Archive for December, 2012

Friday Night Fights: Three Alarm Blackfire!

Okay, people, it’s Friday, and as fast as the sun sets these days, it may as well be night already, so that’s good enough for me. Let’s kick off the weekend the violent-tastic way with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from November 1982’s New Teen Titans #25 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Starfire has been kidnapped by her rotten sister Blackfire and dragged off to another galaxy. The Teen Titans have pursued and gotten involved with the Omega Men and an intergalactic war, but they’ve finally tracked down Starfire. Cyborg takes Lord Damyn, a really stupid brute of a leader (though he does rock a mean fez), as a hostage to get Kory released, but Blackfire has her own ideas about how this should all play out…






It’s kinda sad. That fez really was awesome, wasn’t it?

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Everyone’s Sweetheart


Batgirl #15

Well, we now know that we’re looking at the last few months of enjoying Gail Simone’s take on Batgirl — or apparently, on anything else DC Comics is publishing. Ya see, DC is run by stupid people. And either they don’t like phenomenally-popular and extremely-talented creators who are producing critically acclaimed comics that sell well — or they just don’t like yucky girls. I know where I’m placing my bets. And I also know that Gail is going to land on her feet — she’s just too good not to get more work from more intelligent comics publishers.

So in this issue, Batgirl is facing off against the Joker — with her mother’s life on the line. The Joker has her mom tied to a chair with a five-pound nail bomb strapped underneath, and the price for Barbara’s mom is — Batgirl’s hand in marriage? Can Barbara keep him from killing her mother? Can she keep herself from killing the groom-to-be? And what other horrific surprises does the Joker have in store for her?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A wonderfully dark, suspenseful story. For once, Batgirl is the one dispensing the savage beatings — even if, ultimately, she’s not in control of the situation at all. I still hate the Joker’s stitched-on face, but he’s as crazy and dangerous as he ever has been. We also get a short appearance by Barbara’s psychotic brother, who may actually be on her side for once.


Love and Capes: What to Expect #5

Thanks to the kind of accident that’s only too common in comic books, Mark and Abby have switched bodies. That’d be a problem any time, but it’s particularly rough now, since Abby is now the most powerful male superhero in the world and Mark is now pregnant. A lot of adjustments have to be made — Mark has to get used to food cravings, being unable to sleep comfortably, and being panicked about the potential for having to give birth, while Abby… well, Abby gets to drink coffee again. Will they ever get back into the correct bodies again?

Meanwhile, Darkblade and Amazonia have a serious crisis in their relationship. Amazonia is being named queen of her interdimensional homeworld — and that means she can never go to Earth again. And Darkblade knows he’d never be able to live on Amazonia’s mostly crime-free world. Is their relationship doomed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This was a really, really good comic — both storylines are really strong, with the bodyswitching as the more comedic and the Amazonia/Darkblade story being, obviously, a lot more dramatic. But there’s a lot of story here, it’s all enjoyable and satisfying to read, and you won’t regret coming along for the ride. This is really one of the best comics out there.


Ame-Comi Girls Featuring Duella Dent #3

Most of this issue is devoted to the origin of Duella Dent, the Ame-Comi universe’s version of the Joker. The daughter of a career criminal, his death spurred her to embrace chaos as a lifestyle. Batgirl tries to stop her, but she’s vastly outnumbered by Duella’s supervillain allies. But when they learn that Duella is working with Brainiac to destroy human civilization, Cheetah takes a powder, and Catwoman tries to help Batgirl escape. Meanwhile, Steel and the Flash are about to enter the battle, too, but will they be too late to save Batgirl?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Duella’s origin is really pretty good — probably the most enjoyable part of the whole story. One doesn’t often see an origin in which the death of a genuinely loving parent inspires someone to turn supervillain instead of superhero. In addition, the action is good, the dialogue is good, and the whole thing is pretty entertaining.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Holiday Gift Bag: True Story, Swear to God

Okay, the holidays are fast approaching, and I’m running out of time to make more gift recommendations fast, so why don’t we jump right in with some more? Today, let’s look at Tom Beland’s True Story, Swear to God.


