The Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future!! (Or, Critical Missives Presents: A Viewer’s Guide to Gotham: Season 1!!) (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8 or Night 9 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Hello! Welcome to Night 10 of The 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Television

Today we’re going to preview what I hope will become a semi-regular feature here on Critical Missives:  Episode Guides for comic-book TV shows! We’ve been teasing these for awhile now, but the 12 Nights of Clix-mas has finally given us the chance we needed to make it a reality! First up will be a FOX Freshman series about a cop. Who lives in a very dangerous city. Today, we’re just publishing a recap of the Pilot, but the full article (which should come in early January, smack dab in the middle of the Heroclix Dead Zone) will have every episode that has run to that point! We’ll also make that page stick so that we can keep adding to it as the season continues.

After the Gotham project’s done, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be next, followed by Flash!

Having said all that, enjoy the preview!

 

"The name's Gordon!"

The name’s Gordon!”

We’ve seen the first half of the first season of GOTHAM, so buckle in–it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

 

Gotham Title

 

Series Overview:

Gotham tells the story of Commissioner James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival.

Season Overview:

The first season of Gotham is the story of the distinguished war veteran and perpetually serious-faced James Gordon, who comes back to his hometown of Gotham to take a job as a detective with the GPD. His private agenda is to fight the corruption eating at the city’s core by helping to solve as many crimes as he can while also exposing the misdeeds of those in power, but he is alternately impeded and aided by his partner, Harvey Bullock. He also quickly finds out very quickly that his new job has put his girlfriend, Barbara, in harm’s way.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Meanwhile, gangster Fish Mooney bides her time as a lieutenant in the Falcone crime empire as she waits for the perfect time to dispatch her boss, Carmine Falcone, and take over, but her plans take a detour when her confidence is betrayed by one of her own employees, a violent, passive-aggressive young man named Oswald Cobblepot…

Showrunner: Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist)

Main Cast:

Ben McKenzie…………………………………………..(James Gordon)

Donal Logue……………………………………………..(Harvey Bullock)

Jada Pinkett Smith…………………………………..(Fish Mooney)

Robin Lord Taylor……………………………………(Oswald Cobblepot)

John Doman……………………………………………..(Carmine Falcone)

Erin Richards……………………………………………(Barbara Kean)

Zabryna Guevara……………………………………..(Sarah Essen)

Camren Bicondova……………………………………(Selina Kyle)

Cory Michael Smith………………………………….(Edward Nygma)

Sean Pertwee……………………………………………(Alfred Pennyworth)

David Mazouz…………………………………………..(Bruce Wayne)

 

Recurring Cast:

Victoria Cartagena……………………………………(Renee Montoya)

Andrew Stewar-Jones………………………………(Crispus Allen)

Drew Powell……………………………………………..(Butch Gilzean)

J.W. Cortes……………………………………………….(Detective Alvarez)

Richard Kind…………………………………………….(Mayor Aubrey James)

Makenzie Leigh………………………………………..(Lisa)

Claire Foley………………………………………………(Ivy Pepper)

David Zayas……………………………………………..(Sal Maroni)

Carol Kane……………………………………………….(Gertrude Kapelput)

Nicholas D’Agosto…………………………………….(Harvey Dent)

 

Episode 1.01: “Pilot

Gordon Wayne Pilot

Written By: Bruno Heller

Directed By: Danny Cannon

Tonight, on Gotham… : James Gordon, Gotham PD’s newest detective, is partnered with grizzled veteran cop Harvey Bullock by their Captain, Sarah Essen. The city is rife with violence and corruption, which sickens Gordon, who has come back to his hometown to do his best to clean it up. Bullock, for his part, seems to be every bit the sort of “dirty” cop that Gordon is crusading against. Before either can object to their pairing, however, they’re assigned to the investigation of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, two titans of the Gotham business, political and social landscapes.

Bruce-Wayne-in-the-Gotham-TV-show

The case soon takes them through the Gotham City underworld where they encounter Fish Mooney, a ruthless lieutenant in the Falcone crime family. Eventually Mooney’s information leads Gordon and Bullock to corner their lead suspect, Mario Pepper, but Bullock is forced to kill him before Pepper can assault Gordon.

Back at the station, Gordon and Bullock are applauded as the heroes who solved the Wayne murders, although something isn’t sitting right with Gordon. Against Harvey’s objection, Gordon journeys to Wayne Manor to speak with Bruce Wayne–Thomas and Martha’s young son who is now in the care of the family butler, Alfred–so that he can tell Bruce that he screwed up; Mario Pepper wasn’t the guy who killed their parents.

Eventually, a witness to the killings comes forward. Street urchin Selina Kyle was there when the Waynes were murdered, and she may know who did it.

Meanwhile, Fish Mooney finds out that Gordon is still investigating what should be a closed case, and she dispatches a team to kill Gordon and Bullock. Before the hit goes down, however, Carmine Falcone finally makes an appearance and gives Gordon and Bullock a reprieve–provided that Gordon “plays ball.”

Previously, Fish had determined that none other than her little errand boy, Oswald Cobblepot, was the one who tipped Gordon off in the first place about Pepper not being the real killer, so Carmine orders Bullock to have Gordon execute Cobblepot. Gordon, realizing he has no choice, walks Cobblepot down to the edge of a pier with a gun to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot begs for his life and says that there’s a war coming to Gotham. He’s seen it coming for awhile now, and he can help avert it.

