Hey Kids! CoH COMICS! – February 2016

HeyKidsRecovered and reissued comics from the CoHCOMICS.COM archive for February 2016…

The UD Chronicles 1
The UD Chronicles 2
The UD Chronicles 3
The UD Chronicles 4
Starship Salvation 1
Expendables 1
Fen Tiger 1
Fire and Brimstone 0
Fire and Brimstone 1
Fire and Brimstone 2

HeyKids2

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“10 Billion LY Traveled”… Are LY flown stored for each ship?

Star Trek Online celebrated its third anniversary back at the start of February and published this infographic:c9b71d057548048323bb9323b4b893e41359580935

This prompted a discussion on their forums as to what metrics they stored where user treking2 wrote: The 3rd Anniversary Infographic states “Over 10 Billion Light Years Traveled”.
Is the Light Years traveled by each ship stored internally, or is this a totally made up value?
If it is stored, it would be nice if it could be shown on the ship status page,
individually for each ship.

User collegepark2151 replied: I think an odometer on your ship would be kind of cool.

So here you go pal…ODOmeter

Sneak Peaks

Wait. What’s this? Either someone is getting a cheaply wrapped boot as a birthday present or there’s another Batman related blog post in the works…

There are Episode 1 3D publicity events across the country at famous landmarks this weekend but the schedule is so loose between photo opportunities and press appearances around Edinburgh, there’ll be plenty of downtime. Might try a live Field Report for it…

Back before the CoHCOMICS.COM implosion there were a number of outstanding submissions for the site, so while working through the uploads of the Wednesday Comics to this blog my intention had been to debut them as new material as I got to each series concerned. So it was that for, oh… ages… I had planned a DC One Million homage cover for Battle Bovine #12 as it has the dual benefits of somewhat fitting the story and also making me seem far more clever than I am when I do these things. I created the finished cover all set to go, when I noticed that issue eleven didn’t exist. Turns out, it too was never published back on the CoH Comics site (a fact that I had entirely missed) and so also required a cover image tout de suite. This left me with somewhat of a problem as I’d never even thought of ideas for the cover of this issue. The plot concerns our hero, Bovine being sued my legal representatives of Marble Comics for infringing their copyrighted character “Combat Cow” who has never actually been seen. While better people than I could no doubt come up with a dynamic courtroom based cover image, it didn’t give me much scope for ideas.

Exploring tangents, I initially thought of the type of “sensational character debut” cover as used for the premier of Robin The Boy Wonder in Detective Comics #38 (or Black Canary’s solo feature circa Flash Comics #92) but it doesn’t quite fit the story. Besides, are we going to have Bovine holding the paper hoop he jumps through? Makes no sense…

“Marble Comics” is an obvious play on words so maybe we should take a look at debut appearances from that source..?

Unfortunately the majority of their characters who came from the Golden Age and those covers don’t tend to splash new arrivals in quite the way I need (a notable exception being Incredible Hulk #1 which I already used here). On the other end of the scale there are the 90’s style first issues of Cable and his ilk, but would the parody be obvious enough using the in-game engine as it wouldn’t replicate the over busy line work of the Image style artists.

Late Silver Age covers don’t offer much inspiration either with either the trade dress of the time being too obscure for the cover not to look just like… well, a badly designed cover, I suppose or just fairly bland such as the debut of The Dazzler from Uncanny X-Men #130.

Unfortunate timing too, as the “welcome to the X-Men… Now DIE!” line was homaged in Wolverine and The X-Men #1 recently and might come across as a crib.

My search then took me outside comics at this point. The plot of the issue is effectively a face off between the two cow-based heroes, so what about the movie poster for Face/Off then? It’s okay, but not brilliant (miles better than Kramer Vs. Kramer for source material though) but in the same vein we have promo images for the last two Harry Potter films which is more in line with what I’m thinking.

Unfortunately, admittedly due to my own limitations, it didn’t really work before when I used it.

The movie image research did lead me to The Ides of March though.

Now that’s gone right up my flagpole. I’m saluting that. I can see Bovine on the left holding up the folded cover for an issue of Combat Cow on the right. There’ll need to be some fudging of any CC logo to get it mostly on the half of the page which is visible so people realise who it’s supposed to be but I think it’s doable. We still need some recognisable Marvel trade dress to recreate though and it unfortunately has a left hand bias mostly, although during the 60’s and 70’s there was the period where the name was in a banner headline across the covers as opposed to a corner box, so all we need is an issue from such an era to copy it from, right?

Which ironically leads me right back to almost where I started with Giant Size X-Men #1.

Why, I’m thinking, didn’t this occur to me straight off the bat? You have a cover image which so famous it has been homaged before, which ticked the recognizability box; there’s the original character(s) seeing the arrival of the “new” rival(s); heck it even has the bursting through motif I originally thought of!