This is an autobiographical comic — Tom is a newspaper cartoonist from Napa, California, who gets a free ticket to Disneyworld from a coworker. While visiting, he has a chance meeting with Lily, a radio personality from Puerto Rico. And they hit it off pretty amazingly — they’re basically soulmates. They start a long, long, long distance relationship, but Tom eventually decides to quit his job and move away from his lifelong home to live with Lily in San Juan. What follows is cultural shock, language barriers, loneliness, weather issues, hurricanes, money troubles, job troubles, comic books — and a love between two people that just never lets up.

What, you want more than that? True love isn’t enough for you?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Okay, okay, I didn’t talk a lot about long-running plots, but for the most part, it’s good episodic storytelling. Ain’t nothing wrong with episodic storytelling, especially when it’s this well-done.

Beland’s art style is very cartoony — but still lushly detailed when he needs it, usually when depicting the beauty of Puerto Rico — and that cartoonishness often gives his stories a comedic mood, even when the plots are especially dramatic. Lily’s ordeal during the hurricane is definitely not funny, for example — does Beland’s cartooning make it look funny? Well, maybe a bit — but it would also look really weird if he changed his art style just for that story. Besides, Beland is really good at seeing the funny side of most things, so I think the cartoons work great.

Beland is not only a very funny guy — he’s also a very good storyteller. Part of this is that he’s had a really incredible story fall into his lap. True love! There’s no better story, and Beland gets to live it! But he’s got a grand talent for description and characterization and dialogue. Let’s face it, some of these stories are fairly commonplace — like most of real life, every issue can’t involve a hurricane of a cross-continent move. But he still manages to make stories about waiting in airports, talking on the phone, hanging out with friends and family, and much more into tales that pull you into the narratives completely. There are no superheroes and very rare action, but this is something you just can’t quit reading.

Got someone on your list who doesn’t care for superheroes or sci-fi or horror or any of the usual comic-book fare, but deeply loves newspaper comics — and enjoys a great love story? This may be something they’ll love reading. The stories are collected in several different volumes from Image Comics and AiT/PlanetLar — and they’re not generally too expensive, ranging from $15 for smaller volumes to $20 for large phone book editions. Check with your local comic shop or hit up one of the big booksellers.

True Story, Swear to God by Tom Beland. Go pick it up, ‘kay?

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Queens of Outer Space

Womanthology: Space #3

This anthology of all-women-created comics about science fiction continues. We get “Centipede” by Robin Furth, Carli Idhe, Ronda Pattison, and Robbie Robbins, about a space smuggler’s deadly — and squicky — cargo; “Countdown” by Rachel Edidin and Sophia Foster-Dimino, about some girls making their own pretend rocket and the journeys it takes them on; and “The Vesta” by Jennifer DeGuzman, Leigh Dragoon, and Robbie Robbins, about a crew member on a spaceship and how she tries to escape its overprotective influence. And we also get an essay by Trina Robbins about Lily Renee, a cartoonist who fought the Nazis her own way during World War II.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is my favorite issue of this series so far — all the stories are great, the art is great, and the whole thing remains a powerful reminder that, no matter how badly DC wishes comics could be their own secret all-boys club, women have their place in the comics biz, too.

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #5

With the renegade Japanese soldiers preparing to destroy America by dropping a gigantic earthquake bomb on the country. Luckily, Atomic Robo and the She-Devils of the Pacific are working hard to prevent that. Not that it’s particularly easy. It’s a furious battle from the first page almost to the end. Of course, they’ll succeed… but who will survive?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I love just about everything about Atomic Robo.

The Hypernaturals #6

So there was once this guy named Chernovski, and he was basically omnipotent. He destroyed the universe and immediately regretted it. So he fixed everything back up, then had Clone 21, the last person alive, completely forget him — which caused him to cease existing. But now Clone 21 has remembered Chernovski again, and not only is the most dangerous creature in existence on the loose again, but the remaining members of the Hypernaturals are in dire danger of being killed by alien supervillains. And what is the evil Sublime up to? Is he causing the crisis or trying to end it?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun science-fiction superheroics, with great dialogue and art, blistering action, and big, brain-busting ideas.

