I just thought I’d do some quick reviews of things I’ve seen and read lately.

Invincible Ultimate Collection 1: I just picked this up and it contains the first 13 issue of Invincible from Image comics. I had read a couple of these issues but no where near all of them so this is my first in depth foray into the world of Invincible. I must say that I liked it. It is a super-hero book about a high school kid who gets super-powers. The art is nice and the plots and scripts are good. There is fighting going on but the book is mostly about the kid and his friends and family around him. High super-hero drama ensues. Recommended.

Superman Returns: I can’t believe people are liking this. The Superman being super scenes are well done but everything else is a mess of clichés and coincidences. We have: a) the villain of the piece explaining his plan to one of the heros before he puts the plan into effect. Of course this ruins the plan eventually. Why did he open his mouth in the first place? Because clichés are east to write. b) The villain having the hero in his power and wanting to kill him but not actually killing him. I thought after Austin Powers made fun of this by having Seth Green say to Doctor Evil, “Dad, I’ll go get my gun and shot him in the head and he’ll be dead” that maybe this cliché would go away but it hasn’t. If the villain is willing to kill a billion people (literally that was his plan) why isn’t he willing to kill the couple that stand in his way? These questions are getting rhetorical. c) The whole Superman being away for five years didn’t work for me because, coincidentally, the day he gets back Lois need to be saved from certain death and Lex Luthor’s plan goes into effect. If he stays in space for one more week Lois would be dead and Luthor would rule the world. How’s that for good timing? And how about this? A two and a half hour super-hero movie with no fight scenes! Superman fights no one! People say it is hard to write Superman because he is so powerful that no one really challenges him. So how did the writers solve this problem? By having him fight no one! Not a good solution. Not recommended. Stay away.

In Her Shoes: A movie about two sisters trying to get along. From that description it’s hard to believe that this movie is twice the movie that Superman is but it’s true. A movie about a straight laced sister and a wild one trying to make their way in life if much more entertaining than that hackneyed Man of Steel movie. This movie is also less of a chick flick than Superman and there are just as many fight scenes. Recommended.

The iSight: Boy that iSight is a cool thing. It’s the Mac web cam. It’s more expensive than your average web cam but it is of the highest quality. It has a firewire connection, which to me, is better than a USB one and a good lens. I’m not into internet chat because I don’t like to type. I find it much more fun to talk. I just had three of my buddies on line all talking over the internet. And we could see each other. With four people on the conference the video quality isn’t near what it is with just two but is sure was cool. Recommended.

Girls Volume 2 Emergence by The Luna Brothers: The second trade in the series. It reprints issues 7-12 of the Image series. Girls is the story of a town that has been invaded by aliens. At least I think that they are aliens. That hasn’t been revealed yet. It is mostly about the townspeople and how they try to figure out what is going on and what they should do. To say more would be to ruin some surprises. If any of those alien invasion shows that premiered last season on TV were as interesting as this series then they wouldn’t have been cancelled. Recommended.

The World Cup: I have watched more soccer this year than I have in the past. It can be an exciting sport but it has some flaws. Yes, the ties. This year Italy won the cup over France on penalty kicks because of a tie. Penalty kicks? To use a basketball analogy it’s as if the NBA championship was won by the team that made the most free throws after they played the game. What is the point of playing the game if the outcome is going to be decided afterwards by another game with completely different rules? It is hard to overcome the fact that it is very difficult to score in soccer. The only solution I see to this problem is in substitution. All sports have rules about substitution but soccer’s are really wacky. You only get three subs a game and once a person goes out he can never come back in. That is crazy. Especially when teams are playing into two overtimes. In basketball if you want to rest Shaq for a few minutes in the third quarter, so he will be fresher in the fourth, you do. Not in soccer. As a consequence there were some really tired athletes playing some really poor soccer in overtime. Give ’em a break and keep them fresh for the whole game and maybe then someone will score so things won’t have to be decided on penalty kicks. C’mon, “penalty” is right in the name. It should be a clue that it is a bad way to decide a game. Recommended with modifications.

Blade The TV Series: Okay, I really only watched this out of one eye while I was doing some painting. It never really commanded my attention and was a little too dark and moody for me. I just don’t care about grim sour pusses hunting vampires. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t my cup of tea so you’ll have to decide on this yourself.

My last review is short. Season three of Deadwood kicks ass. Must see TV.