As a bonus it also gives me the chance to do the “tearing through a cover” concept I wanted for CCC Compendium #4. So it’s off to City of Heroes for a reaction shot of Bovine (and a neat BB #1 cover reference to boot) and an appropriately dynamic screenie of Combat Cow.I have a brief debate with myself over whether it should say “Giant Size Battle Bovine” as the title, but a) it’s not “giant” and b) “battle size” seems funnier and leaves just a single word, “bovine” to manipulate into the X-Men logo. I’m tempted to go with the original font of the phrase “X-Men” for the second part of the title, but Bovine’s logo is quite good and doesn’t appear on #12 as it is so I stick, rightly or wrongly, with the ITC SNAP font for it. Now I’m thinking it’s ‘wrongly’ but the cat jumped up on the keyboard while the file was loading somehow corrupting it and now I’ve lost all the work I’d done. Luckily I’d exported the near-as-damned-finished-article first!The scroll work at the lower left was going to be a pain in the backside to recreate, so I summon the greatly enhanced power of CorelDraw X5’s Trace facility and create a vector shape of the original as a cheat. Combat Cow being on his own instead of the group of All New, All Different X-Men leaves a fair bit of empty space on the left too, so I fudge this by repositioning the scroll and adding a speech bubble. For anyone wondering the line was the title of the story. Doesn’t actually appear in it though, and never having sat through “A Few Good Men”, I’ve no idea if any of the rest of the dialogue in the issue fits in with it. Judge for yourself, here from 8th February… Uh…

Also, here’s a sneak peek of Star Trek Online’s 2nd Anniversary. Or… something… to crowbar in the post title. Actually I suppose it could be labelled as such as it’ll be finished in a couple of days now so if you didn’t already get your complimentary Odyssey-class ship (or Klingon equivalent) by then you’re out of luck until they inevitably appear the C-Store. I’ve been a bit quite on the STO front even with its move to Free to Play, what with being focussed on Champions Online mostly, but hopefully the launch of the fourth Featured Episode series will lure me back after the interminable content drought of the last year…

Marks Remarks

Back in February I touched on the the fact that I’d failed to deliver an update for the CoHCOMICS site for the first time since I took it over. Unfortunately following that the same thing happened again for the next update and the next and I came to the realisation that I just wasn’t enjoying it any more.
On top of that the laptop death/remediation issues with the domain name/a general lack of time to develop it further/other superhero MMOs being prettier/not actually having played CoH since i14/Paragon Studios global account merger stupidity had all conspired to force me to the decision to draw the site to a close at the end of April.
Thanks to this blog though most of it will still be around in some form even if it takes a while to move all the material across and it’s not to say I won’t do something with it or the three dozen or so submissions which are still waiting to go online eventually, but after five years running it (three of which have been updating a minimum of very two weeks) and nearly seven after the site first opened it’s doors it was time to take a breather!

With all my new-found free time I’ve gravitated back to playing Champions Online, favouring it slightly even over my beloved Star Trek Online with its recent content drought. That’s not to say Champs has been any better in that regard what with the buyout of Cryptic from Atari by Perfect World and effort seemingly being focused on the move of STO to a free to play model instead, but having left CO when the closed beta for Trek started and not having returned till the debut of its Weekly Comic Series there’s a ton of old content which is entirely new to me at this point.

It’s also prompted me to push on with my Tabula Rasa comic. In fact in the last month I’ve made more progress on that than I have at anytime since I completed the first 14 pages of it back in July 2009!

Champions Online Aftershock part 2

Although I found elements of the first part of this weekly comic series set of missions tedious (in-between game client crashes whenever a missile targeted my character as he jumped around the map) I was eventually able to slog through it to completion.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid this second mission was dreadful and frustrating to solo even on normal difficulty for my character.
Having lost my VIPER companion to the fight at the top if the lift meant I couldn’t make enough headway to even scavenge for the parts to repair the generator as instructed and on the second attempt to play through after being disconnected (from the beginning? Really Devs? STO saves your progress on each ground/space map transition guys) it was only stopping to allow his pets to heal him and the fact I’d levelled to 12 during our progress which kept him on his feet until the fight outside the generator room.

After 40 minutes of enduring the tedium of the final boss “fight” where I spent 95% of the time blocking and only managed to get his health down by 1/6 I gave up on the mission and by definition (having not completed part two), this Champions Online weekly series Comic series altogether.

It’s hugely disapointing that the Cryptic Studio stablemate, Star Trek Online has these weekly series nailed, it was only the prospect of equal brilliance over here which brough me back to Champions after playing that game solely since Beta, but I guess once the pre-Season 4 hiatus is over I’ll head back to the Final Frontier full time…

I’ll head back to CO to see if there’s been an improvement by the time the second series rolls round but someone in charge at Cryptic really wants to take a look at the Star Trek Online equivalents, which are enjoyable and challenging for any player regardless of level/build or play preference.