Monday, August 31, 2009

Cat of the Geek Week!

Yeah, see, I work at a university, and this is Frosh Week, so it's long hours, extreme fatigue and no day off until September 12th as I reckon time. That's gonna make me lazy, and when I hear lazy, I think of cats. For this week and this week only, Cat of the Geek gets expanded from its Wednesday spot to all five weekdays. Cat lovers unite! Cat haters, see you Saturday!

Cat of the Geek #17: Felix the Cat
Name: Felix
Stomping Grounds: From Feline Follies (1919) on, he's made his mark in films, television, comics, merchandise, songs, and uniquely, the Spirit of St. Louis.
Side: Good
Breed: American Shorthair
Cat Powers: The Magic Bag of Tricks.
Skills: Eat 2, Sleep 2, Mischief 6, Wit 6, Dealing with the Surreal 7
Cat Weaknesses: Everyone wants to steal the Magic Bag of Tricks.

Star Trek 997: Unforgiven / Echoes of Yesterday

997. Unforgiven / Echoes of Yesterday

PUBLICATION: Star Trek v.2 Special #3, DC Comics, 1995

CREATORS: 1st story - Michael Jan Friedman (writer), Steve Erwin and Jimmy Palmiotti (artists); 2nd story - Mark A. Altman (writer), Ken Save and Ron Boyd (artists)

STARDATE: 5049.2 (Season 3); Unknown (after #45)

PLOT: In Unforgiven, Kirk takes time off to go camping with his recently deceased brother's three sons, one of which (Jason) hopes to join Starfleet. When Jason comes across a cloaked Orion ground fleet about to attack a dilithium mining company, he gets the whole family in trouble and captured. Kirk allows Jason to find a way out of their predicament and they cause problems for the Orions, forcing them to decloak and allowing the colony to properly defend itself.

In Echoes of Yesterday, another of Kirk's nephews (Peter) helps the last two survivors of the Sumellian race acquire time travel secrets from his Uncle Jim, so they can go back in time and save their planet from destruction. The Enterprise-A follows them into the past and prevents the Sumellians from disrupting history, but Peter is long gone. He's heading for Deneva to prevent his parents' death at the hands of the neural parasites. Kirk arrives there just in time to see his brother die and his nephew get infected. Kirk is knocked out in the ensuing drama and is beamed back up to the ship and promptly returned to the present. Back in the past, Peter flies into the sun to get rid of his parasite, just as the Enterprise arrives on the scene.

CONTINUITY: Sam Kirk died on Devena in Operation: Annihilate!, a mission which starts with a ship flying into the sun. We now know this was Kirk's time displaced nephew. The Federation President from ST V passes the torch on to the Federation President from ST VI. Carol Marcus (ST II) and Admiral Cartwright (ST VI) also appear. Kirk recently used the slingshot method of time travel in ST IV. The week the Enterprise-A visits in the past is a busy one. In addition to the destruction of Sumellia and the death of Sam Kirk, there was the official signing of the Organian treaty (Errand of Mercy) and the Guardian planet is put into a security zone (The City on the Edge of Forever).

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - You may now kiss the President.
REVIEW: Two stories that follow the same theme, repercussions felt from the death of Kirk's brother Sam, and both are pretty decent. Unforgiven features Kirk in some atypical R&R action, far from his ship, and casts him as his family's new patriarch. The second is more obsessed with continuity and has inferior art, but is still quite entertaining. I've got to face it, I'm a sucker for a clever time travel story, which this becomes once the Sumellian herring is out of the way. This is the second time Kirk has had to let a loved one die to protect history, so he must not be looking forward to the next slingshot trip! Both stories have witty dialogue and a fair bit of action too. A strong way for me to leave the main DC series.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This Week in Geek (24-30/08/09)

Buys

Since I was getting down to my last New Series Doctor Who novel, I picked up the next four, including the last regular Martha story, The Many Hands, and the first three starring Donna (yay! I hope): The Doctor Trap, Ghosts of India and Shining Darkness. Branching out from Life on Mars, I picked up another John Simm's State of Play series. And because I will not be denied new Dragon Dynasty releases, The 5 Deadly Venoms.