Gordon Cobblepot

When they arrive at the end of the pier, Gordon can only whisper one sentence to Cobblepot before he aims his gun: “Don’t come back to Gotham.”

Gordon pulls the trigger and fires–right NEXT to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot falls into the water and Bullock is now satisfied that Gordon’s “gotten his hands dirty” by murdering Cobblepot. Gordon can keep his life–and his job–for now.

In the very last scene, a startled fisherman could have sworn he just saw something move in the water. He looks to investigate, but finds nothing. Then he turns around and finds Cobblepot standing there with the fisherman’s own fillet knife. Before the fisherman can run, Cobblepot brutally slices his neck open.

Oswald

Reaction: There was a lot going on in the Pilot–arguably too much. Gordon is really kind of one-note so far, and Bullock is painfully over the top, to the point that Logue really looks uneasy in the role. That will change (mostly because Logue gets more comfortable as the writing gets better), but Bullock is tough to take seriously in these first few episodes.

Fish Mooney is the one major character (so far) that the writers have cooked up exclusively for the show (meaning she isn’t based on a comics counterpart), and the verdict is still out. I like the concept of her (although the name is awful–it would be more at home in a Dick Tracy comic than a Batman story); the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith (who I normally love) seems to be trying to channel Eartha Kitt with each of her line readings is really distracting. The writers clearly love her, because they put her in almost every scene. Still, the whole momentum of the show seems to grind to a halt.

The actors playing Alfred and Bruce are good, but it already seems like it’s going to be tough to shoehorn them into the story every week. Leaving the Waynes’ murder unsolved will give Gordon a reason to check in with them every now and then, but so far Pertwee seems almost wasted as Alfred. An episode or two detailing his backstory (which is quite adventurous, at least in the comics) and why he’s so devoted to the Wayne family would go a long way.

These sorts of problems are actually common for a pilot, as everyone–including the writers–is still sort of feeling their way around. But the biggest find in terms of the cast is Robin Lord Taylor. He’s the one actor on this show who had a clear idea of what he wanted to do with his character from the get go, and he really pops in every scene he’s in, whether it’s well written or not. The writers will grow to lean heavily on Cobblepot as the series goes on, and this is in no small part due to Taylor’s performance.

The one thing the show really has going for it is the cinematography. This show looks gorgeous. They got the feel and atmosphere just about dead on. If I lived in Gotham, this is what I’d expect to see when I looked around. I know some folks aren’t sold–they still have the hyper-realized production design from the Tim Burton movies fresh in their mind. But for my money, this aspect of the production was a home run.

Overall, Gotham’s first episode has a shaky foundation, but there are definitely some intriguing elements to build on.

Verdict: C-

 

And there ya go! Look for the full Episode Guide in January!

And now that you’ve seen the Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future, come back Christmas Eve night for a special Ninwashui-penned “Christmas Carol”-style look at Heroclix…

How To Clinch The Central!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 09/28/2014!!)

Roundup

Howdy! It’s time for another edition of our patented Roundups! Why publish an update now, in the middle of the week? Well, a lot has happened in the last two weeks!

In the world of Michigan sports alone:

–Baseball’s regular season has finally ended, and the Tigers finished in first place in the AL Central. Finally! Here’s what the scene looked like in and around Comerica Park:

Noted baseball fans Barry Allen and Wally West run by the stadium wearing Tigers colors! (Not gonna lie, they were hard to capture on film!)

Noted baseball fans Barry Allen and Wally West run by the stadium wearing Tigers colors! (Barry was in the home whites; Wally was wearing the navy gear. And yes, that’s Ford Field–where the Lions play–right behind them. For any non-southeastern Michigan readers, the Lions and Tigers play right next to each other!)

 

Fans exiting the stadium. That's the Ren Cen in the skyline there.

Fans exiting the stadium. That’s the Ren Cen in the skyline there.

 

Folks ready to celebrate in downtown Detroit.

Folks ready to celebrate in downtown Detroit.

Now, here’s where it gets weird. After the Tigers beat Minnesota to clinch the division, two cops on horseback came out onto the grass near the fence in left-center field (by the bullpens.) There, they milled about for just two minutes or so, and then left. And that’s when I noticed something strange on the warning track:

photo (19)

Hmmm…” I thought, “That’s strange. Lemme see if I can zoom in a bit. That can’t be what I think it is... ”

"Oh yeah. That's what I thought it was."

Oh yeah. That’s what I thought it was.

Yep. An explosion of horsecrap right on the outfield dirt. Now our Warning Track needs a Warning Track.

–I bet the Twins felt crappy about losing.

–That horse was a real party pooper. (Okay, I’m done with the dookie puns now. Well… probably.)

–The Tigers will start their playoff run today in Baltimore at 5:37!

–Meanwhile, across the street, the Lions played Green Bay a couple weeks ago. They won the game, in large part because of their stellar defense. Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch was so excited to get a sack in the first half that he just had to express himself:

"Somehow, this is still more manly than the Martin Grammatica celebratory knee explosion. At least Tulloch actually did something worth celebrating...

Yup! These are my Lions!

–Still, after a 3-1 start, I have to be optimistic, right? I mean, it’s not like this team has a long, tortured and RECENT history of collapsing during the latter half of the season, right?

Bah. Best not to think of such things. In fact, I think it’s high time we turned our attention to:

 

THE MID-WEEKLY UPDATE!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is always new every week! Their latest episode included some spoilers for upcoming OP kits as well as a discussion of the second series of Yu-Gi-Oh! figures!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry has released Episode 27, which covers the end of the ROC’s first season!!