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You Can’t Take the Hell Out of Hellboy

Hellboy in Hell #1

Here’s something we don’t see often enough anymore — a comic written and drawn by Mike Mignola. Hellboy is dead, and like all good demons, he’s ended up in Hell. While one demon tries to beat him to death (again) with a hammer, a warlock tries to defend him, and a puppet show performs Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Hellboy tries to make some kind of sense of everything going on around him.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’d be a thumbs-up just for Mignola’s wonderful artwork. But the writing and action and humor are all primo, so there’s another reason to go get it.

House of Fun

Evan Dorkin throws a whole lot of funny strips in here, including Milk and Cheese, The Murder Family, The Eltingville Club, and a huge number of short newspaper-style strips. No, I’m not telling you more than that — it’d spoil all the fun.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Ye gods, like I should have to tell you Evan Dorkin is funny? Go get it, you mooks.

Colder #2

Well, at least it doesn’t have another cover as gross as #1! Okay, that’s damning with faint praise, and this is actually a very nice comic. Declan is walking around and talking like a normal person, which freaks out Reece, the nurse who’s been his guardian for the past few years. And what really freaks her out is when Declan uses a crazy street person to give her a glimpse into what the world looks like for people who are insane — a mad Jenga game of skyscrapers and monsters — and he gives her a look at what his life used to be like in the asylum. Meanwhile, Nimble Jack drives a fairly normal agoraphobic completely ’round the bend so he can feed on her madness.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Incredibly disturbing horror — the vision Beth, the agoraphobic, has of an audience full of cyclops-monsters is just amazingly freaky, and everything else is just a shade off-kilter, leaving you feeling a bit unbalanced by the time it’s all over…

Worlds’ Finest #7

While Huntress and Robin fight off deadly wolves from Apokalips, Power Girl has to deal with a bunch of child soldiers armed with Apokalips technology. Not really a lot more than that going on in this one.

Verdict: Thumbs down. The art by Kevin Maguire and George Perez is still gorgeous, but this feels like a series that isn’t really going anywhere.

Today’s Not-So-Cool Links:

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Friday Night Fights: Balder is Beautiful!

Citizens! Seek ye not the finest in weekend entertainment and furious battle? Seek ye not the glories of comic book combat? Seek ye not a jumbo bag of Funyuns and a bucket of fresh queso? Then know ye that it is time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from June 2010’s Thor #609 by Kieron Gillen, Billy Tan, Rich Elson, and Matt Banning. While Balder the Brave seeks to inspire the warriors of Asgard with a thoroughly shiny light show, a group of villains, including the Hood and the Wrecking Crew, are watching. Let’s see what happens!

The Hood was supposed to be a smart guy, right? Didn’t he know that Balder could only be harmed by mistletoe?

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Holiday Gift Bag: Zita the Spacegirl

Time to dip back into our Holiday Gift Bag for some more recommendations for the comics fan on your list. Today, we’re going to look at Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke.

This is a wonderful, quick-reading all-ages comic, perfect for kids to read on their own, for parents to read to younger kids, or even for adults who enjoy fun science fiction adventures.

Our story starts when Zita and her friend Joseph find a meteorite with a small push-button machine inside. When they push the button, a hole opens up in space and tentacles drag Joseph away. When Zita finally stirs up the courage to pursue, she finds herself on a distant planet filled with bizarre aliens. And Joseph is being held captive and set to be sacrificed by scary monster aliens. And the push-button device gets broken. And the whole planet is going to be blown up by an asteroid.

Zita does make some friends. Strong Strong is, well, strong, but a bit dumb. Piper is a reluctantly helpful humanoid with a spaceship — but no fuel. Pizzicato is a giant mouse. One is a vengeance-obsessed battle-bot. And Randy is a nervous, broken robot. But they’re still not much of an army against an alien conspiracy, greedy con men, powerful and cruel robot foes, and again, a giant asteroid that’s set the destroy everything in mere days. Can Zita’s courage help to save the day?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this incredibly charming story. The characterization is just plain grand, with villains you love to hate and heroes you love to love even as their personality quirks may infuriate you. The action is great, the suspense is frequently incredible, and the wonders and challenges Zita encounters are sometimes absolutely awe-inspiring — in terms of both “That’s fantastic!” and “That’s terrifying!”