"Accomplishments"

DVDs: A very buy couple of weeks at work, so "accomplishments" are harder to come by, but Kung Fu Fridays remains a staple. We watched the newly arrived and highly influential 5 Deadly Venoms, which really cements director Chang Cheh's reputation as a sadist and provider of accidental homoeroticism. Move of the Week: The cobra-fanged scorpion strike! A good story with subtext and excellent action, though the torture bits may be hard to swallow for some. Atypically, the DVD has no extras aside from the (excellent) commentary track by Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan, despite the film's historical importance. Are we to expect future Dragon Dynasty releases to be this bare from now on?

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 2 - The Wedding Banquet according to Branagh
Act I Scene 2 - The Wedding Banquet according to Olivier

Someone Else's Post of the Week
Wrongest Blackest Night tie-in, curtosy of Comics All Too Real.

Star Trek 996: The Riddled Post

996. The Riddled Post

PUBLICATION: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #9, Pocket eBooks, October 2001 (collected into print with S.C.E. ebooks #9-12 as Some Assembly Required in April 2003)

CREATORS: Aaron Rosenberg

STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last novel)

PLOT: The Da Vinci follows a distress call to a mining outpost/research lab where, aside from two survivors, everyone has been killed by means unknown. The outpost is riddled with holes, despite the fact its shields are still functioning. The Da Vinci crew put in every effort to solve this "locked room" mystery before whatever did the damage returns. They succeed, but may have put a deadly weapon in the hands of Starfleet. (Since this is a pure mystery story, I've omitted the details so readers can find out for themselves.)

CONTINUITY: None.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PROP OF THE WEEK - A vital clue
REVIEW: Aaron Rosenberg's first Trek novel features some lackluster prose in places, but he gets the characters quite well, and once he gets into his CSI groove, you happily follow the clues with him. As in CSI, the solution isn't half as important as the way you get to it, and the short book is full of procedural information, with various departments chipping in. It's an engineering mystery, sure, and Stevens gets to shine in it, but there are also strong roles for Security Chief Corsi and resident linguist Bart. As the mystery unfolds, the reader gets drawn in efficiently, and SCE's trademark - original use of Star Trek tech/skills we've seen a hundred times before - isn't ignored.

Next for the SBG Book Club: Vulcan! (TOS), Masks (TNG), Antimatter (DS9), Here There Be Monsters (SCE).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spaceknight Saturdays: Rom on the Outer Limits

With Rom heading into outer space, Bill Mantlo gets into an Outer Limits/Twilight Zone/EC Comics groove, using the Spaceknight as a cipher to tell SF short stories with a twist/moral type tales.

Is this a good direction for the title? It's fine for now, but the reader can't help but miss those wascally Dire Wraiths and their brain-sucking shenanigans. Sigh. Maybe we can invite them for a reunion or something.

Not to say "Ad Infinitum" is a bad story, not at all. It's crazy harsh! Check it out: It starts with Rom getting attacked by guys on flying space bikes for no good reason.
Well, the reason is that he looks like machine and they're at war with his "kind". He lets himself get hauled into their mothership to see their matriarchal leader who's just stepped out of an amateur production of Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Rom wants to deal peaceably, but first he's got to overcome the language barrier. The next scene is perhaps why it wasn't such a good idea for the Galadorian think tank to build a translator in gun form.
But the matriarch's a little better than her men at reading people, and allows him to use his Babel Fish gun at them. They can then trade stories, though the matriarch lets her ship's computer explain the details. Not that it wants to. It's a machine sympathizer, you see.
It finally complies faced with the threat of auto-destruct charges, and tells the story of an overpopulated planet that looked at exploring space to find other worlds to colonize. A schism developped, however, between those who wanted to send people, and those who wanted to send automated probes.
So it's finally decided they shouldn't risk human lives and build a super-intelligent probe called Automata to the stars. However, at some point they lose contact with Automata. They presume it destroyed, but in actuality, it simply decided "screw this mission" and started to reproduce (I've seen people do that at work too). She returns with an army of like-minded missiles.
According to Automata, why look for a planet when they have one right here? So it's overpopulated. So what? Just exterminate the humans! It's a proud robot tradition. Rom thinks he can broker a peace between the humans and machines, but fighting erupts as soon as they are in view of one another.
Rom neutralizes all their weapons and flies down to meet Automata herself. She's grown fat in the last few generations.
She's clearly insane, so Rom flies out into space, places himself between the ship and planet, and broadcasts one last plea to stop the fighting.
Think of the children/microchips!!!
Ah well. I hope Rom realizes he's a soldier, not a diplomat now. Let's get back to fighting stuff. Stuff that drills holes in your skull and drinks you brain preferably.

