Star Wars: Deceived – Book Trailer

Deceived is the newest Star Wars novel to be released on March 22nd 2011. It is by Paul S. Kemp (Michigan resident! Whoo Hoo!) who has already written two other Star Wars Novels so far: Crosscurrent and the forthcoming Riptide. Deceived takes place in the Old Republic era to coincide with events that will take place in the soon to be released MMORPG. Check it out below:

The trailer seems to be a couple of clips from the first two ‘Old Republic’ trailers, while the last clip is entirely new to me. The story focuses on Darth Malgus, who is a pretty big bad ass, and based on an excerpt I read from Deceived, may have a bit more to his character than just a mindless Sith warrior. The video below is how the novel begins:

And here is yet another trailer for the Old Republic starring Darth Malgus. This guy can really take a beating. What happens to him at the end is why he has to wear his imitation Darth Vader mask in the Deceived trailer.

I can’t wait for the book to come out because Paul S. Kemp is a brilliant writer, especially in the Star Wars world. He has already shown that he can write a Sith character well beyond the generic bloodthirsty killer role they play in a lot of stories. Don’t get me wrong, Sith are bloodthirsty killers, but they all have a past. Kemp touched on this in his Crosscurrent with the Sith Lord Saes Rrogon. In one of the preview excerpts from Deceived, Malgus’s past life is delved into briefly, hopefully we get to see more in the rest of the book.

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Spidey Suit Poll

Looking back on my first Spiderman Suit article, I thought maybe I didn’t give enough choices in the poll and some people (*cough* Ms. Shaw) thought that the original suit should have been included. I agree and thought it would be fun not only to do another poll but take a look back at all of the other Spiderman suits from over the years. For better or worse.

And here we go:

Stealth Spidey                India Spidey                 Spiderman 2099          Ben Reilly Clone
Stealth Spidey, India Spidey, Spiderman 2099, Ben Reilly Clone
Electro Insulated             Iron Spider                 Black Armor Spidey    Silver Armor Spidey
Electro Insulated, Iron Spider, Black Armor Spidey, Silver Armor Spidey

 

Scarlet Spider              Cosmic Spidey,            Black Suit Spidey        Future Foundation
Scarlet Spider, Cosmic Spidey, Black Suit Spidey, Future Foundation
Baghead Spidey               Spider Thor                    Spider Ham                 Spider Carnage
Baghead Spidey, Spider Thor, Spider Ham, Spider Carnage

And the best for last:

The Original Red and Blue! (And my favorite cover)

Whether there are too many choices or not enough please vote in the poll below!

Star Wars Comics Aplenty: Knight Errant/Invasion/Dark Times

You will be happy to know, unless you hate Star Wars, that Darkhorse is set to continue three story arcs on three titles coming soon according to TheForce.Net.

Knight Errant

Let’s start with Knight Errant, my least favorite title out of the three, but still a good bit of Star Wars, opening up the time period between Knights of the Old Republic and the rise of Darth Bane.

Darth_Bane

This title features a strong female lead named Kerra Holt, a Jedi Knight who is forced to wage war alone against the Sith Lord brothers Odion and Daiman after her master is slain. To add to the drama, Sith Lord Odion is also the one responsible for attacking Kerra’s home planet and killing her parents. Talk about having a grudge against someone.

Odion and Daiman are an interesting couple of Sith Lords, despite being brothers they have been at war with one another for years and are a total antithesis to one another. Odion promotes only death and destruction to his followers, while Daiman believes that he is the creator of all living things in the universe. Daiman is a little more interesting to me, seeing how much he changes to make himself believe that he is a God. Everyone in his service addressed him with “As my Lord already know” before telling him something and he even has all written text changed to his own alphabet. Freakin’ nutjob.

The first story arc Aflame started off strong and maintained it’s momentum throughout until the very last issue, though seemed a little abrupt for my taste.  For anyone unable to wait for the next arc titled Deluge, which sees Kerra returning to her homeworld, then I would suggest picking up the novel Knight Errant. The book takes place after Aflame, but before Deluge. The book is a little less action packed than the first comic arc but definitely adds great insight into the current Sith Empire’s goals and power structure.