And holy schmalokies, I love the art here. Hatke’s style is cartoony, open, friendly, even welcoming — that’s part of what makes the book such a page-turner, ’cause you want to just absorb more and more of his art. But he’s also great at depicting some of the incredible scale of this alien world and especially the dangers of the worst of Zita’s enemies.

Listen, you got kids? I bet they’ll wanna read this. You got daughters who crave adventure? It’s a stone guarantee they’ll wanna read this. You got a grownup on your list who loves audacious sci-fi derring-do and great cartooning? You’ll wanna wrap this up for ’em.

And there’s a sequel called “Legends of Zita the Spacegirl,” which I haven’t read yet — but if it’s anything like the original, you may wanna pick that up, too.

And even better: it ain’t gonna set you back much. It’s almost 200 pages of comics, and the price tag on the back is just eleven bucks.

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. Go pick it up.

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Billy and the Goon

The Goon #43

Hey, it’s a secret crossover between the Goon and Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities! We start out back when Billy the Kid was young and helping to run the old freakshow — Billy wins a trinket in a card game. What is it? It’s the Ossified Baby of Nuremberg, which seems to be a stone statue but is actually alive, and if it isn’t fed a bottle of milk and goat’s blood every Halloween, it’ll come to life and kill everyone it can. Sooooo many years later, the now-elderly Billy comes to town for a show, and a bunch of kids steal the Ossified Baby, which, deprived of its yearly blood-and-milk snack, runs amok. How will this terrible crisis be solved? Easier than you might expect…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not the funniest Goon story or the most violent, but it’s still got lots of great stuff to enjoy. Y’all should be reading every issue of this comic, and I’m a little amazed that y’all don’t.

Daredevil #20

The bizarre teleporting villain Coyote — who used to apparently be the Spot — has severed Daredevil’s head. But Daredevil is still okay, because Coyote’s powers have somehow left the head and the body connected, even though they’re not, well, connected. But Matt can still feel his body, so while Coyote monologues for Daredevil, the hero’s body slips out of its bonds and goes exploring the bad guy’s hideout. Turns out Coyote is running quite a criminal operation based on his teleportational abilities, most of it focused on just generally making people miserable, including using pregnant women as drug mules and creating a vast slavery organization of people who have been teleportationally decapitated like Daredevil. So how can Matt Murdock stop Coyote when he’s got no head?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A vastly clever story. Matt manages some wonderful stunts — even if it’s just his headless body using his cane to feel his way around the lair. And Coyote’s operation is as despicable as you can imagine — he’s definitely a villain worth hating.

Batwoman #14

Batwoman and Wonder Woman have just met Pegasus, son of Medusa. He doesn’t look like a winged horse — he’s more of an immortal cowboy who’s been beaten and tortured horribly by the evil Falchion — and because he’s immortal, it will take him thousands of years to heal, thousands of years of agony. He tells them where to find Medusa — right back in Gotham — and then Wonder Woman grants him a merciful death. Back in Gotham, the Medusa herself is laying siege to the city, along with her army of brainwashed minions and urban legends. Medusa offers Killer Croc another transformation — from the ultimate sewer alligator to the Beast of Babylon. Can two heroines save the day, or is the Medusa’s power too great?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I liked the story just fine, people, but this is worth buying just so you can marvel at the stunning beauty of the artwork. Every artist who works on this turns in some of their most visually stunning art ever, and I think we really do have to give at least some of the credit for that to writer J.H. Williams III — his astoundingly gorgeous artwork was all over this title, and I strongly suspect his writing instructions are helping the art look so amazing.

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Pony Power!

I’m a bit behind on my comics reviews, aren’t I? Let’s see how many I can get out of the way.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1

You can’t really call me a Brony. I’ve watched the new “My Little Pony” cartoon, and I think it’s clever and funny and entertaining, but I haven’t gotten into it like a lot of people have. Still, I heard from a lot of folks that the new MLP comic book looked like a winner, so I picked it up.

I’m going to assume that you have some familiarity with the show. Because if you don’t, well, dadgummit, I don’t have time to explain all of this stuff. Sorry ’bout that.

The story begins with a group of young ponies who are trying to figure out how to get their own cutie marks (small magical tattoos related to interests, hobbies, or professions) when they’re suddenly attacked by unseen, menacing creatures. The next day, we finally meet up with our main characters, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Spike, who first discover that the younger ponies have become emotionless, unenthusiastic zombies — and then that almost everypony has been similarly transformed. The culprits are quasi-demonic changelings, and the friends may have to discover a solution to the problem all by themselves.