Push to Regen

–In somewhat sad news, Push to Regen has announced on Reddit that they have released their final episode. Their Facebook page is still up, and still posting the occasional news item, but the show has reached its final destination.

"We're a Thing again!"

We’re a Thing again!”

–And, in tribute to Elton John and the Circle of Life (never thought I’d make an Elton John reference on this blog; I was, apparently, wrong), just as Push to Regen goes quietly into that dark night, ClixCast rises from the ashes after six months and publishes two new episodes! Welcome back, gentlemen.

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–You can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

 

Preview

–Keep your GotG Nebula, Rocket Raccoon Movie Chase, Star-Lord Movie Starter piece, Movie Rare Groot, Movie Rare Yondu and Batroc handy–we have another Pirate to add to your force! It’s Pirate Deathstroke, and he’s… weird. But in a good way. His mid-dial “Take Their Vessel” Special Movement power has to be the weirdest justification EVER for granting the use of Mind Control, but he also has a great top dial Damage Special called “Steal More Than Your Gold” that allows him to basically steal a standard power from an opposing figure within 6 squares. The best part is, you’re preventing that character from “using” that power, not countering that power, so it gets around Power Cosmic or Quintessence or any powers that “can’t be countered.” I’d like a little more Range than 6, but for 112 Points, he’s certainly unique.

–Want to know what to expect when OP Rogue is up for grabs at your local venue? Click here to find out!

 

Wizkids

–In case you missed it last time, we got some announcements about some upcoming sets!! We are getting an Avengers Assemble set with 25 never-before-Clix’d characters along with next year’s OP set: Age of Ultron!! Oh, and we’re getting an Age of Ultron Movie Set as well. In addition, it appears that BOTH sets will use Avengers ID cards (randomly inserted in boosters?) that will work with the Avengers Roundtable Resource. How this will all play out, I don’t know. But what I do know is that somewhere along the way (probably but not definitely as the main prize from Age of Ultron) we will finally get… a Quinjet! Yep, Marvel’s finally getting a vehicle (at least one that didn’t start as a figure like Warlock)!

Avengers Assemble should hit around May, and will be a normal 5-figure Booster set. Age of Ultron will come in two different waves of 5-Figure boosters. Wheeee!

You can find a link to the Alliance pictures HERE!!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

No Army of the Week this week, as we’re devoting a little extra time to debuting another new feature–Upcoming Local Games–at the bottom of this very article. Army of the Week will return next time, though!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Gotham and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have premiered! After two episodes apiece, they appear to be  heading in opposite directions. This week, I’ll talk about Gotham. Next week, we’ll take a look at Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Gotham Title

–Okay, I know this is a comic-book-based show, but the premiere and ESPECIALLY the second episode were really over the top. Not a great start. Ben McKenzie is fine as Jim Gordon, and I like his military backstory. But Donal Logue seems uncomfortable so far as Harvey Bullock (color me surprised–I would’ve thought he’d be brilliant), partially because every other scene has him spouting cartoonish exposition about how corrupt Gotham is and how Jim needs to get with the program. I think that’s what I dislike the most–Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock seem like characters from two different shows. And the abysmally named Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). the other character with the most screen time through episode 2, seems bizarrely misconceived.

Why does Fish Mooney  have a character banner like audience's already know who she is? Whaaa... ?! And really, a tough as nails female gangster has no problem with folks calling her Fish? Really?!

Why does Fish Mooney have a character banner like audiences already know who she is? And really, a tough as nails female gangster has no problem with folks calling her Fish?!

The only other standout so far is the guy playing the Penguin as a young thug. He’s good, but since he’s rail-thin and dressed to the nines all the time, every time someone talks about how much he looks or walks like a penguin (which supposedly sets him off on a violent rage every time he hears it), you just wonder what the hell they’re talking about.

The acting was really bad in episode 2, which featured indie movie vets Lili Taylor and Frank Whaley as a couple of creepy kidnappers. The roles were so poorly executed that neither actor ever seemed comfortable, and the whole thing devolved into a giant mess by the end. The show is also already having trouble connecting Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth to the weekly stories. This episode, Alfred caught Bruce burning his own hand with a candle flame, so of course he did the natural thing and went to see Jim Gordon, that detective Alfred has only met twice and who admittedly botched up the Wayne’s murder investigation. Well, of course that’s the guy he would turn to for parenting help.

This is only Episode 2, so the fact that the creative team is already having these sorts of structural problems with the premise of the show doesn’t bode well for the future. Look, I love Batman and Catwoman, but it seems like things would go a lot smoother if Bruce, Alfred, Selina Kyle and the young girl from the pilot who may or may not turn into Poison Ivy were recurring characters who only showed up a few times a season, at most. Because, despite what the marketing campaign would have you believe, the show’s not actually about them!

Based on what we saw in the pilot, Gotham is about a young detective named Jim Gordon, who happens to be the one honest cop in the city of Gotham, and his rise to prominence in the world’s most corrupt city. That’s it–that’s the logline of the show. Paring down the main cast to Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, their boss (I’m sorry, I can’t even remember her name), Jim’s fiance Barbara and whatever mobsters/villains you want them going after during the arc of the first season would free up a lot of constraints that are currently weighing down the show.

"I take it back--the marketing clearly showed the four completely different stories that the show would be telling this season."

“I take it back–the marketing clearly showed the five completely different stories that the show would be telling this season.”

