Frontier Comics was a very short-lived sub-imprint of a sub-imprint of Marvel back in the 90s. It was a mature-readers-only branch off of the good old Marvel UK line and was totally not a response to the Vertigo comics line, which started that same year. I think the old Marvel UK stuff was some excellent, underrated stuff for the most part and I thought I remembered these books being good too, but I guess I misremembered a bit. The stories collected here (Children of the Voyager, Dances With Demons, Mortigan Goth: Immortalis, and Bloodseed) were decent enough, but they all suffer from the feeling of being failed pilots to what were supposed to have been ongoing stories. They’re all origin stories that set a lot of things up and don’t resolve much of anything and even worse, the endings all feel really rushed and incomplete, which would make sense if these had all been ongoing series that were quickly canceled mid-story, but they weren’t. They were all limited series so you’d think they’d have more solid endings even if they were only meant as the beginnings to bigger things. It’s just too scattered and incomplete to be enjoyable for me. Next time I’ll just stick to the regular Marvel UK books.
Dear internet diary,
today I played Parasite Eve 2. Parasite Eve 2 just about entirely threw out the rpg elements and went almost full on Resident Evil with superpowers, tank controls and all. This worked out pretty well for the series and there is a lot more intense combat with a lot more bizarre creatures than the previous game. There is also a lot less dialogue and plot, which is good and bad, I suppose. Good because the first game was a little too heavy on the exposition and without all that there should be much more time for hot parasite action, but bad because the story doesn’t end up making a whole lot of sense in the end and the characters are all kind of worthless cardboard cutouts with nothing important to say. The heavier focus on the action kind of makes up for it, but action can’t fill ALL of a game, can it?
No, and the result is a lot of game-padding backtracking. The backgrounds in the game are littered with almost entirely useless crap with boring, pointless descriptions that make you want to stop trying to look at everything, but the game punishes you if you stop looking. You will miss a lot of items that you have no way of knowing are there unless you blindly try to search every surface in sight or even if you do look at everything, you’ll be told an object is useless only to find out an hour or two later that “oh wait, you totally DO need something like that. Hope you remember where it was!”.
I do not appreciate guy telling me I need to bring him a gas can and then he hands me a key to a locked room and I go to the locked room and find a locked thing that requires a code that requires me going back to look at documents in rooms I already went to hours ago, which opens the thing, which just gives me another key, which then lets me get into the room that has the gas can. Then I bring the gas can back to him and notice that there’s a big red fucking gas can sitting 10 feet away from him on the pre-rendered background. Fuck you gas can and fuck you bad filler puzzles.
I mean the game is only about 9 hours long. Cut out all the damn backtracking through the same areas over and over again and it would probably be down to 6. It’s still a fun game, but damn that’s lazy. Maybe this is why we didn’t get another sequel until 12 years later (which I hear is not so good, but I’m gonna try the damn thing next anyway).
So here we go, Dark Soulin’ again. I hear a lot of bad things about this one, like it “doesn’t count” as a Dark Souls game because it was “only made by the B team at From Software” and blah blah blah. Eh. That’s nonsense. It has its flaws and its certainly no Bloodborne, but it was still a very fun game.
This contains the movie night of this week and last week…COMBINED! Not that this is a relevant distinction in any way, but there it is anyway.
Fracture (2007)Another law thriller from the director of Primal Fear. A bit more predictable than Primal Fear, but it was still clever and interesting enough to be worthwhile.
Most conveniently collected in the Superior Foes of Spider-Man omnibus
A weird short-lived crime comedy about a team of C-list Spider-Man villains. Strange concept for a mainstream superhero book, but it definitely works. Nick Spencer had a bit of a rocky start at Marvel, with a few forgettable early entries that just never felt right. It took him a little time to find his footing in the world of tights, but this book right here was where he did it. Very fun book with some excellent art. I don’t know if people who aren’t familiar with Spider-Man villain history would get a lot of the references here, but I don’t really care, because it entertained the hell out of me, so I win. Spencer and Lieber have also just teamed up again for a slightly similar new Image title, The Fix, which just had a hilarious first issue a few days ago. Good times.
This was basically marketed as “Cthulhu in space”, which I suppose is accurate enough to describe the theme of the book as briefly as possible. The truth of it is actually even stranger, with the concepts of elder gods, modern gods, and the afterlife, given a bizarre and terrifying sci-fi secret origin. Burnham’s art is absolutely perfect for this story and he brings some amazingly surreal and disturbingly hellish imagery to the table. While I didn’t think the pacing was quite as perfect as Annihilator and the ending was a bit muddier (in fact I’d love to discuss the ending with anyone who’d like to, I say as if I have readers), it’s still highly entertaining and memorable. A book I’m very glad to have in my collection.
2002? Weird. Could have sworn this came out in the 90s. Anyway, this is the next Dark Forces game, which drops the Dark Forces from the title completely, actually. This time the game was made by the wonderful Raven Games and the difference in quality from the last one is enormous because of it.