Saturday, August 19, 2017

Starbolts #360: Hacking the Firewall


This week Talinn Bandjora from Nightstrike lends Jack and Ice Phoenix a hand after hacking the proverbial firewall between realms.  I added a little bit of a character moment for Kaori since we don't really have a lot on her. She's a young Japanese witch who is slowly learning the ropes. She's got a lot to learn and hopefully her friends in Nightstrike can help her out! We also see the spirits of Soldier Six still lingering about. Those ghosts are gonna be haunting Snake forever. Good. He deserves to be haunted!

Talinn and the rest of Nightstrike for those who don't know was originally created by my dearly departed friend Mike. Here's hoping I am doing him justice! The character is a demon bounty hunter and he's been in the comic before. I just revised his look several times. A long time ago he looked like a green Garazo. I had to change that fast!

Anyway, enjoy this week's comic! More action is coming soon!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Starbolts #359: Call of the Ice Phoenix


This week we have the origin of the Ice Phoenix! Icey was a member of a Persian caravan in the 15th century. This means she is of Middle Eastern descent. I wonder what she'll make of the modern world when/if she makes it to Jack's time. We'll find out soon enough. We'll also find out if Roc is still hanging around after so many centuries. Chances are it is. However, getting to Persia, now modern Iran, may be a wee bit tricky. If the Starbolts help her, she'll get there with relative ease I am sure. International laws? What's that? Take a shuttlecraft right to the mountain!

Icey's bird form went through a few design changes and I'm not completely sold on the form in the last two panels. I may alter it in the future. I have a good reason why it's like this right now, though. Being cut off from Earth has weakened the Ice Phoenix's power. She's still strong. However, to reach her full potential, she must get back to Earth. She never got the full training Roc could have given her.

Just think. Ice Phoenix could have been the Starboltsverse's first superhero. The world sadly had to wait until the onset of World War II before the supers emerged again.  Or did it? =P

I liken Icey's bird transformation sequence to that of the Sorceress's transformation in He-Man back in the day. I always thought that was cool. Sure the bird form was a lot smaller, but, the homage is here. Here's hoping she'll fit in with Earth's mighitiest!

Enjoy the comic! See ya next time! 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Starbolts #358: Enter the Ice Phoenix


This is the first of two comics this week! I wanted to show what Jack has been up to since he went after Cobra and Zarantha not too long ago. It seems he got amnesia and has met a friend named Ice Phoenix. I should talk a little about her.

Ice Phoenix was the screen name of a friend of mine from way back in the day. Like back when modems still had dial ups. THAT far back. We met at a comic message board and eventually someone got the bright idea to put us all in a huge fanfic. Icey's character was a blue haired woman who obviously controlled ice.  That character went by the wayside when Icey created someone similar for her own stories involving the world of Pokemon. Her name was Arti Cuno. Eventually, Icey changed her screen name to Faeore and well, the rest is history. In fact, she has even continued the adventures of Arti Cuno and her friends in several new stories. She does art from time to time and I've posted them on my facebook page which you can see here:

Fae's work can also be seen here:

I went to Fae and asked her if I could bring Ice Phoenix into the world of the Starbolts. I gave her a concept art of the sprite and said it was a thank you for all the art she did for me over the years. This Ice Phoenix, though, has a totally different origin than the one she made and we will see that, soon. I ran it by her and she accepted and here she is. She likes the idea of Ice Phoenix being practically reborn eighteen years since her debut in a long forgotten story. I barely remember the details of it because it was so long ago!

Now the Ice Phoenix has been reborn! What does it mean for our heroes? What is her connection to Zarantha? Find out this weekend!

Oh and I really like the jab I had at creating a monster which was a recolor of the Aquan War God. That was cool.

And before I go, be sure to check out my fiftieth episode of Comic Showcase!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Starbolts #357: Farewell, Titanus


Its finally here! Dennis has said his goodbyes to the Starbolts and is off to find the Inobe. Wherever they are. Will he find them? Time will tell. It is a long shot. I had fun doing this week's comic. I kind of wish I put a Leonid in there with Crystal's parents. That would be a FUN interrogation scene! At least we have an Aquan and a Setleth being the good cop/bad cop routine. We may see those two again, too. It depends, really. There's probably gonna be a hearing and Crystal will have to take part in it.

As one Starbolt leaves, two get really close together in light of everything that's gone on. Marcus and Crystal have professed their love for each other after this harrowing adventure. Drama like this tends to bring people together. In this case, Marcus has had an attraction to Crystal from almost the beginning. She, too. Events were then put into motion and here they are. What will become of this? Stay tuned!