Star Trek 995: Raise the Defiant / A Question of Loyalty

995. Raise the Defiant / A Question of Loyalty

PUBLICATION: Star Trek v.2 Special #2, DC Comics, 1994

CREATORS: 1st story - Kevin J. Ryan (writer), Chris Wozniak and Jeff Hollander (artists); 2nd story - Steven H. Wilson (writer), Rachel Ketchum and Rich Faber (artists)

STARDATE: 8544.9 (after #34); 9481.1 (after #72)

PLOT: In Raise the Defiant, the Enterprise-A takes on a Starfleet engineer who gives them a secret mission - collaborate with the Tholians on recovering the USS Defiant from interphase space. The Enterprise has to use similar interphase technology to reach the old ship, and once it has, the engineer is revealed to be a Romulan spy who wants the interphase technology for the Star Empire. She sabotages the Enterprise and escapes in a shuttle, planning to destroy both Starfleet vessels, but Scotty didn't trust her and sabotaged her shuttle. It explodes. The ships returns.

In A Question of Loyalty, Valeris has her first training cruise aboard the Enterprise, under Saavik's supervision. Saavik finds her to be arrogant and bigoted, but out of loyalty for Spock - who seems to have taken a shine to Valeris - she gives her a full recommendation. However, Saavik is unable to continue serving under Spock after this difference of opinion, despite the fact he had earmarked her to replace him.

CONTINUITY: The Tholians pwned the Defiant out of our universe in The Tholian Web. Elements from this story are found in future Defiant stories, including phase technology experiments (Interphase; see also The Pegasus) and the idea that the ship might have landed in parallel universe (In a Mirror, Darkly). The Romulans' interest in interphase experiments would only bear fruit much later (The Next Phase). The second story features Valeris (ST VI) coming aboard the Enterprise for the first time.

DIVERGENCES: Raising the Defiant contradicts In a Mirror, Darkly and Interphase (which are mutually exclusive anyway). Even if the one in the Mirror Universe somehow came from a third parallel, why would Scotty send the SCE after a ship he himself rescued during the movie era? The Undiscovered Country novelization has the two women meet under different circumstances and Saavik sponsoring her with Spock.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Vulcan cat fight! Meowwwww!
REVIEW: The first story is sadly a waste of good paper. It reads like 20+ pages of technobabble before the Enterprise finally goes into the interphase, and then not very much happens. It's a lot of talking, none of the nostalgic reverence for the lost ship, and a Scotty-engineered deus ex machina (what, he had doubts about the guest engineer and said nothing to Kirk?). Very boring. Wozniak's art is an uneasy mixture of Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin and Bill Sienkiewicz, sometimes quite dramatic, others rather rushed. Unmotivated camera angles and panels played out in cut-outs and hatch lines.

A Question of Loyalty is much better, telling us the untold story of how Valeris came to be on Spock's radar, and presenting her elitist/racist philosophy which would lead to her betrayals in ST VI. There is a thin "ship rescue of the week" plot in the middle of the story that manages some suspense despite its technobabble and gives Saavik a good farewell heroic action. They don't skimp on honest discussion of Spock's crush on Valeris, something tangible but left unsaid in the movie. The story probably has the best Rachel Ketchum art on the series too, her ship backgrounds for once animated and interesting, and her likenesses and poses well judged.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Spring Cleaning: A Romulan Christmas

I'm only assuming August 28th is Romulan Christmas. Or Elvish Christmas. Or whatever that Star Wars script is supposed to be.

