Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sci-Fi Channel Universe

So last night I watched the Sci-Fi Channel Monday night line-up:  Eureka, Warehouse 13 and a new show caled Alphas.  For those not in-the-know, Eureka is about the small town full of geniuses in Washingon State, where the sheriff has to deal with all kinds of screwball weirdness -- like antigravity machines accidentally getting turned on and causing the town bank to float away -- which was almost but not quite the plot last night.  And Warehouse 13 is about the giant warehouse full of bizarre mad science technology and magic items being collected and maintained by a government conspiracy.  These two shows have been crossing over for a couple of seasons now and have established themselves as being in the same universe.

Alphas is a new show about a group of "people born with incredible abilities based on their genetics" who have been organized into a group to track down and stop other "alphas" who are using their powers for selfish/evil reasons.  Think X-men without costumes or code names and with a Sci-Fi Channel TV show budget.  The show so far has been fairly serious - the alphas are generally tracking down individuals who are part of a terrorist network of other Alphas.  Think Brotherhood of Evil Mutants without costumes or code names and with a Sci-Fi Channel TV show budget.

Oh yeah - THAT will work

So Warner is planning on making another Green Lantern movie despite the fact that the first one didn't do as well as they hoped.  Well good - it's a decent franchise idea.  I mean, I'm not a big Hal "second most boring superhero on the planet" Jordan fan, but there's an appeal there.  Not character setpiece type of drama, but big space adventures, or possibly aliens coming to Earth to menace the locals.  It's "space cop with a magic wishing ring" - how can you screw that up?
To go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker...
 Gah?  Green Lantern - again "space cop with a magic wishing ring" - and you want to make it "edgier and darker"?  WHY?  FOR THE LOVE OF GROD WHY?

It's like they've got some program that they're using to try to target post-adolescent males, and when things don't work the only thing they can do is ADD MORE EDGY DARKNESS.  The thing doesn't have any other settings - and heaven forbid they think about maybe, you know, making a movie that appeals to a wider audience.

Most prolific DC Comics writers

Now this is interesting.  It's a list of the "most prolific" DC comics writers as determined by the number of pages of published stories as recorded in the Grand Comics Database.  Very cool - I didn't know that the GCD had the kind of interface where you could get direct access to their data like that.

Interesting, but not too surprising I guess, that Robert Kanigher would be the most prolific -- he wrote a LOT of stuff back in the day.  And it's across every metric too - pages, stories, issues it just doesn't matter.  Gardener Fox comes in second, which is also not a surprise.

The surprising one for me is that Chuck Dixon comes in third.  I knew that Dixon wrote a LOT of stuff for DC -- I remember buying a lot of it -- but damn, he's got more pages under his belt than Bob Haney or Carey Bates?  That's surprising.  Also surprising - Geoff Johns coming in right behind him.  And he'll probably surpass him in a couple of years since he's only about a thousand pages and twenty stories behind him.  And right now Johns has Justice Society as his #1 title -- I imagine that will shift to Green Lantern if he keeps on the book for much longer.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Gamma World Origins - Magic-Users

I've been thinking a bit more about adding "Thundarr the Barbarian" elements to the D&D Gamma World game.  The previous three posts (and a few others that I'm still fleshing out) are some of my thoughts on characters whose primary abilities come through training rather than through mutations.  I have some more ideas on these types of characters, but there are other ways to approach this problem.  The Gamma World game has some suggestions on other origins that can be imagined as coming via training rather than training -- such as the Felinoid, Yeti or Speedster origins might be used for a martial artist, or the Hypercognitive as someone with highly trained intuition and reflexes.

This is approach I've been thinking about when it comes to magic-users in the Gamma World game.  The Dark and Psi based origins almost all scream wizardry - pick two, put them together and you have a wizard.  An elementalist, for example, could be built using some combination of Pyrokinetic (fire), Seismic (earth),  Telekinetic (air), Cryokinetic (ice) and, with a bit of re-themeing Gelatinous (earth or water) origins -- different combinations of these origins give you different elementalists.