From left to right: Kerra Holt, Lord Daiman, Lord Odion
From left to right: Kerra Holt, Lord Daiman, Lord Odion

Invasion

The next series, Invasion, takes place 21 years after Return of The Jedi, in between the 19 novels of the New Jedi Order Series. The New Jedi Order chronicles the Yuuzhan Vong War, an invasion from outside the Star Wars galaxy by a race of aliens sharing the same name as the war. The Yuuzhan Vong are undetectable through the force, have highly adaptable biotechnology, and a high tolerance for pain. Understandably this makes for a good time in the comics and gives the Jedi a challenge trying to slice and dice the Vong. Invasion which is now coming up on its third story arc, begins with the Vong invading the peaceful planet of Artorias. At this point the war is only in its beginning stages, but the first battle and the death of our beloved Chewbacca has already come to pass.

Chewie’s last stand

From that world comes our protagonist in the form of Finn Galfridian, son of the king of Artorias. Thankfully he isn’t the spoiled annoying kid you would imagine of a royal offspring, instead he is a Jedi in training who has a score to settle with the invaders who destroyed his home. Plus he has a cool droid name Prowl, who can act as Finn’s eyes and ears through a pair of nifty data goggles.

Finn and Prowl along with some really pissed off Yuuzhan Vong!
Finn and Prowl along with some really pissed off Yuuzhan Vong!

And no, Data Goggles with a programmable floating droid are not real.

Dark Times

The third and last series to continue is the depressing but awesome Dark Times, which of course refers to the events following Revenge of the Sith. In this time period star systems are savagely oppressed by the Empire, and remaining Jedi and being purged from the galaxy. Our main character is Jedi Master Dass Jennir once again. Jennir is a Jedi who has crossed the line a couple times, acting very un-Jedi and blasting a couple unarmed bad guys directly in the face. Sure they deserved it, but the whole ‘Dark Side’ thing is still in effect. After being in the first story arc of Dark Times, on the run from the Empire, Jennir sat out the second arc before returning to the fray in the excellent Blue Harvest storyline.

Wait, not this one…

In Blue Harvest Jennir is roaming from place to place while keeping a lid on his Jedi identity. He passes time by taking up bounties that do not conflict with the Jedi code and trying to stay alive. Then a bounty takes him to a planet where he plays two rival gangs of slavers against one another to meet their mutual destruction. [Ed. – Much like in the 1927 novel ‘Red Harvest’, which inspired the movie ‘Yojimbo’. That was directed by Akira Kurosawa, who also did the movie ‘The Hidden Fortress’ which was later ripped off remade into ‘Star Wars’ in 1977. ‘Yojimbo’ also has a few remakes – ‘A Fist Full of Dollars’ starring Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis’ ‘Last Man Standing’ ]

The story arc had a very ‘Clint Eastwood/Western’ feel to it, and Doug Wheatley’s art is once again rich in detail. It seems as if in the next arc (coming in August) that Jennir will draw the ire of none other than Darth Vader. I’m hoping this won’t be the end of the road for him, but with Darth Vader coming after you the odds don’t stack in your favor.

The many looks of Jedi Master Jennir
The many looks of Jedi Master Jennir

It’s going to be a good summer with these three titles starting up again following the now ending Star Wars: Legacy comic book. I fully expect them to exceed the previous arcs and add to the ongoing space opera that is Star Wars.

OSU’s Jim Tressel: The Sweater Vest is Dead to Me

There’s a Scarlet and Gray elephant in the NCAA room. The ‘Sweater Vest’ himself, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, has admitted to withholding information from the NCAA for 8 months pertaining to violations. These violations later lead to the suspensions of players for selling memorabilia and keepsakes in exchange for tattoos and other benefits.

The current punishment? Two games and $250,000. This naturally brings up questions regarding proper punishment and leadership.

– Does the punishment fit the crime?
– Should Tressel be fired?
– Does the football team demonstrate a lack of institutional control?
– Are we even surprised at this point?