Verdict: I’ll thumbs it up — the story and art by Katie Cook and Andy Price are just fine, with lots of funny character moments and background gags. I probably won’t be picking up more of these, though — like I said, I’m not a brony, and while I think this was a nice comic, I’m not interested enough to keep reading…

FF #1

Well, it looks like the Fantastic Four are going on a working vacation — they’ll be gone for a year, but for the rest of the Earth, it will seem that they’ll be gone for only four minutes. And because Planet Earth can’t handle the Fantastic Four being gone for even four minutes, they’ve decided to recruit some replacements for the Future Foundation for those four minutes. So Reed Richards recruits Scott Lang, Ant-Man, Sue Richards calls in Medusa of the Inhumans, Ben Grimm invites the She-Hulk, and Johnny Storm completely forgets that he has to recruit anyone, so he picks his latest bedmate, socialite actress Darla Deering. Most of the rest of the issue focuses on the underage members of the Future Foundation to explain who they are and what the FF means to them.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a completely idiotic premise, but Matt Fraction’s writing carries it, and Michael Allred’s artwork pushes it over the top. I enjoyed it, I really did, even with the ridiculous egotism that the Fantastic Four, which travels to other planets and other dimensions almost constantly, suddenly believes that the world will end if they’re gone for less than five minutes.

Love and Capes: What to Expect #4

This issue has a lot of emphasis on a couple other than Abby and Mark — namely, Darkblade and Amazonia. Her mother had a stroke, which makes Amazonia the Queen of Leandia, her other-dimensional homeworld, at least temporarily. Amazonia, in fact, doesn’t want to be the Queen, but has no choice, and as long as she’s the Queen, she’s not allowed to go off-world at all, which makes her relationship with Darkblade problematical. Meanwhile, Abby’s bookstore is having financial troubles, Amazonia’s sister, Oriana, is assigned to take over her superhero duties, and the Spencers are enjoying making plans for baby showers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good funny stuff, lots of great characterization, all the wonderful stuff we’ve come to expect from the “Love and Capes” comics.

Today’s Cool Links:

I’m still thinking a lot about the end of City of Heroes, so here’s some more links about the best dang superhero MMO ever.

  • Real World Heroes is a charity created by and for City of Heroes players, supporting four worthy organizations. I think it’d be great if they had their best year ever. Would you consider donating to them?
  • A team of friends finishes one of the biggest task forces in City of Heroes mere seconds before the servers are shut down. Watch the video and be amazed.
  • Champions Online competed with City of Heroes, but Cryptic Studios created both games. Champions had their own excellent statement of support after CoH was closed down.

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After the End of the World

Well, City of Heroes, the best dang superhero MMO ever, was shut down in the wee hours of this morning, and I got to stay online and enjoy the ride clear up to the final disconnect notice.

I played City of Heroes for over eight years. I didn’t get in at the very beginning, ’cause I had to get a new computer that was able to run it. And I had a few periods when I wasn’t playing, either because life was too busy, or because my old computer went kaput and I wasn’t able to play anything. And I’m really glad I got to play all that time. I’m even glad I got to play clear ’til the game shut down. I know people who were so upset about the game ending that they didn’t play anymore — every time they logged in, they were overcome with sadness. I don’t blame them a bit — I think I’ve been adjusting fairly well, but there’s no way to tell whether I’ll wake up tomorrow and go into a period of deep mourning about it.

I can guarantee I’ll very quickly miss flying over the casinos in St. Martial, or super-jumping across the rooftops of Steel Canyon and Talos Island, or zipping across Skyway City at superspeed. I’ll miss watching my mastermind’s robot minions tear through enemies, smashing through villains with my tanker, or blowing up cars and bank vaults with my brutes. I’ll miss sliding down the slopes in the ski chalet, watching costume contests in Atlas Park, hunting exploration badges, and finding the secret, hidden locations in each zone.

