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My Reactions to LOST Season Four, Episode Seven: Ji Yeon March 14, 2008

Posted by lotrking in L O S T.
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Dude. Jin’s dead. Didn’t see that coming. Especially since we didn’t see the death, and went straight to the tombstone. All violence aside, this was probably the most shocking death of the show to date, simply because it came out of no where, I’m not sure I’ve completely fathomed his death yet. (Smart move on the writer’s part to have Jin’s scenes be in the past and Sun’s scenes be in the future, it certainly made everything seem believable.)

Moving backwards, big reveal number two: Michael’s back. Well that one I did see coming, his name has been listed in the opening credits since the beginning of this season, I knew it was only a matter of time, though I suspected to see him somewhere in the future flashforwards, not on the boat. Truth be told, I suspected that Locke was the man on the boat. How can he be on the boat and Island at the same time, you ask. Well if the Island is indeed a temporal nexus, he would simply need to leave the Island in a direction that would take him to the past, and then infiltrate the Widmore Corporation, etc etc, until he got on the boat. Up until now, that was my theory. Now I’m thinking Michael went slightly into the past (not too far, maybe a year or two before he came to the Island), Ben’s off-Island men recruited him, and he ended up on the freighter. Where’s (Waldo, no wait) Walt? I don’t know, I think about that some more before I form a theory.

Big reveal number three: Ben staged the fake wreckage at the bottom of the ocean. Good. This really simplifies things. If that was the “real” wreckage, and the Island wreckage was also “real,” man that would have taken some heavy explaining. This also proves that whatever off-Island organization Ben heads does indeed have huge power and access to large sums of money.

Lastly, what’s up with the suicides? I’m guessing the people are experienced things similar to what Desmond experienced, but on a much smaller level. First, let me explain what I think happened to Desmond. If the Island is a temporal nexus, then an exact direction would have to be followed to get to a specific point in time. If the freighter is in the “present” of the show (which is really December 2004), they need to head in that direction. But if the storm caused them to change directions slightly (to whatever year Desmond was flashing back to), then when the changed back to the “present” Desmond’s mind from the past may have come with them (for whatever reasons, yet unknown, that he is more susceptible to “temporal motion sickness.”) Going back to the suicides, if the freighter is too close to the Island, it may occasionally drift a few minutes into the past or future. If the passengers that are susceptible to “temporal motion sickness” are constantly having their head jump to a few minutes into the past or future, it would be not only jarring, but like a constant case of déjà vu, so suicide seems a good way to end that. As for why the captain didn’t let anyone swim after the girl? Well, suppose they swam too far in one direction and….. well, you get the idea.

More next week! Please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

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Review of The Twelve 3 (4 stars) March 13, 2008

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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This was an interesting issue, as it continued to explore the characters, and showed everyone, at least once, what was happening with them. Instead of going through the story from beginning to end, I’m going to look at each of the characters. That is because this is what this issue (and this series) is about: the Twelve and how they are adapting to modern life, and (in some cases) modern superheroism. When we first see the Phantom Reporter, he is still at a loss of what to do with his new life. He has no powers, so he doesn’t feel he can add to the modern world of crime fighting, his writing skills are sixty plus years out of date, and the only woman he is interested in happens to be extremely creepy, and potentially lethal (but oh so beautifully forlorn, that I understand his feelings). His life does improve slightly by the end of the issue, as he is offered a job writing editorials for the Daily Bugle.

We only see Rockman for one panel this issue, and he is exactly where we left him last time: pitifully hoping for his “long lost civilization” to find him. Fiery Mask, however, we see a good deal of, and we also get his origin story. This story involving zombies and a mad scientist may sound cheesy now, but it sounds exactly like something that might be pulled from the 40s (I’m not sure if this is his real origin story, or if JMS made it up, but either way, it fits well for the character). He also interferes in a gang fight outside of the bar he’s in. This interference remains unresolved, and I’m assuming we’ll see what happens in the next issue. We also see the Witness at the bar with Fiery Mask, though we still as yet have little insight to his character because, as he admits, he “does not speak often.”

Master Mind Excello appears to be going through near torture as all the EM waves we have bouncing around today are interfering with his advanced brain. I’m beginning to wonder if he may be the Blue Blade’s killer, since he is no longer able to see his destiny, it may drive him insane (just a guess 😉 ).