Before I go further, for those that do not know who I am, I did attend THE Ohio State University. I do have a love for the Buckeyes that my home state of Michigan claims would be unnatural. I have seen both sides of the rivalry and have been booed at my high school graduation when they announced I was bucking (pun intended) the trend and heading to Columbus. I even shared a dorm with the infamous Maurice Clarett.

I expect to be accused of being an Ohio State slappy, but that is just the way it rolls. I am in a position to comment, because I follow OSU’s athletics and have an understanding to how the Sweater Vest works.

I did meet Jim Tressel once, back in 2001. I shook his hand as he welcomed me, well me and the rest of the class of 2005 to the campus. He had a firm, strong handshake and was poised in delivering his speech to us freshman. It was his first year and he wanted to let us know we will be proud of our football team in two months, when they march into the University of Michigan and beat the Wolverines. He did keep his word on victory. However, pride in my team has wavered in the last decade.

Jim Tressel and Ohio State got off on the right foot. We beat Michigan in his first year as head coach and won a national championship the next year. That was then followed however, with the debacle of academic fraud concerning the aforementioned Clarett.

After that mess, Ohio State settled into the groove of being the BCS representative of the Big Ten, sending numerous players to the NFL, and gathering hatred from fans all around. Then the Troy Smith booster scandal happened and our Quarterback was suspended for the Alamo Bowl in 2004, as well as the first two games of the 2005 season.

Tressel has always carried a reputation of having issues with player benefits, resulting in NCAA eyeballs starring his way since his years at D-I AA (now Division I’s Football Championship Subdivision) Youngstown State. He was pretty much the Pete Carroll equivalent of the Midwest. Some diehard fans though argued that some team and coach had to fill the role of ‘most hated’ during the last few weeks of the regular season. Seeing OSU as undeserving of the praise in the national eye due to the disasters against the SEC in the BCS Championship games that capped off the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

The Buckeyes always a chip on their shoulder and seem to always be under a scrutinizing eye. Their reasoning was that they were elite and people always want to take down Goliath. Others though said that the team was only good because they let the players do whatever the hell they want. Naturally, evidence in May 2009 reported by The Columbus Dispatch, shows that Ohio State reported to the NCAA more than 375 violations. That number is staggering, but I think what is most alarming is that most of the violations resulted in little or no punishment.

When the ‘Tat Five’, the athletes punished that are at the heart of this issue, were handed their suspensions, it was laughable and frustrating. Laughable because the compliance office at Ohio State is a joke, saying that they never had the chance to educate the athletes about giving autographs for benefits being in violation, or that selling their awards would also result in some form of punishment. Frustrating because these athletes that had these awards bestowed upon them for sharing in one of the best rivalries in sports, threw school pride out the window and took the cash.

I looked for Tressel to provide leadership, to set the example these men need to follow. Show them that what they did is a slap in the face to the fans, and let us face it – stupid, because their eligibility was on the line. All I got was the Big Ten Commissioner and Ohio State stepping in and getting their star players on the field for a BCS game followed by pointless suspensions during the mostly fluff schedule in 2011.

Weak as it was, I was willing to forgive the stupidity of the punishment, mostly because as a fan, I wanted to win the damn Arkansas game, and I hated Ryan Mallett. Tressel supposedly stepped in and got promises from these players. Promises to serve the suspensions and make sure they learn from the whole experience. Yet here I sit, writing an article asking why this was necessary.

Let’s face it; Coach Tressel is not going to miss his $250,000. Ohio State will give him yet another extension in two years that will easily cover the salary loss. He will sleep at night soundly. Jim Tressel owns Ohio State. The president of OSU Gordon Gee was asked whether he’d considered dismissing Tressel, Gee’s response:

“No. Are you kidding me? I just hope the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”

That’s strong leadership, and maybe that is the problem. No one is willing to tell Coach Tressel to put aside football and just think about being the poised leader, the person that Buckeye nation looks up to, a person that is supposed to represent integrity for Ohio State. That person currently does not exist. I just see a coach that will do anything to put himself in the best position to win. He is not going be fired because it is his sole job to win football games. Winning football games generates money for the university so really, who is going to challenge his authority?

