Hoopla

Hoopla is an app I have for my phone that works with my local library. With it, I’m able to borrow digital versions of things just like I’d be able to borrow the physical copies from the library. It has ebooks, audio books, music, movies, and TV shows. Mostly, I use it for ebooks and music.

The ebooks that I borrow are almost all of the same kind: comic books. While there are some single issue stuff, most of the comics available to borrow are collections, anywhere between 4-6 issues of a given title. I really haven’t used it on many Marvel titles, because I have Marvel Unlimited, but anything DC that I’ve read since their Rebirth event has been on Hoopla.

It’s also allowed me to read things I’ve never known about before, like Valiant Comics. Before Hoopla, the only Valiant character I’d ever heard of was X-O Manowar, and that’s only because he once had a Game Boy game where he teamed up with Iron Man. Now, I’ve read a number of their books.

There’s Bloodshot (which started off strong, but got weaker around 15-20 issues in when they put him with a team). There was ShadowMan (a mystic/voodoo story set in New Orleans). And, of course, X-O Manowar (which was probably the best of the bunch).

Hoopla also gave me access to comics from Dragon Age, Firefly/Serenity, and Dark Matter (although I think they lost the rights to the Firefly ones because I don’t see them anymore).

Out of the other things Hoopla offers, the only one that I really use is music. I don’t do audio books. The one time I tried one, it pretty much made me fall asleep. And, if I want to watch a movie or TV show, Netflix has a much better selection.

As far as their music goes, they have a decent selection. And, a lot of the time, you can get things fairly quickly after they’re released. I was able to borrow Disturbed’s newest CD the same day it was released.

While there are a couple of things that I don’t like about it (there are a limited number of titles you can borrow (12 a month) and that each episode of a TV show is considered one borrow), I really like this app. And, the best thing about it, it’s completely free with my library card. If you want to give it a shot, check out your local library and see if they offer it.

Amalgam Comics

This should probably be categorized as one of my random thoughts (because it was), but I’m going with having it on its own. It was just a random thought that made me remember these comics. And, now that I think about it, I may have already blogged about this before. Hell, I’ve been doing this blog for a long time. It’s certainly possible. So, if I have, prepare to hear this again.

Around 20 years ago (I could actually look this up, but I’m lazy), DC and Marvel got together and did a big crossover event where they pitted their heroes against each other and let the fans vote on who would win. Some of the matchups were cool: Hulk vs Superman (Superman won), Batman vs Captain America (draw), Thor vs Shazam (Thor won). Others pretty much blew: Wolverine vs Lobo (take a wild guess on who won that one), Quicksilver vs The Flash (again, you can pretty much figure out the winner), Robin vs Jubilee (who cares?).

Out of this story came the Amalgam Universe. It’s a universe that contained mashups of DC and Marvel characters and some of them were pretty badass. There was Amazon, who was a mixture of Storm and Wonder Woman. Or, Super Soldier, who was a mix of Captain America and Superman.

My favorite, however, was Dark Claw. If you don’t know already, can you guess which two characters they combined to make him? No Google either, you cheaters!

Think you got it?

The correct answer is: Batman and Wolverine.

Now, I want you to stop and think about that for a second. Here’s a character that not only has Batman’s resources, fighting abilities, and smarts, but also Wolverine’s adamantium claws and healing factor. Do you know how much ass Dark Claw could kick with that particular set of skills? (You just read the phrase “particular set of skills” in Liam Neeson’s voice, didn’t you?)

A lot. He could kick a lot of ass

A while back, I did a post with my ultimate comic book team, five characters from any comic book company that would be my crime fighting team. I chose the five I did based on how much I liked the characters, not on their abilities. If I was to make one based solely on ability, Dark Claw would certainly be on my list.

Unfortunately, the Amalgam Universe was something that DC and Marvel had no intention of maintaining. They did a #1 issue for around 12 different characters or teams to coincide with the launch of the main DC vs Marvel storyline. Then a year or two later, they did the same for around 12 new titles, with nothing else ever since.

Sadly, we may never know how Dark Claw’s struggle against his villainous foe, Hyena (Joker and Sabertooth combined), concluded. Maybe the companies will get together on an anniversary of the original story and release something new from the Amalgam Universe.

I seriously doubt it will ever happen, but I can dream, can’t I?

A New Story?

I have an idea for a new story. The problem is that I’m not sure I want to write it. It’s not that I don’t like my story idea, or that I don’t think I can pull it off. I just don’t know if I want to put time and effort into something that, unless a miracle happens, will never come into fruition.
The story idea came about when a couple of us were talking at work. A question came up that got us all thinking: if you could write any comic book, what would it be?
There are lots of comic books that it would be cool to write for: Daredevil, Nightwing, or Wolverine. The more I thought about it, though,  the less I wanted to do those characters. I love those characters and I’m not sure I’d be able to do them justice.
So, then I thought “Who would I write, then?” Continue reading

DC Shows

This is actually a post that I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’ve held off on it, however, as I wanted to wait until the two new shows had a chance to get at least half a season in. I didn’t think it would be very fair to judge them before then. I’ll go ahead and start with the first show to air, which is now in its third season, Arrow.

When this show first came out, I really didn’t want anything to do with it. I hadn’t really seen, or read, much with the Green Arrow in it, but what I did see didn’t really interest me. This will probably sound ridiculous, as Green Arrow came out at least ten years earlier, but he always seemed to me to be a lamer version of Hawkeye. Hawkeye’s arrows were more technological and badass. Plus, the Green Arrow was walking around in the movie costume from Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

After the second season of Arrow ended, one of the guys I worked with told me that I needed to watch it. I told him everything I said above. He admitted that he didn’t really like Green Arrow that much either, but that Arrow was a very good show. Still, I was leery about watching it. Finally, I agreed to give it a shot.

Continue reading

What Do You Think?

In addition to the Versus matchups we come up with at work (I’ll get to my next one soon….I hope), we also come up with hypothetical situations and go back and forth on our opinions on them. Like Versus, these situations involve movies/books/TV shows/comic book things that just happen to catch our attention. For example, we discussed which movie character, from a movie not set in a science fiction/comic book world, would be best suited to wear a Green Lantern ring. I personally think it would be Rocky. For sheer willpower, never-gonna-quit attitude, nobody can match the Italian Stallion.

The question I posed to them today had to do with the TV show Heroes. Continue reading

5 Comic Book/Superhero Movies They Need To Make/Remake

Since there have been many of these movies lately, and more on the way, I decided to give my opinion on which ones should be done next. Some of these I want to see done because of my comic book geekery. Some of them I want to see done because…. well, it’d just be awesome.

I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t pay enough attention to movie news to know if any of these are actually in  production or not. For all I know, all 5 of them are filming right now (which would be 33 grams of kick ass). Of course, a couple of these will never be made unless I win the lottery or something. Let’s start off with the first one on my list. Continue reading