Now, on the bright side, they did find a way to include Selina Kyle a little more directly (although, God help me, if she tells one more adult to call her “Cat,” I might throw something at my TV. She’s gonna be Catwoman in another decadeWE F–KING GET IT!!), not just for this episode but for at least the next few.

I haven’t watched much of Arrow, but from what I understand that enterprise started a little shaky too; now it’s become CAN’T-MISS TV!! for a lot of folks. Perhaps Gotham will get there; for now, it remains a flawed undertaking.

 

Local Tournament Report

Upcoming Local Events:

Hello! Welcome to the latest feature for the Weekly Update–Upcoming Local Events!

This is the spot where we’ll post a few notices about upcoming games at venues in and around Southeastern Michigan, where Critical Missives is based. If any venue would like us to announce an upcoming event anywhere in the country, you can hit us up on Twitter or let us know via feedback to this very post!

–Today @ 6pm, Big Ben’s Comix Oasis in Allen Park, MI will host some Free-For-All battles, 400 Points Modern Age–only single-based figures will be allowed. “Shock the Turtle” Battlefield conditions will be in effect.

–Comic City in Pontiac, MI also has a Zombie Team Base going to the winner of tonight’s game! Looks like the Build is a massive 1550?! Wow–gonna be some carnage tonight!

–Thursday night Clix is also happening at Comic City’s Canton location tonight! 300 Points, Modern Age.

–Fun 4 All Comics & Games in Ypsilanti (tonight!), The Amazing Book Store in Flint (Saturday the 4th), Warriors 3 Comics & Games in Wayne (Saturday the 4th), Comic Relief in Flint (Saturday the 4th) and Eternal Games in Warren (Sunday the 5th) are ALL running WoL Month 5 Events this week!

More updates to come next week!

And don’t forget that my local venue also has something cooking in a couple weeks:

–On Wednesday, October 15th @6:15pm, Comics & More in Madison Heights, MI will have some Zombie Team Bases from the GOTG OP kit up for grabs! The Build is 300 Points, and Colossals, Team Bases, Entities, Relics & Resources will ALL be allowed!

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–Our Top Ten Set Reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy have dropped! To read HypeFox’s take, click here! To check out Ninwashui’s rebuttal, go here!

And that’s all for now! Whew! Long one this week. Keep an eye out for us this week! We’ll have a Local Tourney Report for WOL Month 4 coming soon, as well as an article devoted to Copycat and some of the issues she’s created!

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw those lines of fire!

Age of Ul… timate Play!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 09/14/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Welcome back my friend, to the game that never ends! Step inside, step inside!

Has it really been three weeks since we updated the week that was in Heroclix? I believe it has! Well, it’s time that ended! My Tigers have regained first place, I can’t stop pulling Zombie Chases from the new set (always choose the “Guardians” artwork over the Thanos artwork when you’re pulling packs–just trust me, this is clearly a thing–and you’re almost guaranteed a Super Rare at least, and an increased shot at a Zombie Chase or Prime. Flash Fact!), and they just announced three new Marvel sets for next year (but we’ll get to that in a lil’ bit)!!

Yep. This is what first place looks like here in the Central. Oy.

Yep. This is what first place looks like here in the Central. Oy.

 

So after digesting… that, we’re back this week with a Weekly Roundup to catch you up on everything that’s been going on in the world of Heroclix for the last 3 weeks! Here is your…

 

WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

–Oh, look who’s back again! Of course Dial H for Heroclix was new once more! They’re now up to Episode 62, I believe, wherein they talk about all the new Avengers goodness for next year that’s just been announced at the Alliance Tradeshow.

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still working on 2.07. In the meantime, you can give a listen to Season 2, Episode 6 right here!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry has released Episode 25 & Episode 26! 25 covers the Owensboro ROC with winner Zachery Brazier; 26 features a roundtable dissection of everything that went on at GenCon & World’s!

Welcome... to the ROC!

–Meet the new boss, same as the old boss; Patrick Yapjoco has won the ROC Championship. This just in: he is good at Heroclix. Despite the logo I used for this segment, I believe that brings an end to the 2014 ROC season; everything from here on out should feature the 2015 ROC logo.

–Speaking of, you can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

 

Preview

–Oh my sweet gravy and biscuits, we have an honest to God preview! It’s from the Flash set, and it features the Uncommon Flash (very good) and his Prime–Bizarro Flash (uh… not so good. Amazing down dial, but there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get there…

–We also have previews for some of the OP Team Base replacement figs! Here’s Angel (who fits onto the X-Men: Gold Team Base) and John Lynch (who can replace Grunge on the Gen 13 base). I actually love that in addition to alternate versions of some of the Team Base characters they’ve already published, WizKids is offering 1 new figure sculpt (or in some cases, like with John Lynch, a totally new figure) in each kit who wasn’t part of the team originally and who can replace a member of that team. Really cool. And for the record, both of these figs are good in their own right (although Lynch is a bit more of a subtle piece that takes some finesse to play). Oh, and if you want to know what the new Psylocke will be bringing, click here!

Other new figures/sculpts that will arrive later this year or early next year include a brand new Pete Wisdom for the already awesome Excalibur Team Base and a Black Canary for the JLA Team Base! Really liking this new OP program!