I get that he wants to cover for these players but really, what are we teaching here? That people are above the system? Whether it’s the players using their fame for profit, or the coach keeping information to increase his competitive advantage, I was promised I was going to be proud of my university. All I got was a lousy handshake.

Oh Charlie Sheen, How Awesome You’ve Become…

My feelings on TWO AND A HALF MEN are no secret – I hate it. Or should I say – hated it.

However, I have a confession to make, I think I love Charlie Sheen now. Over the last 2 weeks he has done numerous interviews in which he has let us know he is the Baddest Mother F**ker on the planet.

“I’m an F-18, bro, and I will destroy you in the air and deploy my ordinance to the ground.”

“The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning.”

“I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-winning. I win here and I win there.”

“I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”

“I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars.”

“People can’t figure me out, they can’t process me, I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with the normal brain.”

“[A.A.] was written for normal people, people that aren’t special. People that don’t have tiger blood, you know, Adonis DNA.”

“I think I’m worth over a 100 BILLION dollars, but that’s just on a cellular level.”

Well amidst all this sheer awesome-ness, Sheen found time to take a break from praising himself and attack TWO AND A HALF MEN creator Chuck Lorre. (tell me this isn’t the worst fricking resume ever)

“I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words — imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists.”

WINNING!!! But wait, there’s more…

“Everybody thinks I should be begging for my job back, and I’m just forewarn them, that it’s everybody else that’s gonna be begging me for their job back,” he said. “I’m a man of my word. So I will finish the TV show, I’ll even do season 10, but at this point, because of psychological distress, oh my god, it’s three mill an episode. Take it or leave it.”

When asked by the interviewer if Sheen, who currently rakes in about $2 million an episode, was genuinely demanding another six figures a week, the actor confirmed it.

“Well, yeah, look what they put me through. I’m underpaid right now, sure. If you look at the money they’re making, yeah, it’s ridiculous. I’m tired of pretending that I’m not special.”

So following his demand for a raise?

March 7th, 2011 – WARNER BROTHERS FIRES CHARLIE SHEEN! You can read the full letter HERE. If you don’t want to read the full 11 pages, there is a summary below…

From TMZ:

[box_light] In the 11-page letter, obtained from sources connected to Charlie, Warner Bros. states, “Your client has been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill.”

The letter then goes on to describe Charlie’s hijinks, including trashing the Plaza Hotel in NYC, coke binges, on-set failures because of drug fatigue, and diatribes against “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre.

The letter also notes that Charlie derailed production when he went into rehab, and then he fired his sobriety coach. In fact, Warner Bros. claims it was so concerned about Charlie’s well-being, “Warner Bros. had an airplane waiting” to take him to a treatment facility … but Charlie would have none of it.

As for why Charlie got fired, the letter says there is a clause in his contract saying they can fire a performer who commits “a felony offense involving moral turpitude.”

The letter says, “There is ample evidence supporting Warner Bros. reasonable good faith opinion that Mr. Sheen has committed felony offenses involving moral turpitude (including but not limited to furnishing of cocaine to others as part of the self-destructive lifestyle he has described publicly) that have ‘interfere[d] with his ability to fully and completely render all material services required’ under the agreement.”

In short, that’s why Charlie was fired.

Charlie’s lawyer, Marty Singer, has demanded Warner Bros. pay Charlie for the eight canceled episodes — or else. Warner Bros. seems undaunted by the threat, even reserving its right to take legal action against Charlie. [/box_light]

WOW. Thank you Charlie, you’ve truly done a service for the quality of Television.

Web Credits
Warming Glow: Meme Watch: Charlie Sheen Quotes
Warming Glow: Finally: Gregory Brothers Auto-Tune Charlie Sheen
Charlie is Winning: Quotes
Q’s link on Facebook to ‘This is 50’ – Warner Brothers FIRES Sheen
E! Online – Sheen Demands Raise

Conveyors of Common Sense…