More Starbolts action is coming soon!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Homecoming Review

Hey, everyone!

I just got back from seeing what I think is the second best Spider-Man movie of all time. That isn't to say Spider-Man Homecoming is bad. No, no. Far from it! It's amazing, spectacular and all that fun stuff. I just liked Spider-Man 2 a bit more than this one. I know several people feel the same way I do. And if you know me, you know how huge a fan I am of the webhead. Spider-Man 2 is my favorite of the Sam Raimi movies and Homecoming is on par with being almost as good. I never really liked the Mark Webb movies as that Spidey came off more like a jerk than anything else and that's not who Spider-Man is.

Here's what I liked about the movie. I liked how the suit was a clear reference to the Steve Ditko era of Spider-Man complete with the webbing under his arms. The eyes, too, hearkened back to that era. It makes sense because this Spidey is just starting out. He's had his powers for a few months and is slowly learning the ropes so to speak.

A lot of people were also worried about how much Tony Stark was in the movie. I'm glad he was kept to a minimum. At the same time, I see why they had him in there as well as a certain star spangled Avenger. They wanted to show that Spidey is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the rest of them. And now he joins the ranks of the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Defenders, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the new Freeform shows in one cohesive universe. Even if he's on loan from Sony as part of the deal. It's good to see him here and I can't wait to see him in Avengers: Infinity War.

What I didn't like about the movie was how it dragged on a little. I mean some of the stuff could have been cut down. But, it was okay. They wanted to show a side of the Spider-Man universe we didn't get to see much of in previous movies. We saw Peter in high school. He was in high school for like ten minutes in the Sam Raimi movies and not long in Mark Webb. It's good to see that aspect of his life as we see where he came from.

I also didn't mind that we didn't get an uncle Ben mention. I mean saying "Aunt May had a rough year" was enough to make you say "Ohh". And we do get a mention of the spider bite. Just never shown. It's good that they skipped the origin as we have seen it many times before.

Michael Keaton was amazing as the Vulture and in a way I'm glad they made us almost feel sorry for the guy.  I don't want to spoil anything, but, he really tried to help his family. Sure he went about it the wrong way. The motivation was clear at least.

The rest of the cast did an amazing job. Marissa Tormei's Aunt May was nurturing like in the comics. Her being younger is fine by me as long as she can act. The rest of cast did a great job and played well like Peter/Spidey's supporting cast usually does in the comics. Great stuff from them and I'm glad Flash was more a rival than Peter's bully. I wonder if he'll become Agent Venom some day. Time will tell.

As for our main character? I love this iteration of Spider-Man! Holland nails the perfect combination of Peter's nerdiness, shyness and stuff. At the same time, he seems to get that Spidey jokes a joke a minute and comments on stuff with a wisecrack or two. This, I feel, was sorely missing in the Raimi movies. In Webb's version they tried. But, he came off so much like a jerk to me that I was turned off. You need to find the right balance and here we actually have it. For me it's like Spidey leaped from the pages of the comic and onto the screen flawlessly.

This is where the MCU shines. I know I am kissing up to them, but, Marvel Studios gets the characters. They do them justice. They try and give everyone a great project and nine times out of ten they give us something solid. They give us an action adventure and a story with a moral. That's really what made the comics so endearing and stand the test of time. It's why everyone has loved Spidey and the rest of Marvel's heroes, villians, mutants, monsters and Marvels.
Spider-Man Homecoming is a great dive back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You won't need to watch all the MCU movies to get what's happening. Just know that your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is back home and will be there for some time to come if these box office numbers keep rising.  It's good to see you in the MCU, Spidey! Keep swinging!

Oh and I loved the Spider-Man '67 intro with the Marvel logo! That was classy!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Starbolts #356: The Bowling Green Massacre


This week's comic took a while as I had family up. Still, you gotta love how timely the comic's title is. I know there isn't a real massacre here, but, spoilers...The fake one wasn't a massacre, either! SHH! So, it works on both levels. Anyway, Firaxil is rightfully annoyed at humans and now that he's back at the house things could go two ways.

1. He leaves without incident.

2. The Arronfelds open their big yaps and cause a scene.

I'm thinking the second one will happen! Things never go smoothly in this line of work. Poor guy needs a break. We shall see what happens next time!

I still haven't seen Spider-Man: Homecoming. I shall plan on doing so and then make a blog post about it. Heard good things! I hope it's...AMAZING! =P