This is a Christmas postcard I just found sent to me by Kathy "Major Rakal" McKraken when I used to contribute a lot of wordage to Decipher's boards and website re: the Star Trek CCG.
The silver doesn't show up very well on the scan, but the pure gold does. Man, those were the days! Back when I only had to write ONE article each day.

Star Trek 994: Blaise of Glory / The Needs of the One

994. Blaise of Glory / The Needs of the One

PUBLICATION: Star Trek v.2 Special #1, DC Comics, 1994

CREATORS: 1st story - Peter David (writer), Rod Whigham and Arne Starr (artists); 2nd story - Michael Collins (writer/artist), Terry Pallot (artist)

STARDATE: 8626.11 (after Annual 3); Unknown (just before ST IV)

PLOT: In Blaise of Glory, the Enterprise rescues its former protocol officer, R.J. Blaise from a black hole that got in the way of her escaping deadly justice at the hands of a warlord whom she forced to sign a peace treaty at gunpoint. Guilty of having broken the Prime Directive, she's ready to go face the music, but not before she and Kirk finally consumate their sexual tension. Kirk challenges the warlord to fisticuffs for Blaise's life, which she resents and the ensuing argument makes the warlord give her up. Being with Kirk is punishment enough, apparently. Though the sex was really great, they Kirk and Blaise part ways, because they just can't keep up with one another.

In The Needs of the One, as the crew of the HMS Bounty waits for Starfleet's recall order on Vulcan, Spock struggles to regain his memories. In a delirium, he escapes into the wilderness, into which Kirk and Sulu follow him and bring him back.

CONTINUITY: R.J. Blaise was last seen in #12. The second story's flashbacks include Spock Kohlinar (The Motion Picture), Spock's marriage ceremony (Amok Time), V'ger (TMP). On Vulcan in the present, we find the HMS Bounty, Sarek and Amanda. Amanda tells Spock about Sybok (ST V). Spock sees a sehlat and thinks confusedly it's his childhood pet (Yesteryear). Maltz (ST III) is to be extradited. T'Pring (Amok Time) is a religious matriarch.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Aerobics with Uhura
REVIEW: It's been a while since I reviewed such an entertaining Star Trek comic. The first story delivers Peter David's usual light touch, with some sexy jokes and the return (and justification for the departure of) R.J. Blaise. The plot itself is something of an excuse for getting her and Kirk together again, but perfectly enjoyable within that context. Cheeky fun. Michael Collins' second story, an interstitial piece that fits between ST III and IV (or between some issue of the comics series and ST IV, if we go by "full" continuity) also focuses on character rather than plot, and perhaps tries a little too hard to plug in some continuity. And yet, it's still a satisfying piece that believably fits where it should. And you know what? It's been a while since I reviewed a Star Trek comic with good art as well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gamer Profiles: My Guys in the Early Millenium

In the early "oughts", I had a pretty large and varied group of players. I was running weekly Dream Park one-offs (really, anything from moldy James Bond 007 scenarios to expanded cross-genre ideas found in magazines) more or less with a first come first serve policy, so though I had a dozen players or so, they alternated spots - perfect for our tight schedules.

At one point, I wrote a guide that treated them as "problem players" and how to handle them. Not that they truly were, you understand, but a GameMaster has to deal with his players' quirks. Here is that long-lost guide (names changed to protect the moronic):

Gloves gets easily frustrated or impulsive if answers don't come up right away. My solution: Let him sulk and concentrate on the other players. ;-)

Absolut WILL sacrifice himself if need be, which could lead to unwanted character death. My solution: Fudge rolls to save him at least some of the time, but have him suffer mentally at every turn.

Twelve gets dangerously violent, but is really good at thinking outside the box. My solution: Keep him away from good weapons and throw more "impossible" situations his way (while Gloves sulks, I guess).

Willow wants to role-play more, but always winds up taking the combat solution. My solution: It's what he actually really wants, so make sure he has combat to keep him happy.