 

Wizkids

–Oh boy, did we ever get some announcements!! We are getting an Avengers Assemble set with 25 never-before-Clix’d characters along with next year’s OP set: Age of Ultron!! Oh, and we’re getting an Age of Ultron Movie Set as well. In addition, it appears that BOTH sets will use Avengers ID cards (randomly inserted in boosters?) that will work with the Avengers Roundtable Resource. How this will all play out, I don’t know. But what I do know is that somewhere along the way (probably but not definitely as the main prize from Age of Ultron) we will finally get… a Quinjet! Yep, Marvel’s finally getting a vehicle (at least one that didn’t start as a figure like Warlock)!

Avengers Assemble should hit around May, and will be a normal 5-figure Booster set. Age of Ultron will come in two different waves of 5-Figure boosters. Wheeee!

You can find a link to the Alliance pictures HERE!!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week,  we’re gonna look at… another Patrick Yapjoco army! Since he won the whole damn ROC at DragonCon, I figure he deserves one more shout-out here! Here’s his winning Build Sheet:

 

Patrick Yapjoco Dragoncon ROC

 

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Comics are invading your small screen again real soon!

Here are the Fall premiere dates for:

 

Gotham Title

Gotham (Fox): Monday, September 22nd (Debut!)

Agents of Shield Title

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC): Tuesday, September 23rd (Second Season Premiere)

The_Flash_(2014_TV_series)_logo

The Flash (CW): Tuesday, October 7th (Debut!)

Arrow-logo

Arrow (CW): Wednesday, October 8th (Third Season Premiere)

Constantine_TV_show_logo

Constantine (NBC): Friday, October 24th (Debut!)

Agent Carter

Agent Carter (ABC): Sometime in January, 2015 (Debut!)

Happy viewing! Which comic book-based show are you most excited for?

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–Ninwashui and I finished our Magnum Opus!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 of “Let’s Be Lanterns!!” can be viewed at your leisure! Keep an eye out for next week’s Roundup to find out who won our little bet (see Part 3 for more details!).

–Ninwashui also published a Local Tournament Report for Month 4 of War of Light at local venue Gamer’s Gauntlet AND a new team idea article for a Meta Build he calls “The Unstoppable Force.” It features Grasshopper. From Deadpool. And no, I’m not making that up. It must be read to be believed!

–As always, here’s another reminder that we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles and get the occasional preview of things to come, or even the occasional tip or two!

 

And that’s it for this week’s Weekly Roundup!! We’ll be back later this week with a Top Ten Set Review for Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ninwashui will be back soon with a Build idea he calls “The Immovable Objects!”

Until then, once again, stay safe (and DRY!!), and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

Dead and Loving It!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 05/18/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Well well well!! Welcome back!

Things are as busy as ever around here, so I’m just going to go right into…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix has released Episode 45! This week the guys discuss Sealed advice for Deadpool release tourneys.

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is back with Episode 2.3!! Check their Podbean for updates and the first two episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry’s latest episode is … Episode 18, “featuring ROC Rankings, Watch List, Roundtable analysis of West Virginia & Wonder Con SQ’s.”


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings have been released, which you can find right HERE!

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

–WizKids announced a monthly New OP kit system!


Preview

Previews:

–New War of the Light dials seem to go up every day–Newsarama is a good place to look, but eventually all that info filters down to HCRealms, so you can always check their Units page. Larfleeze and his constructs are the latest to get spoiled.

–Deadpool has RELEASED!! Check out HCREALMS.com in their Unit sections for every dial in the set!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ended its first season with a pretty damn fun finale. Some characters died, some lived, and some got shot by Nick Fury!! Yep, Samuel L. Jackson showed up for pretty much half the damn epidsode, and even helped Coulson take on Agent Garrett. Not going to spoil anything more here, but Season 2 should start in a pretty interesting place…

–Speaking of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel and ABC will be partnering for an 8-episode run of “Agent Carter” next season that will bridge the programming gap when “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” goes on its Winter hiatus. Haley Atwell is reprising her role from the films, and she spoke recently about her excitement for the project.

–As mentioned in this space before, Gotham is a go on FOX this fall and it now has a shiny new trailer.

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay! You may remember from last week that we started another quick new segment for the Weekly Roundup! Basically, I’ll use this space to talk about winning ROC armies, something I saw at my local venue or even just a force that’s been bubbling on the back burner of my brain.

This week we’re going to build a team called:

The Hammer’s on the Merc!

ThorPool

DP055 Deadpool – 215 Points (w/ as many Word Balloons as you care to use, but “Hammer Time,” which comes with this figure, is straight AWESOME. I know some people don’t like it, cuz it permanently goes away if you miss with it. First, none of these Balloons cost any points, so even if it goes away, you can still take a free action to assign a different one, like “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?” Second… it gives some awesome bonuses! It’s basically like having a Relic on your character).

FI301 Splitlip – 20

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot – 30

FIH004 Army Private – 8

The Book of the Skull – 6 + 21 (every Hammer but Greithoth’s)

=300 (Theme: Asgardian)

This is a fun Book team that revolves around one heavy hitter–the Merc With a Mouth holding a Hammer! He’s got the Asgardian keyword, he’s got a top dial 12 Attack (13 with his word balloon!) with Running Shot, Pulse Wave, 18 Defense with Invincible and 4 Damage with Outwit (that’ll go to 5 if he carries Splitlip with the lil’ guy’s Enhancement). Skadi’s Warbot is there as a nuisance/secondary attacker, and the Army Private is just there to help you get out Hammers faster.

And with those Hammers, Deadpool becomes straight up ungodly!!