There are rumors that there may still be a chance to resurrect the game. Some of the players have speculated that NCSoft may have obscure legal reasons — possibly related to the $47 million judgment against them in the Richard Garriott lawsuit from a few years back — to want to shut the game down completely before offering it up for sale. If that’s the case, whoever ended up buying the IP and the servers would probably be able to get them for a lot less money. But I’m not comfortable assuming that’s going to happen. I think it’s probably better to expect it not to happen — to expect the game to be gone for good. If it is done for, the easier to get adjusted to that fact. If it comes back, well, that’s a happy surprise, isn’t it?

I don’t think there’s any way to question that City of Heroes did a lot of things right. The character creator is widely considered the best one ever made for any game — with a lot of people wondering why other games haven’t made similarly extensive ones. Likewise, the sidekicking system, which let players team up no matter what level they were, is something I just can’t believe hasn’t been adopted in every game out there. You could bring new players in, team them up with players who had already hit the level cap, and know that everyone was still going to have fun. The mission architect — which let players create and play their own missions — was an amazing accomplishment, even if they stumbled in implementing it.

They had some stunningly beautiful zones — Atlas Park, Founders Falls, Croatoa, Talos Island, St. Martial, just about every zone in Praetoria — and lots of amazing music. They had incredible details in the scenery that often had me sitting around and wondering what on earth it must be like to live in a place like Praetoria or the Rogue Isles.

And they did superheroics better than anyone else. I was never a roleplayer, but I loved getting to play all my characters — not just because they had great powers, but because I loved getting to imagine what they were thinking while they fought (or committed) crime. I wrote biographies for almost all of my characters, often before I got out of the tutorial. It was one thing to play the game — it was another to play while envisioning my characters’ motivations. That helped make it the most fun of all.

There were still some things that I wish had been done better. All of the most recent zones were very strongly horror-based, particularly First Ward, Night Ward, and the new Dark Astoria, which went from enjoyably creepy to unpleasantly scary and depressingly grim. I like horror a lot, ya know, but I think they really overdid things in their last few updates. I wanted to play a superhero and smash up the bad guys — I didn’t want to run around the nightmarish zone and deal with missions where the monsters told me I hated life, was chronically depressed, and wanted to be eaten by eldritch monster-gods.

The game never managed to do superstrength the right way. Superstrength really is the signature superhero power, but characters who had superstrength in City of Heroes only got to smash up bad guys a bit — it didn’t even do very much damage, compared to other powers. And you certainly couldn’t pick up a car and throw it at a bad guy. Both Champions Online and DC Universe Online had decent superstrength powers, but City of Heroes never managed it.

And really, I wanted a costume option for pencil-thin mustaches for years, and I never got it. How was I to recreate Mandrake the Magician without pencil-thin mustaches?

I’ve long wished that City of Heroes had gotten some more press within the comics community. The game got possibly its only mention on comics news websites like Comics Alliance when it was announced that it was closing — and Comics Alliance gave buckets of free publicity to every single press release for any computer games based on DC or Marvel comics. The occasional article about CoH on Comics Alliance or Comic Book Resources might’ve brought in a bit more cash for the best dang superhero MMO ever made.

But I don’t want to spend a lot of time with recriminations and complaints. I had a great time over the past eight years, and though I’m sad that the game is gone, I’m also very happy that it was ever made in the first place, and that the City of Heroes community, already known for being one of the strongest in the computer game community, got even stronger over the last few months. And the developers at Paragon Studios, who’ve been awesome from the first time they started work on the game, have gotten even cooler, too. City of Heroes gave me almost a decade of happy superheroic memories, and that’s a solid win in my book.

Was this a sad day? Yes, it was. There are lots of folks who I knew through this game who I’ll probably never meet again, whether online or in meatspace. There was a great deal of sorrow, not just sitting out in Atlas Park, but during our missions and taskforces. There were a lot of people bidding farewell to the characters they’d played — in some cases, they’d been playing these very same characters ever since they started the game, and they knew they’d never see them again, except in their own screenshots.

But more than anything else, we were all saying to ourselves, “What a great game. These last few years have been amazing. We had so much fun playing together and running around this great game world.” We were sad, but we also stuck around, not just because we enjoyed the game so much, but to pay tribute to the game creators and developers and to the players who have made the game so wonderful.

Hats off, ladies and gentlemen, for City of Heroes. May it live long in our memories.

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