Gahkar tends to kill helpful NPCs and betray the party, but he's really good. My solution: Make his character's life miserable, and only really take him out toward the end.

Sherlock is skittish about even coming in to play and leaving his girlfriend at home, but he really enjoys himself. My solution: More games that specifically attract him, at least when I advertise them.

Psycho is a crazy madcap loon, but oh, so entertaining. You just never know what he's gonna do to derail the whole thing. My solution: Take it like a man.

Red goes for the jugular every time, never side-tracking even for interesting bits. My solution: Giving him something time-consuming to do plotwise, while the others linger to taste the flavoring.

Dash likes to come up with fun, but not useful, concepts for characters. My solution: Let the bad guys ignore him most of the time so he's relatively safe, and give him latitude in what he can do with his silly abilities.

Willy always plays his characters as silly caricatures and will always do the stupidest things no matter his character's IQ. My solution: Laugh, then sometimes just call it a joke that was "never said" or "never actually happened".

J basically does nothing, says nothing even when addressed, and contributes very poorly to any adventure, but he's a nice guy. My solution: Make him the center of attention, in the same sense that the calmest part of a hurricane is its eye. Whatever that means ;-). Being at the center doesn't mean he does more or HAS to do more. It just means the story's occasionally about his character. Result: He feels like he's an important part of the story, when his actions really aren't (by his own choice).

Well, that's a cross-section of my group, and what I did with them in those halcyon days... How do YOU deal with your players' particularities?

Star Trek 993: The Chosen Part 3: Collision Course!

993. The Chosen Part 3: Collision Course!

PUBLICATION: Star Trek v.2 #80, DC Comics, February 1996

CREATORS: Kevin J. Ryan (writer), Rachel Forbes-Seese and Pablo Marcos (artists)

STARDATE: 6228.5 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: Kirk and the Romulans search the Neutral Zone to find who attacked their facilities and ships and the Romulans discover a transmission from the Enterprise to an unknown ship about to attack more Romulan holdings. The sender is revealed to be ambassador Julia Bertrand, a Metan who like her people, was shocked to discover there was sentient life other than their own and so want to destroy all other life to prove it doesn't really exist. They're the ones trying to start a war between the three major powers in the quadrant. The two ships try to head the Metans off at the pass and are joined by Kang, also on the warpath. Together, they stop the Metans and the two Imperial warships blow them out of the sky.

CONTINUITY: See previous issues.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - This is the end, so why not?
REVIEW: The big reveal is at once expected (introduce a guest character and they're highly likely to be a mole) and a complete howler. Man, this story doesn't make any sense! There's no real reasons for the Metans to put an agent on the Enterprise since it risks their discovery. Why does the Federation employ a Metan ambassador if the planet is so xenophobic? Did she enroll in the diplomatic corps and rise through its ranks until this plan was ready? Why does she have an Earth name? How did the Metan ship give the Enterprise such a hard time 4 issues ago, but is a relative pushover here? Most importantly: Who cares? There was promise in a Starfleet/Romulan collaboration, but it seems like all the elements have been wasted on an illogical premise. A terrible way to end the series. Seems like they could have locked up the movie era with a late story leading into ST VI instead...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cat of the Geek #16: Church

Name: Winston "Church" Churchill
Stomping Grounds: Stephen King's Pet Sematary (novel/film)
Side: Evil
Breed: British Blue
Cat Powers: Undead.
Skills: Eat 0, Sleep 0, Mischief 9, Wit 2, Disturbing 8
Cat Weaknesses: Smells.

Because I need to build up the Evil team once in a while.

Star Trek 992: The Chosen Part 2: Blood Enemies

992. The Chosen Part 2: Blood Enemies

PUBLICATION: Star Trek v.2 #79, DC Comics, January 1996

CREATORS: Kevin J. Ryan (writer), Steve Erwin and Terry Pallot (artists)

STARDATE: 6221.4 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: The Enterprise, bearing an ambassador/expert on the Romulans, heads for the heavily damaged Starbase 14 to look for survivors and investigate. Meeting them is a Tal Shiar ship who wishes to help with that investigation. The crew rescues some survivors (involving the safe removal of the station's critical power core) and exchanges officers with the Romulans, both sides claiming they had nothing to do with the recent attacks...

