Wednesday Afternoon Post-72 Hour Period Kind-of Late Ramblings

• Back on Saturday, I promised you a whole bunch of topics I’d get through in the next 72 hours. Then I purchased “MLB 08 The Show” for PS3 and my free time went to that... like about 16 hours worth. But, even slightly late, I still have all the leftover topics for you in this edition of the ramblings, plus my early thoughts on MLB 08.

• Topic 1: Other Comics. I’ve been posting issue-by-issue reviews of “Buffy Season 8” and “Angel: After the Fall” so you know what I think about those. But what about the other stuff I’m reading? That would including “Amazing Spider-Man”, “Amazing Spider-Girl”, “Anita Blake”, “Hulk”, “Astonishing X-Men” and “Spider-Man: With Great Power”. Can you tell I like Spider-Man?

• Well, “Amazing Spider-Man” is currently going through some growing pains in the Brand New Day arc, the fallout from the results of One More Day (if you don’t know what happened, hit up Wikipedia, since I’m not going to rehash the entire thing here). There’s two ways to look at the current “Amazing Spider-Man” arc. 1) Taking it as a reboot of the series and completely ignoring everything that’s happened in the last, oh, decade or so, the current series is pretty good. It gets back to the 60s roots of the series, without feeling dated. 2) If you’re like me, you can’t stand the marginalization of Mary Jane. Right now, she’s not involved in the series, or in Peter’s life, at all. As for Jackpot, well, if she turns out to be MJ (as many people think), then it’s a big WTF to the entire One More Day conclusion. And if she doesn’t turn out to be MJ, then it’s a big WTF to the character in general.

• As for “Amazing Spider-Girl”, I actually enjoy reading this series on a month-to-month basis more than “Amazing Spider-Man”. For one, MJ is there (as wife to Peter and mother to May aka Spider-Girl). Also, as much as “Spider-Man” tries to capture the old feeling of dealing with the superhero problems and the everyday problems, “Spider-Girl” does it better, and doesn’t seem forced in doing it, since May is actually still in high school. Also, the drawing on the series is superb.

• I love “Astonishing X-Men”. I know some long-time X-Men fans object to Joss’ storylines, or Cassaday’s character depictions, but I’m a fan of both. I just wish this series would come out more often. It seems like it’s on the “Fray” publishing schedule (i.e., an issue whenever we get to it) and every time a new issue comes out, I have to go back and read the previous one to make sure I remember what’s going on.

• I’m going to reserve judgement on the new “Hulk” series for now, since it’s only 2 issues in and I’m still not really sure what’s going on. Much like “Angel: After the Fall”, we’ve been dropped into a story somewhere in the middle, and some pieces are still coming together. I’ll give the same non-answer for “Anita Blake”, since I’m about 3 issues behind in reading it. Not surprisingly for a comic based on a novel, the stories are very text-heavy, so they take awhile to get through.

• As for “Spider-Man: With Great Power”, what’s not to like? It’s pretty much a solid retelling of the Spider-Man origin story, which is one of the best out there. It’s only a scheduled 5-issue run, but it’s kind of a must-read right now.

• Topic 2: Buffy Day. I was going to have a special feature on my favorite Buffy collectibles on March 10th, the anniversary of the first episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, but my video gaming got in the way (not like last year, where I carved out a whole “Buffy-thon” for the day). So as for now, the planned post (which wasn’t even really that planned, only hinted at) moves to May 20, the anniversary of the last episode of “Buffy”.

• Topic 3: Lost. I have to say, I wasn’t that impressed with the last episode (the Juliet flashback). It wasn’t a bad episode, per se, but it seemed like a step back after the great Desmond episode (and not just because it was a flashback -- I actually liked that part of it, plus the way they teased us into thinking it might be a flashforward at the beginning was pretty cool). I do think the episode succeeded in making us continue to not trust the freighter people, since they --much like The Others when we first met them -- continue to insist one thing while all the time working toward something else entirely.

• Topic 4: MLB 08 The Show. I bought this game on Sunday and have probably logged 15 or 16 hours of gameplay already. The game has tons of great features, but I’ve been hooked on “Road to the Show” mode. This is where you create a player, go through spring training, get assigned to a minor league team, then try and work your way up to the majors, eventually becoming a superstar. The level of detail in this mode is incredible. You control every aspect of your player’s career, including his training (which has goals set by the organization, just like a real minor leaguer would). You can even play in an express mode, where it fast forwards to moments in your player’s career without having to watch the whole game. I’m already in late July of the 1st season of my player’s career. It’s good stuff. I’m hoping to get into the online play aspect of the game shortly, but I need some practice pitching first (my created player is a catcher, so I don’t do any of the pitching in my games).

• I’ll have much more on this game in the next couple weeks -- hopefully I’ll have tried out some other game modes in that time, and PooZ and I are going to try and play some online games and we’ll let you know how that works in the next Podcast, which should be super-sized and super awesome.