captain America the 1st Avenger

17. Spiderman the animated Series

18. The punisher (Thomas Jane)

19. Iron Man II

19 b. HISHE featuring Marvel Characters

20. Spiderman Shattered Dimensions (video game)

20 b. Darkhawk comic books

21. Punisher fan movie (thomas jane and hellboy)

22. Hulk TV Show (Bill Bixbie)

23. Agent Carter

23 b. Honest Trailers of Marvel Movies

24. Thor the Dark World

25. Actual Marvel Comic Books on average

26. Incredible Hulk

27. Ghost Rider

27 b. Fantastic Four

28. Captain America and the Avengers Arcade Game

29. Screw Attack’s Death Battles that feature Marvel Characters

30. Marvel 1 shots

31. The Wolverine

32. Hulk Vs. (animated movies)

33 Marvel’s Agents of Shield

33 b. Blade

34. Marvel Trading Cards

35. Spiderman and his amazing friends

35. Amazing Spiderman

36. Dr. Strange animated movie

37. Blade 2

38. xmen origins: Wolverine

39. Punisher war zone

40. Blade Trinity

41. Hulk TV movie featuring Thor

42. Spiderman III

43. Howard the Duck

Yes, the very first Marvel movie (basically), featured some kind of implied act of inter dimensional bestiality.

44. FF rise of the Silver Surfer.

45. Daredevil

46. Hulk

47. Xmen – The final Stand

48. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengance

49. Punisher blackwidow animated movie

50. Wolverine (anime)

51. Ironman vs. the technobots or whatever the hell that terrible anime movie was.

I kind of forgot the official name for some of this stuff, and also remembered some stuff after completing most of the list which is why you will see two things ranked with the same number but one of them with a “b” afterwards.  It is pretty obvious I hate the animated movies they did when they outsourced the animation to a Japan based Anime company.  Those were just fucking terrible.

There are also a lot of movie and cartoons i’m kind of surprised I never saw, especially Elektra. Maybe if the Daredevil movie hadn’t been such dog shit, I might have gone to see it. oh well.

With all the movies coming up for marvel I’m thinking the top 5 or 10 might stay the same until either the next GOTG comes out or Civil War hits theaters.  I’m not trying to say I don’t think I will like Ant man, Dr. Strange, Jessica Jones, or Xmen apocolypse. I just think that the bar has been set way to high with some of the top 10 choices I have here.

Also, If you haven’t played Marvel 1st Alliance 2, I advise you to go do it now. It’s hella fun playing with so many characters, including Darkhawk!!!!