CONTINUITY: The Tal Shiar were first mentioned in TNG's Face of the Enemy. Their ship uses a classic bird-of-prey design (Balance of Terror). Starbase 14 is of the same design as Deep Space Station K-7 (The Trouble with Tribbles). The medical ship USS Salk has a sphere instead of a saucer, like a Daedalus class and like the USS Pasteur (All Good Things...). Kirk remembers speaking to Captain Robert April (The Counter-Clock Incident) when he was a cadet.

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - What if I urgently need a leg?
REVIEW: Ah, much better. The plot deepens with an early appearance of the Tal Shiar and the Romulans giving Kirk a reasonable shot at proving everyone's innocence. There isn't much to the ambassador character, though she's at least a pleasant sounding board for the captain. The action sequence is good too. The big difference, of course, is the art team. Erwin and Pallot's thin line work is attractive and both action and dialogue scenes are sufficiently animated, while respecting the requirements of likenesses. Good use of reference material to create ships and stations, both exteriors and interiors, too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time Lord Casting Call

Still prepping for that Doctor Who RPG I mean to run, and we really want to cast the role of the Doctor analog correctly. We don't want our principal Time Lord to be the Doctor per se, but someone sufficiently Doctorish (or someones, since multiple players may play later regenerations in side games). So first off, what are the qualities we're looking for? What does Doctorish mean? We identified three things that are necessary to creater a proper, adventuring Time Lord, and an extra for this particular campaign:
1) Curiosity (to motivate travel and get us into plots)
2) Eccentricity (rogue Time Lords are a quirky bunch, as much physically and mentally)
3) Brilliance (must be able to carry off their great intellect)
4) Because we want to play post-Time War, we also need the Time Lord to be a wounded soul.

So who fits? Here are the ideas we came up with for our Time Lord, the Shepherd.

BRITS
(If all Time Lords are Brits - and we want to forget Eric Roberts' Master as much as possible - then these guys are Time Lords, surely.)

Ian HolmA little like the 7th Doctor, a seemingly harmless little gentleman with a dark side you don't see coming. Relevant experience: Tons of genre work from The Fifth Element and Lord of the Rings to From Hell and Brazil.

Jim Broadbent
He's proven that he can play loud and eccentric in such fare as Moulin Rouge, and walk the line between comedy and drama in Hot Fuzz. Relevant experience: He actually played the Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death, though not a very effective regeneration.

Ian McKellen
His Gandalf persona would certainly match a character we want to call "The Shepherd", but he was never so eccentric than as "himself" in an episode of Extras. Relevant experience: Certainly no stranger to genre work (like all the Ians, though I haven't tagged Ian McNeice here).

James Nesbitt
My favored casting for the 11th Doctor, Jimmy Nesbitt makes a great "working class" Time Lord. Admittedly, my familiarity with his career is limited to Millions and Jekyll. Relevant experience: Jekyll was the brainchild of the new Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat.

Carey Elwes
Circa The Princess Bride. A young regeneration of the Shepherd, in the Davison/Tennant/Smith mold, he manages to combine supreme confidence, quick wit and a swashbuckler's skill in the same performance. CAST! He will play a later regeneration for a side-game filled with one-shots, but the character for our main gain must be a little older and sadder.

Michael Caine
We're thinking anyone who makes an excellent all-knowing father figure to Batman should be able to handle a few companions. Worried about not coming off as quirky enough.

John Rhys-Davies
Boisterous even in life and he played a character called The Professor in Sliders. Seeing as the usual Doctor analog in called the Professor, that's a pretty tight fit. CAST! He plays the lead in our main campaign. Welcome aboard, JRD!

NOT BRITS
(There's no reason an American or other nationality couldn't play a Time Lord... Every planet has a West.)

Christopher Lloyd
For Americans, it's important that their accents aren't TOO American, and eccentricity has to carry the day to justify their casting. Christopher Lloyd SWEATS eccentricity. Too much? Relevant experience: Doc Brown is the model here, obviously.