This team won’t take down a ROC anytime soon, but it should be a lot of fun to play. And with the new rules, it technically qualifies as theme team!

Critical Missives:

Three new articles last week, including a wrap up of AvX at our local venue and a fun preview of what to expect from Deadpool Sealed.

And we’ve got more great articles coming this week!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

 

 

 

Let’s Not Make This Harder Than It Has to Be!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 05/04/2014)

Roundup

Hmmm… don’t know why I keep dating these Roundups for Sundays when I keep releasing them on Tuesday. Just one of the many quirks of Critical Missives (seriously, though, I’m working on it!), I guess, as is naming this week’s column after the hook from an infectiously ear-wormy Ingrid Michaelson song that I can’t #^#)^$#^ get out of my head. Grrrrr…

Still, it’s been a good week for Southeastern Michiganders! The weather finally seems to be breaking towards an actual Spring, and my Tigers seem to have solved their bullpen issues rather simply–they just have all of their starting pitchers go 7 strong innings and score so many damn runs that it becomes physically impossible for the relievers to cough up the lead in the short amount of time they have to pitch. Mind you, they still try REALLY FREAKING hard to give it up, but this past week they just haven’t had enough time to get it done. Luckily.

Now, you might be thinking, the Tigers have won like 6 games in a row–how bad could their bullpen be? Well, despite the fact that they traded an All-Star-level pitcher who was still under club control in the off-season (Doug Fister) for a pair of tube socks and a bat bag just to save a few million bucks, they just turned around and spent a cool million on a dude whose arm fell off last year… and he’ll be the second best pitcher in the bullpen ASSUMING HE’S EVER HEALTHY ENOUGH TO JOIN THE TEAM THIS SEASON. I know a million is not a lot of money in the world of baseball salaries, but to call this a “flyer” might be generous at best. “Desperation” is a word that comes more readily to mind. Keep in mind, when you search for images of Joel Hanrahan with his most recent team before the Tigers, this is one of the first images that pops up:

"You're not exactly inspiring confidence, Joel."

“You’re not exactly inspiring confidence, Joel.”

Former skipper Jim Leyland is not impressed, either:

"Nope."

“Nope.”

(Okay, I just wanted an excuse to run my favorite Leyland picture–sue me!)

But enough moaning about my favorite baseball team–this is a Heroclix blog, ain’t it? Well of course it is, so that means it’s gotta be time for…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix has released Episode 43! This week the guys discuss more of the spoiled War of the Light dials (from Newsarama–Red Lanterns this time, and man do they look nasty!) and discuss the best of the Yu-Gi-Oh figs that were just released. Also, the first week for the May Dial Design has come and gone, and May’s Best Build page just opened up!

Clixcast

ClixCast is still dark. According to their iTunes feed, their last podcast was still February 18th. Sadly, it appears that they may have gone the way of Duo Attack, so this will probably be their last appearance here in the Podcast section until something changes.

Push to Regen

–Apparently delayed due to Easter, Push to Regen is back with the second episode of Season 2! Among other things, they discuss the Con Exclusive figs for this year and talk about War of the Light. Check their Podbean for updates!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry’s latest episode is … Episode 17! Roundtable discussion with Patrick Yapjoco on the Hanford SQ and the Iowa SQ. Ultimate Play just keeps rolling on, b!tches!

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right HERE!

–Recent tourney results seem to indicate that some of the peeps in Metaland are trying to make Experienced M10 Iron Man happen again. I have to admit that I thought his day had come and gone, but between him, Phantom Girl and Lydea Mallor, players fielding resources are putting themselves at some risk now. Not enough to not play them, in my opinion, but it’s becoming very clear now that if you’re going to compete in a ROC, you had better choose the right resource for the force you’ve constructed and–moreover–you better have a backup plan for if and when you face M10 or Lydea, cuz either one can ruin you’re day real quick if you’re not properly prepared. I don’t know what the best counter to M10 is right now, but you have a few options even if you still want to play a resource. Choosing the Phoenix Force, Outwitting his defense and basing him with your Shard-granted Poison seems like the easiest way to do it (since it would give you another way each turn to force your opponent into that 50/50 unavoidable damage d6), but there’s probably a bunch of other options as well. Outwit plus a free Hammer Quake from the Book might be another way to go, as well. I guess Outwit is the key to all these strategies, eh? All you really have to do is 2 damage and the lil’ bugger goes down to a 9 Attack and 16 Defense with Invuln.

Preview

Previews:

-New War of the Light dials seem to go up every day–Newsarama is a good place to look, but eventually all that info filters down to HCRealms, so you can always check their Units page. Too many to comment on here, but so far, most look like a lot of fun, even if they’re not quite Meta-worthy–although the Red Lanterns certainly have potential. But just how many Primes are in this set? And Chases–Gawd, Chases are gonna run $100 easy, given how hot and scarce this set is gonna be. Btw, Jerry Seinfeld wanted to pop back into this column after a few weeks away with a special message for all the ‘Clixers out there looking to collect the whole set:

Seinfeld Good Luck

-Well, after Banshee was spoiled last week, I’m not sure we even need to see any other Deadpool figures–Shaun Cassidy is probably going to be the biggest addition to the Meta from that set. He’s definitely an early contender for #1 in our upcoming Deadpool Top Ten columns. Having said that, there’s plenty of cool figures from this set on display in a brand new Unboxing video featuring Scott Porter from Friday Night Lights and what I’m told is a CW show called Heart of Dixie. He’ll always be Jason Street in my mind, but if you want to see him unbox a whole brick of Deadpool, click HERE! He’s clearly a big Heroclix fan (the funnest part of the video might have been ogling all his “trophy” figs on display behind him). SPOILER ALERT: Don’t watch the first few minutes of the video if you don’t want to know what the Chase theme is going to be–he pulls one out of the second pack (I can tell you that the Chases will all have the Gold bases that the Chaos War Chases used–they look pretty cool. He also discovers a special secret about them that I hadn’t seen guessed before in any of the various Clix forums… these could get really expensive really quickly too.)

