Favorite Book: Cryptonomicon
Favorite Movie: Young Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything: Monty Python
Think Tank is a cool, little comic by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal. Hawkins provides the thoughtful, funny, frightening, and entertaining script, while Ekadal’s art keeps the fantastical (I hope) scenarios grounded and plausible. The premise is simple. Dr. David Loren, who is smarter than your entire graduating class combined, develops weapon tech for the US government. He has decided that he would rather not develop tools to kill people, but he is trapped in a secure base and kept under constant surveillance. The entire comic is the struggle to possibly escape, but, more likely, keep sane in an environment where science is only being used to kill.
Life can be hard for a freelance spy. Moments after receiving his new Bullfrog hypertrousers, Richard Conway finds himself caught up in a tale of mystery, intrigue, and murder. Very quickly, the game’s quirky sense of humor and great sense of fun steal the show as you move from level to level carefully or panicking as you try to sneak deep into various secure and well-guarded buildings. Your tools are the aforementioned hypertrousers, your electronic crosslink (more on that later), and snark.
The last issue of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT ended with a dramatic cliffhanger, and this issue resolves it in a wonderfully satisfying way. Actually, this issue resolves the entire story arc in a satisfying way. I will post no spoilers here (unless you consider the mention that there is a cliffhanger and some resolution, and in that case, why are you reading a review at all?), but this had one of the most compelling and emotionally satisfying resolutions I have ever read. Ever. There is some cool action. There are some really cool revelations that actually answer big questions (including some that I didn’t even ask). There is also a perfectly satisfying emotional resolution. This comic hit every note just right for me.
Prisoners of Time is doing something very unusual. Every issue of this comic follows a new incarnation of The Doctor, but they are still telling one continuous story. According to math, we have made it to the sixth Doctor and two of his companions, Peri the human and Frobisher the shapeshifting penguin. To be fair, Frobisher is not really a penguin, but he spends most of his time in the shape of one. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, this is a silly comic. It is also a very fun comic that introduces a new wrinkle into the ongoing plot.
Justin Robinson’s Coldheart is a novella and a series of short stories that are set in the same world and complement each other. The world of these stories is mostly the same as ours, but there are dark fantasy creatures warring with each other. This war is hidden from view, but exists on a massive scale. There are several factions vying for control that are willing to do anything to get it. The stories focus, not on the supernatural forces, but on the regular people caught up in the machinations of uncaring super beings.
At its core, Thomas Was Alone is a platformer and a good one at that. The game follows a group of AIs as they navigate a series of “levels” and “jump” over walls and hazards. Each level is narrated brilliantly by Danny Wallace, and this narration is where nearly every bit of the story originates. The rectangles don’t emote or speak or really do much besides jump with varying levels of success. Somehow, despite the rectangularity of the characters and the general not acting, the story just worked. I found myself rooting for these guys.
I rounded the first corner with my back tires squealing. As I finally eased out of my Tokyo Drift, I slammed into the side of the exotic Italian racer I was in the middle of passing. The track ran between a dry-docked cruise ship and the water. Right as I approached the ship, controlled explosives released the anchors holding it in place. I watched helplessly as it slid ponderously down, trapping me between tons of steel and the unforgiving sea.
There is a small, but loud, community that thinks that Alan Wake is one of the best games of this past console generation. We are right, too. Available on the Xbox 360 and PC, this is the finest psychological horror game I have ever seen. Borrowing heavily from Twin Peaks, Stephen King, and about a dozen other sources, the game tells the story of novelist, Alan Wake, as his vacation to the Pacific Northwest goes horribly wrong. The two things I most want to do right now are tell you every detail of this story and let you experience the story all on your own.
Cyborg Aphrodite IX is caught up in a war between a race of humans that have genetically modified themselves to a huge degree and a race of humans that have maintained their genetic purity but augmented themselves with robotics after the world has all but ended. Only a small band of the planet around the Equator is still habitable, and these two factions squabble and fight over every scrap of land and go to war over imagined slights. After being woken from suspended animation by the genetic guys, Aphrodite joins their ranks.
Michael Avon Oeming’s new comic series, The Victories, is spectacular. The story follows Faustus, one of the heroes on the titular team. Faustus is a conflicted and disturbed hero with well-honed fighting skills and a troubled past, but he is darker and more troubled than most villains that Marvel or DC feature, to say nothing of their heroes. This is an adult version of the standard superhero story.