Michael Keaton
An odd choice, you might say, but his many neurotic performances earn him at least a first audition. I'm thinking about his distracted Bruce Wayne, but The Dream Team and other comedies might also provide clues to how he would play a Time Lord.

Gene Wilder
Probably the best American fit, especially in his early 70s work. Had Doctor Who been an American program, he would have played him for sure. Relevant experience: Willy Wonka, Sherlock Holmes' Younger Brother, Young Frankenstein.

James Spader
Quirky in everything I've ever seen him in, from Sex, Lies & Videotape to Boston Legal, James Spader may be just a little too lascivious in his quirkiness though.

Paul Giamatti
His faux-British accent in John Adams proves he could do it AS a Brit, and his lovable loser persona would make for an entertaining spin on the rogue Time Lord archetype. Definitely one of my favorite ideas, and if I were player rather than GM, probably my personal casting.

Obviously, as we've decided on a male Time Lord, I didn't cast any ladies. It's not because I don't think any actresses are "Doctorish", quite the opposite. I would love the Doctor to get a sex change some day. But I'll open the floor to you. If you were to cast a new rogue Time Lord hero or heroine, who would you cast?

Star Trek 991: The Chosen Part 1: The Hunted

991. The Chosen Part 1: The Hunted

PUBLICATION: Star Trek v.2 #78, DC Comics, December 1995

CREATORS: Kevin J. Ryan (writer), Rachel Forbes-Seese and Mark Heike (artists)

STARDATE: 6218.9 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: After a three-month limp to starbase, the Enterprise is repaired and follows a distress call into Klingon space. A colony has been destroyed, by Starfleet weapons apparently, and now Kang wants his pound of flesh. The ship narrowly escapes and as the two sides sound the drums of war, Kirk is ordered to the Romulan border where more trouble may be brewing...

CONTINUITY: Kang first appeared in "The Day of the Dove".

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Why doesn't Starfleet train its officers to lip read?
REVIEW: How very ordinary. A plot we've seen before, difficult to decipher fight scenes, and uninspired art. The ships looked good until I realized they were always the same stock images pasted into the comic over and over. Even seeing Kang again doesn't produce very much joy. Two issues before series finale...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rom Says: Do Not Do This Thing!

Though it seems like everybody I know got married this summer, last Saturday I finally accepted an invitation to show up to one. It's better I not show up to most of these, for everyone, as my reaction to them would have been this:

Mireille & RémiGeek elements: Avid comics reader/WoW player/singer/guitar player gets hitched to Trading Spaces queen.

Chantal & Phil
Geek elements: Groom obsessed with Eric Clapton and playing 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Josée & Francis
Geek elements: Groom is 55-year-old in a 25-year-old body. I made him read ACME Novelty Library once.

Mel & Joey
Geek elements: A homoerotic bachelor party. No wait, that's GREEK, not GEEK.

Diana & Tornado
Geek elements: Bachelor party was Star Trek on iMax in Starfleet drag. Star Wars theme played at reception. I call that a mixed metaphor.

Gabrielle & Justin
Geek elements: None really. Unless I somehow count their engagement patio furniture.

Catherine & Rémi
Geek elements: The Justice of the Peace made it clear they were to share their lives, comics and DVDs. Rémi, who works at a comics shop, got the worse end of THAT deal. Next time: Prenup!

So this Saturday, what did I say to Gwen & Eric?
Geek elements: The One Ring. Instead of Elvish on the interior, it's simply written "Titanium". Like the strength of their love. Awwww.

But seriously, I've been friends with them for more than 12 years. They were my roommates for 4 of those. Gwen was a close neighbor for 2 more, and Eric's been kind enough to employ me for the last 4. My cat still holds Gwen's family name. She's been my improv captain and often a most trusted advisor. Eric's been my guild leader, infrequent RPG buddy and "Oh Captain, My Captain" at work. They've been together 10 years, and my feeling is it's a knot that won't easily be untied. I hope the next chapter is as great for you guys as the last has been. Cheers!