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Three Wishes: The Toys That Made Us

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  • Fantastic Four #1: A Wonderful Welcome Home
    Blake M. Petit
    Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel Comics)
    By Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, Marte Gracia, Simone Bianchi, Marco Russo, Skottie Young, Jeremy Treece & Joe Caramagna


    When Marvel cancelled Fantastic Four in 2015, with no plans to relaunch it yet, there was an uproar. Some people, some of those marvelously cynical people who live on the Internet, argued that nobody cared about the Fantastic Four anyway. But that’s clearly not true. The Fantastic Four is my favorite Marvel property. The Thing is my number two character in all of comics (after Superman). And having them missing from my life for three years has created a hole that’s just gotten bigger and bigger.

    In one issue, Dan Slott has made me feel like we’re finally coming home.

    Ben and Johnny, both still believing Reed, Sue, and the kids are dead, are trying to get on with their lives. Ben and Alicia are evaluating their relationship (as they often do), Johnny is palling around with...
    08-08-2018, 06:39 PM
  • In Which I Try to be a Ghostbuster
    danahammer
    When my friend suggested I come along on a real, live ghost hunt, my immediate and obvious reaction was “Fuck yeah!” The idea was, we would go to a haunted house, the homeowner would give us ghost hunting equipment, we would participate in a seance, and supernatural shenanigans would ensue.

    ”But you don’t even believe in ghosts,” said my husband, who often misses the point.

    ”So?”

    ”So, why do you want to go on a ghost hunt when you don’t believe in ghosts?”

    ”Um, if I have to explain to you why I want to pretend to be a ghostbuster, I don’t even know why we’re friends.”

    Anyway, the haunted house in question was supposedly the site of some gruesome murders that took place in the 1970s. The night of our ghost hunt was supposedly on the anniversary of those murders. (wooo-oooo!) Of course, after arriving at the house, I was skeptical. First of all, the house was built in the 1990s, which, for fall of...
    08-06-2018, 05:29 PM
  • Entering Gloomhaven
    Craig Reade
    I was expecting something along the lines of Talisman – but ended up getting something so much better.

    We are in something of a board game renaissance, and it couldn’t be better timed. I played a ton of board games when I was in high school, but those slowly gave way to video games as my gaming friends started to scatter to the wind. I mean, I’d still love to play an epic 72-hour Axis & Allies session, but who else has the time for that? Heck, I don’t even have the time for that anymore.

    In recent years, I’ve met a few other people with the board gaming bug and have even gotten my wife interested in slightly more advanced games like Munchkin, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan. I saw Gloomhaven on Kickstarter about a year ago and was intrigued. My current gaming group did enjoy the last “legacy” board game we played (Pandemic Legacy: Season 1), so why not give this a try?

    If you don’t already know, Gloomhaven is a campaign-oriented game where...
    07-28-2018, 12:26 PM
  • The Best Comic Book Show on TV Stars a Flock of Ducks
    Blake M. Petit
    Having a baby at home, I can’t just sit around and watch horror movies all day. Oh, I can watch some, sure, but you reach a point where you start to worry that the kid is going to go all Michael Myers on somebody and maybe you should put on a cartoon. But the thing is, a lot of cartoons suck. Yeah, a lot of entertainment in general sucks, but people seem to really dismiss that sort of thing when you’re talking about kids’ shows. The idea seems to be that if something is intended for children, there’s no reasonable expectation of quality. This idea is nonsense, and I can provide dozens of examples of great pieces of entertainment that are both engaging for children and fail to make adults want to stick their heads in a bucket of acid. The many works of Jim Henson, for example. The output of Pixar Animation Studios. And, most germane to today’s discussion, the Disney Channel reboot of DuckTales. It’s not just a good show, guys. It’s the best comic book show on TV.

    People who...
    07-13-2018, 09:06 AM
  • The Terrifics #5: An Exciting Experiment
    Blake M. Petit
    The Terrifics #5 (DC Comics)
    By Doc Shaner, Jeff Lemire, Nathan Fairbairn & Tom Napolitano

    From the first issue, everything about DC’s The Terrifics has been a delight. The concept behind the team is clever (thanks to the kind of energy accident that can only happen in comic books, the four heroes cannot go farther than a mile from one another), the characters feel true to themselves, and the story is pure fun. This issue, our four heroes each have to face an element of their past. Phantom Girl is lonesome for her home planet, Plastic Man tries to reconnect with someone he lost during his five years of “Egg Time,” Metamorpho wants to bring his past into the future, and an uncomfortable question makes Mr. Terrific evade something that’s clearly a sore subject.

    What makes this issue stand out, though, is the way Doc Shaner and Jeff Lemire break it down visually. With four principles, pages are divided into quadrants, one for each of them. The four stories...
    07-09-2018, 04:47 PM
  • 2018 Superhero Watch: You Will Believe an Actor can Fly
    Blake M. Petit
    For 2018 I set a goal for myself to watch and discuss as many superhero movies as possible. As we approach the halfway point of the year and I look at the list of films I’ve yet to watch, I’m starting to think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. This might go into 2019, guys. It might go into 2020. I might still be doing this when my baby is in college. So far, I’ve talked to you guys about the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and those featuring their little brother, Spider-Man. Today, I’m returning to the hero that gave the genre his name: Superman. We’re going to look at all the performers who have worn the S on the silver screen before the current holder of the mantle. Fans of Henry Cavill, don’t worry, he’ll have his day, but not until I take a look at the DC Extended Universe. And if you want to keep track of my progress in-between articles, there’s a Letterboxd list just for that purpose.

    So let’s talk about Hollywood’s first Superman, Christopher Ree--...
    06-23-2018, 01:01 PM
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