This is NOT a spoiler!

This is NOT a spoiler!

–The other figure spoiled this week that will make AvX X-Men players cry is Moira MacTaggert. She’s a 28-Point Scientist with the X-Men keyword who shuts down the Capture ability (i.e. slightly nerfs the new Sentinels) and–oh yeah–is going to be (arguably) the BEST FREAKING MEDIC IN THE GAME! Heh. Good job delaying her, WizKids! As an Avengers player, I’d rather not have to deal with their version of Donald Blake (hell, their BETTER version of Donald Blake at that!). In addition to her starting Willpower and 11 Attack Support, she also gets Perplex down dial (she’s only 4 clix long), but c’mon–she’s 28-Points! Methinks Moira may see some Meta use.

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Entertainment News:

–Some point soon, I’m going to publish an episode guide for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so peeps can catch up if they tapped out earlier in the season. They’ve had a STRONG back half of episodes! Hopefully ABC announces a second season pickup soon (with the ratings being what they are, it’s actually weird that they haven’t announced a renewal already, but I guess ABC is waiting for the upfronts for that).

–That “Smallville” treatment of Bruce Wayne I’ve been updating you guys on? It just got ordered to series by FOX, so this one’s going to go. Intriguing cast. We’ll see if it works. I’d bet dollars to donuts that it won’t tie into either “Arrow” or the about-to-film “Superman Vs. Batman,” but it’s not entirely clear at this point. History will tell you though that while Marvel has gone to great links to establish shared universes with it’s filmed entertainment ventures (even back as far as the 80’s–remember those TV Hulk movies where Daredevil and Thor showed up?), DC (read: Warner Brothers) has gone to great lengths to SEPARATE their heroes into distinct, solo film ventures. Of course, now that Marvel’s way has proven WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more lucrative, DC is trying to throw together a Justice League movie that would essentially be the sequel to SvB. We’ll see how it goes. As a fanboy, I’m extremely excited. As a person who was entertained but kinda/sorta underwhelmed by “Man of Steel,” I remain skeptical (why in God’s name was Lois Lane–a reporter for a Metropolis newspaper–tooling around Antarctica strong-arming Generals into showing her secret military bases and classified alien ships? And thank God she was an expert at scaling icy metallic surfaces while wearing a flimsy pair of townie boots and a parka… I don’t want to rant too much on this since this is still technically a parenthetical, but Lois Lane shouldn’t have shown up in that movie until those last scenes when Clark shows up for his first day of work at the Daily Planet. Imagine if no one knew that Amy Adams had even been cast and then she shows up suddenly at the end, Sam Jackson style–people would have loved it, and they’d look forward to seeing her in the sequel. Perhaps more importantly, this would have excised pretty much every shitty scene in that movie. Lois Lane isn’t a bad character–she’s one of the coolest women in comics, actually. But shoehorning her into the plot as early as they did added nothing to the story and actually sort of damaged the whole suspension-of-disbelief pact that every movie makes with its audience. Grrrrr…. End of rant).

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article last week, which was Ninwashui’s Local Tournament Report from AvX Month Three. Some nice analysis by Ninwa in there. Check it out if you’re looking for more AvX strategy and analysis.

Back later this week with some more Build columns and–in the next few weeks–that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode Guide.

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

Ain’t No Sunshine in This Post (Cuz It’s Still #@$%-ing Snowing Buckets in Michigan!!) (Or, The Weekly Roundup!! 02/23/2014)

Roundup

Has another week come and gone already?! What’s that? Wait, it’s been another TWO WEEKS?! Yikes. Wow. That got away from me quickly. Nevertheless… This was your (LAST 2!!) week(s!) in Heroclix:

Podcasts:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix has been new the past two weeks. The guys released Episode 31 (“I’m the Map… I’m the Map… I’m the Map… I’m the Map,” wherein the importance of map selection–along with a review of the best maps in the game for various army builds– was discussed) AND Episode 32 (“AvX Constructed Figs,” wherein the guys discussed, uh, AvX constructed figs. I’m mean, it’s right there in the title. Actually, this was a really thorough discussion of the best X-Men and Avengers keyworded figs for putting together builds for the monthly AvX OP events).

The Dial H guys also run a fun Dial Design Contest over on HCRealms.com. Basically they hand out three weekly dial design assignments each month, and then score each dial on a 1-30 scale. The highest total point getter each month receives some spiffy custom poker chip action tokens. Right now, February Week Two’s assignment (design a figure with the “Tiny” symbol) is just finishing up…

Clixcast

ClixCast is up to Episode 140! Hosts Steve and Jeremiah talk about their 3 favorite maps (lots of map info these last couple weeks!) and also discuss the latest X-Men: DoFP previews.

Closed for business?

Closed for business?