We see that Captain Wonder is still at the cemetery mourning. Mister E is the real heart of this issue, and serves as the tragic counterbalance to Captain Wonder from last issue. Where Cap had a wonderful home life, and returned to find that he had lost it all, we learn that Mister E was not the best father, and was willing to desert his true self to become what he wanted to be. He also has to deal with this as he re-meets the wife and son he left sixty years prior. More kudos to Straczynski for showing more of the differences between the 40s and today. Last issue we learned the Dynamic Man was racist, and we saw how that affected him, and this issue we learn that Mister E was Jewish, and was ashamed of it, and tried to hide it amidst the abundant anti-Semitic feelings of the 40s.

As mentioned earlier, Black Widow is still as beautifully sad as she has been since waking in the present, and we find out that she collects souls for some as yet unnamed demon. While this is likely the source of her depression, I’m hoping we may get a look into what prompted her to make a deal with a devil, and maybe (probably the romantic in me) I hope we see Phantom Reporter heroically helping her to get out of this servitude.

We get evidence in this issue that Laughing Mask may not be completely together in his head, as he talks about the good old days to Electro (still not functioning), right before he goes off to do something that prompts much laughing on his part. Once again, I believe we will see exactly what he does next issue.

Blue Blade and Dynamic Man seem to be the ones who love the present the most. Blue Blade is in contact with an agent, and can’t wait to be famous for what he is, a man from the past, and a hero. Dynamic Man seems to be only in the here and now, with no care for the past, and no thought for his future. He seems to only want to be a superhero. Is this nobility, or insanity on his part? Time will tell…..

So once again, we get great writing and characterization from Straczynski. Some people may complain that there has been no action yet, and that it has been focused completely on the characters. One, the characters are so darned interesting, and so well written, that I enjoy reading about them. Two, with the mini cliffhangers with Fiery Mask and Laughing Mask, I don’t think we’ll have to wait much longer for some action…..

Please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

Review of Daredevil 105 (4.5 stars) March 12, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Brubaker finally delivered with this issue, while the last few issues were good, they seemed to be more “puzzle piece” issues than revealing major plot point issues. But in this issue all the pieces click into place, and Brubaker gives us a wonderful story. We start out by learning that Darth Fear (hey, it’s likely to be the last time I get to use this nickname, so I’m taking advantage of that) has been making war with the Hood simply to make Daredevil suffer (which we probably could have guessed anyway). The Hood, while angry, still admires Fear’s extreme hatred for Daredevil. Finally Daredevil shows up on the scene, and the much anticipated climactic fight begins. Gotta praise Lark’s art here, the fight scene was very dynamic, and, with the exception of an unintentionally humorous pose of Fear right after he kicks Daredevil, it was well drawn. Kudos to Eliopoulos as well for sound effects that were well placed, and not intrusive. These sound effects did not stand out and scream “look at me, I’m a sound effect!” (as they often do in Mighty Avengers), rather they seemed to not only fit with art, but also went brought the scene to life.

As the fight scene concludes, just as Daredevil thinks he has won, Darth Fear gives us the big reveal of the story: there is no cure for Milla, Matt already lost a long time ago. Dude. I didn’t see that coming, I was just as shocked as Matt. But I’ll touch on my actual feelings of this move, just as soon as I finish going through the story. Fear confesses to what he done, which clears Milla, who has to go to a psychiatric hospital indefinitely, this causes much mourning for Matt, and Fear goes to prison, but he has somehow altered himself to be like Lily and now the girls there love him, and the cops and prisoners give him whatever he wants, so he is essentially king of the prison, and he knows he can break out unimpeded whenever he wants to, and we finally see that the Hood admires Fear’s work, and will leave the Kitchen alone for now, because he doesn’t care about hurting Daredevil. Okay, now that I just wrote the world’s longest sentence, Brubaker’s final twist of the knife into Matt’s back was brilliant and tragic. This is certainly going to affect him for a long time to come, and is very likely the most tragic experience of Matt’s life. But what about the deaths of Karen and Elektra, you ask. As villains often like to note, there are some fates worse than death. Matt has to live with the knowledge that his actions as Daredevil ruined the life of his wife (and as far as I know, the only woman he has ever married, someone please correct me if I’m wrong), and that she will continue to live a horrible mentally unstable existence. As far as Daredevil’s villains go, I think Mr. Fear may now deserve the top spot as arch nemesis. And so yes, while it certainly does suck that the villain may have triumphed for a change, it makes a beautifully written tragedy. Besides, we know this story isn’t done yet, eventually Darth Fear will break out of prison, and this story will continue. Whether this happens next year, or twenty years from now, you can bet I’ll be there to read it. Yet another great job Mr. Brubaker!

