Last week Marvel’s event three years in the making ended anti-climatically with a last page that was an advertisement for this week’s one-shot, “Secret Invasion: Dark Reign”.
I have loved the team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev since they began their run on “Daredevil” in 2001. Maleev’s gritty, yet realistic artwork complemented Bendis’ down-to-earth dialogue perfectly for a dirty, street level character like Daredevil. These three ingredients sparked one of the greatest runs in comic book history, so it’s easy to see why Marvel would use this team to launch the new direction of the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, the Marvel Universe is not one-size-fits-all, and what works on Daredevil won’t necessarily work for the Avengers.
And so, without further ado, we move into Dark Reign. I would like to start with the cover. Now, I am a guy, which means I love, shall we put it, well drawn women. I mean, at least as much as the next breathing male. But let’s compare Emma Frost and the new, improved Loki. Emma looks, well, great, but Loki, even for an Asgardian seems a litlle…. well… too well built. The old joke used to be that there is only one letter difference between wow and cow and before I get into any more trouble, I will leave it at that.
The art was okay, which is a subject I usually don’t opine on. Sure, I like good art from bad, but I’m more of a plot and story person. But it was alright except for Namor who is drawn to resemble the bum he was when Johnny Storm found him 45 years ago, but with a bad shave. Facially, not good and the hair is too short. Just doesn’t look like Sub-Mariner to me, but with Atlantis destroyed for the 78th or 79th time, I suppose we can give him a pass.
But the story… that I liked. This ill-Illuminati seems to be off to a good start. The members distrust each other even more than the hero’s illuminati. Everyone has his or her own agenda. They all want to kill the boss. Good stuff. And the fact that Norman has someone hiding in the shadows who worries even this group of baddies is cool. But who is it?
Did you ever watch Murder She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury? There are only six people in the story. Jessica Fletcher didn’t do it. The victim didn’t do it. That just leaves 4 suspects and we hope we can figure out the clues before the last scene. In comics, we can have a 500 issue limited series with clues in 499 of them pointing to one guy and in issue 500 the author changes his mind or just misled us and it is someone else. After one issue of “Dare Reign,” I have premliminary thoughts. It has to be someone of immense power to intimidate these guys. Doom mentions a battle shaking this dimension. And as long as we don’t need a rational motive for our mystery man to help Normie, my first guess is Mephisto or someone like him. The Beyonder isn’t a bad guy. Galactus couldn’t care less. An Elder of the Universe? It certainly isn’t Ant-man.
Who do you think?
So, remember all that Vanishing Point hoopla that was going on earlier this year, which included Loki throwing out puzzle after puzzle (heck, and even taking over the Bellagio)? Well, the final puzzle was the task of figuring out exactly who Loki was, and the person who did that first would get their name inscribed into a limited run of AMD Athlon processors. Audrey Murphy came out on top in this one, as you saw in our video coverage of the announcement, and won the right to have her name become a part of technology history. We got our hands on one of the chips, and have put up a gallery that features a sample of what the chips might look like. As you can see, she put her name on there along with her husband’s, and then thanked a couple of sites that gave them support during the content. Check out the gallery for a few more shots. Congratulations, Audrey!
Read More | AMD Vanishing Point Chip Gallery
When Microsoft threw the final Vanishing Point bash in Seattle, we made sure we were there to see what all the fuss was about. In this episode, we interview those who made the contest happen, and talk about some of the prizes. Want to know all about the grande prize trip to space? It’s in here…
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
At 6:30 PM on January 8, Loki made her latest appearance as promised on VanishingPointGame.com. Her video cut into one of the fountain performances at the Bellagio hotel, giving out the latest clues and puzzles in the Vanishing Point game and contest, where one winner will win a trip to outer space, the “Ultimate Vista.” We were there to capture it.
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Here you go guys, the full, entire video that was sent to us by “Loki” - the Enigma Director - as part of Microsoft’s Vanishing Point game. Give it a watch, and see if you can pick out any clues that we may be missing. So far, we have shown you what Loki sent us - the Vista Media Center computer, and laid out all the Vanishing Point clues that we have so far in video. All that’s left for you to do is continue brainstorming, and continue watching for clues. Who knows, maybe you’ll win.
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Okay guys, something is definitely up at Microsoft as far as it pertains to the launch of Windows Vista. It looks like they are putting quite a bit of their marketing budget behind a very “outside the box” way of spreading the buzz - and we aren’t talking about full-page spreads in PC Magazine. Earlier today, DHL dropped off a ridiculously large box at the Gear Live headquarters in Seattle, WA. We opened it up, and found a brand new, Windows Vista-based Media Center PC. This particular one is made by Velocity Micro, and it’s loaded to the max.
Now, normally, this is nothing out of the ordinary, as we tend to get a multitude of deliveries each and every week that we review, unbox, and give our overall impressions on - but this was different, as a fairly cryptic note was included in the box that read:
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
So this Vanishing Point thing that Microsoft has going on is in full swing. Some think it’s silly, others are intrigued. Us? We think it’s an extremely ingenious way for them to get the buzz out there about Windows Vista, and we think that whoever wins is going to get a nice, big prize. We mean, like, really big. Nonetheless, Microsoft sent us a Windows Media Center PC loaded with Windows Vista Ultimate and Office 2007. This thing is the real deal with an AMD Athlon FX 5000+ dual core processor, 2 GB DDR-800 RAM, two 400 GB hard drives in a RAID 1 configuration, and a bunch of other extras. It seems most everyone else we know got a Ferrari laptop.
For all the info on what we know so far, check out this episode of the show. So see everything laid out, you can check the post we made specifically regarding the Vanishing Point clues.
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