–Has anyone seen Duo Attack? Cuz if so, you’d have more information about it than I do. Again, great podcast, but for whatever reason, it may be no more…

Push to Regen

Push to Regen is still on its two-month hiatus. If you’re missing them, their most recent show (Episode 30) is still available for download. Their main topic was a “2013 Year in Review,” and their special guest for that discussion was none other than Brian Roll, the Creative Director of Heroclix.

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches.

The Quarry has no official logo that I’m aware of, so I came up with my own. You’re welcome, Dark Logos. Episode 8 & 9 both featured plenty of ROC results reporting, along with some pretty entertaining ESPN-Style roundtable discussions about the teams that made the Top 16 at the most recent ROC’s. This podcast has gotten slightly better every week; the roundtable discussion usually yields plenty of insight in the current ROC-Age Meta. If you’re a high-level tourney player or a Meta addict, this and Dial H are the podcasts for you.

ROC:

–The ROC is going to Dragon Con!! They even have a tentative schedule of events that’s already up!

Previews:

–Outside of some Yu-Gi-Oh! previews, there wasn’t too much of note happening in terms of WizKids-approved sneak peeks. There were a couple of cool Toy Fair photos, however, showing off some of the sculpts from SLOSH, Deadpool and X-Men: DoFP. Validus, in particular, looks GIGANTIC. Which he’s supposed to be, I guess, but DAAAANNNG! This is like a return to the days of Bat Sentry or Ultimate Giant Man. Very cool. Oh, speaking of…

Validus

–Validus DID get a preview, actually, and he’s massive–in every way. A Super Rare, he can be played at two different point levels: 249 and 175. Both dials are pretty good, but at 175 he starts with a 12 Attack, 8 Range Special Psychic Blast power that gives an action token if his target already has an action token. Plus he’s immune to Pen/Psy at both point levels. Given that he’s also Indomitable, that special can go a long way towards keeping Validus from getting out-actioned too severely (since even at 175 he’s a pretty significant point sink). He’s not Silver Centurion (who is?!), but he’s pretty good. I’d be psyched if I opened him in sealed, that’s for sure!

Entertainment News:

What a bunch of A-holes!

What a bunch of A-holes!

–GUARDIANS. OF. THE. FREAKING. GALAXY!

Yep! Tons of news here. We already know we’re getting a regular 5-figure booster set based on the comics ALONG with an awesome Gravity Feed movie set. Well, we learned a ton more about the actual movie this week.

–The official trailer has dropped! That’s the new poster leading into this line item! New tagline? You’re Welcome! Heh. Love it! You can see it embedded here, along with more info about the poster.

–Go to Entertainment Weekly for a quick 30 second feature with director James Gunn and Bradley Cooper talking about Rocket Raccoon and you’ll get to hear and see 10 seconds of RR footage (if you’ve been curious as to what Cooper will sound like–here ya go! As much as you can make a judgement after one line of dialogue… I think Cooper will be great!).

–Vin Diesel’s got Groot fans covered as well via his Facebook page. Cool ass shot of Diesel (from the aforementioned Facebook page) on stilts playing the character (presumably for some mo-cap?!), plus a quick featurette, all available here.

–Over in DC news, Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman Versus Superman, and at least one site thinks his casting could have contributed to the year-long delay for that movie (which, again, is probably gonna get Clix’d). Still, I think this was a great choice for Lex. I’d assume at this point that he’d be the major villain in the film, but time will tell.

–FOX is prepping a major Batman prequel television series called “Gotham.” Several casting announcements have been made, including the OC’s Ben McKenzie as Det. Jim Gordon (this series appears like it’ll revolve around Gordon, rather than Bruce Wayne), Donal Logue as–well, click here to find out which famous GCPD member HE’S playing–and Sean Pertwee (whom Doctor Who fans may remember is the real-life son of Doctor #3 Jon Pertwee, as well as being the badass Sgt. Harry Wells in Dog Soldiers). Who’s Pertwee playing? Another very important character to the Batman mythos (and if you read the parenthetical I just wrote about him, you can probably already guess which character that is. But if not, click here for the answer).

Godzilla! We must flee! And no, this is just a nice custom someone made (presumably from some Pacific Rim figs), not what the actual figs will look like.

Godzilla! We must flee! And no, this is just a nice custom someone made (presumably from some Pacific Rim figs), not what the actual figs will look like.

–And finally, since I forgot to mention it last time, we’ve got pretty good evidence at this point that WizKids will be Clix’ing the upcoming Godzilla movie (out in May of this year) that stars Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, among others. You can see the fairly awesome preview right about… here.

 

Critical Missives:

So NinwaShui was left in charge of the site this past week, and he did a decent job, I must say. We’ll have 2-3 more articles this week, including another Build column. The last BUILD  didn’t go so well for me. Thanos was great, but a little slower than I anticipated because I had to wait a turn to Hammer him up. I also substituted Stealth Suit Iron Man for Scarlet Witch, which proved to be my undoing! I went 1-2, and I had some of the worst rolls I’ve ever had. While Stealth IM was a great figure in his own right, not having SW’s Prob and healing cost me big time. I was also outplayed the first game by my opponent (he was playing the Serpent). With his move and attack (Running Shot, I believe) I should’ve just Hammered up and then retaliated. Instead, I ended up screwing up my positioning and losing fairly handily. Oh well. The lesson? Stay with your original plan! And bringing at least one Prob fig is never a bad idea. Especially if she’s borderline broken like the Witch. I would play Thanos again in a heartbeat; hopefully, I’d play him better (and field a better supporting cast!).

 

That’s all for now! Until next time, stay safe, and watch where you draw those lines of fire!