Please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

Reivew of Thor 6 (4.5 stars) March 11, 2008

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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Straczynski and Coipel do not cease to entertain in this issue of Thor. The story opens at the now familiar Bill’s Diner, but cuts away to different flashback scenes. The first shows the first town meeting with the Asgardians present, and as always the clash between small town Oklahomans and ancient Asgardians is hilarious. The next flashback features a father and his son attempting to repair a flat tire in the middle of the road, only to be greeted and helped by Hogun (and leaves us with the odd mental picture of imagining an Asgardian with a tan). This may sound odd, but all the humorous collisions between Asgardians and Oklahomans make Thor likely to be the funniest comic book I am reading right now. Let me let that sink in: Thor is funny. This of course is not a bad thing, the book is not all humorous, when it is not funny it is epic, and Straczynski’s writing is flawless. Take the next flashback for example, this one involving Bill’s first encounter of an Asgardian. It is beautifully written, but perhaps more importantly, beautifully drawn. Coipel has the Norse/Asgardian look down perfectly. The shape of Kelda’s face, her hairstyle, her arm jewelry, and her attire (and lack thereof in certain areas) couldn’t look more Norse if it had been a statue pulled from Viking artifacts; completely ignoring how Kelda looked as a woman, as a piece of Coipel’s artwork, she was beautiful.

From here, the second half of the story focuses on Thor’s inner struggle to release all of the Asgardians, including those whom he would rather not. Donald reminds of him of how much time is being lost by being careful, and Thor knows his carefulness hasn’t been too effective anyway, so Thor finally decides he is willing to risk it all, especially if it means freeing Sif from her mortal bonds. We then get several more pages of gorgeous artwork from Coipel, first a great composite image of Donald and Thor, then more stunning artwork of Asgard’s interior, then finally several wonderful weather/space pieces as Thor focuses the entirety of his power to summon forth all of the Asgardians at once, knowing full well that it might cause his demise (even though we know it won’t simply because this is an ongoing series, and not a mini). All in all, another great issue of Thor; it is easily one of the best books that Marvel is putting out right now. I can’t wait until next issue to see Djurdjevic’s take on the God of Thunder, and I’m sure it will be simply amazing! (Though I certainly won’t be sad to see Coipel return two months later).

Please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

LOTRKing, Where Have You Been? March 10, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Stuff, L O S T, Other Random Stuff.
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So where have I been? Well, you wouldn’t believe it, but first I was abducted by Skrulls and then ….. wait, you don’t believe me? Well, here’s the “real” answer then, mostly I’ve just been uber-busy. This past week I worked doubles every day except Wednesday, and I was still busy on Wednesday anyway (doesn’t point to the stack of comics that he bought that day). There were some days when I wasn’t busy enough, and I could’ve written a review or two, but on those days I was just lazy. So to the people who missed my comics reviews and LOST theories in the last two weeks (all four of you), I’m sorry. But just to make up for it, for the next two weeks, I’m going to post something every day (except Sunday). That’s right Monday through Saturday starting today for the next fortnight, there will be a comics review, or some LOST theories, or just some random babblings (heck, I’m even planning to write a review of a fairly new CD). So, since this is today’s post (cause I can cheat like that), check back tomorrow for my much delayed review of Thor 6!

But before I sign off, just some quick comics news: I unfortunately must now sacrifice three more dollars a month. Why? Because I was silly enough to read the first seven issues of Avengers: The Initiative on my Civil War DVD-ROM, and they were insanely awesome. This series is too good not to read, so I will be picking it up for the time being. I’m still catching up on back issues however, so you’ll have to wait a bit for a review of a current issue (I’m not going to review back issues like I did with Daredevil and Thor, because I’m lazy). Doesn’t this go against what I’ve said in my FAQ about picking up new series? Yes, it does. This is exactly why I try not to read other comics, because I’m afraid I’ll like them, and then have to pick up the whole series. You can say “its just one more comic series, only $3 more a month”, until you are in financial oblivion, and I won’t do that. So I think this is really only a one time thing, don’t expect me to pick up another series without sacrificing another any time soon. (Unless they start a Silver Surfer ongoing series.) (And Secret Invasion doesn’t count, it is pretty much a given that it needs to be read, so I will of course be getting those.)

See you tomorrow!

-LOTRKing