Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Marvel Superheroes 1966

I'm back reading comics after a long hiatus where my reading was heavily fantasy oriented. Right now I'm reading some old Captain Marvel (or rather Mar-vell) comics and so I thought I'd post some video nostalgia.

I used to watch this show on Channel 44--a UHF channel broadcast out of Chicago in the late 1970s, and it was my introduction to many of these characters. Yes, the animation is practically non-existent, the dialog melodramatic and obvious, the voice acting over the top, but as far as I'm concerned this show is the closest anyone has ever come to distilling classic Marvel Comics onto the small screen. I can feel the crazy energy in these shoestring budget "animated" shorts far more than I can in whatever big budget productions come down the pike for the cineplex. These stories were directly adapted from the comics and the artwork was actually drawn from the comics as well. So here is the 1966 Gantry-Lawrence animation version of Lee and Kirby's Thor for your viewing pleasure:

Part 1 The Power of Pluto

Part 2 The Verdict of Zeus

Part 3 Thunder in the Netherworld

What I've Been Doing When Not On The Internet

I've been spending time away from the internet recently as I've been feeling like it was eating up too much of my free time. Oddly enough, despite my lack of posting I've been doing some good reading and gaming recently. Here are some of the highlights:

My wife and I have, in the past, enjoyed reading books out loud together. We did this a few years ago with The Count of Monte Cristo and it was great fun, but we decided to read the Alan Dean Foster novelization of Star Wars which we'll be following up with Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Its a fun book that's reminding me what I loved about the first film when I saw it as a kid. Interestingly, violence isn't quite as sanitized: lasers blow holes in Stormtrooper helmets and melt bone and flesh.

Our 4E game is going well, and last week they did some actual dungeon exploration besides just killing stuff. They're currently exploring the Castle of Teraktis, an ancient dragon that was said to have been slain more than a hundred years ago. The party was hired to find the legendary Casket of the Ancient Dead: a small carved box which is said to contain great mystical secrets and power. They investigated a deserted sorcerous laboratory (complete with demon summoning circle), found a place where some prisoners were being held, checked out a tapestry which featured Demogorgon devouring sacrificial victims, found a mystically sealed door, and they also kicked some Kenku ass (dudes with the heads of ravens). We're playing again on Friday, and I'm looking forward to them finding some of the other stuff in the dungeon.

We also played a game of Wizard's Castle Ravenloft Boardgame, and it was quite fun. I don't recommend splitting up your party!

One of my regular players is working on his dissertation this school year, and he's not going to be able to make it every week so the rest of us decided we should play something else in the weeks he's not able to attend. One of my other players has long wanted to run a superhero game, and three of us are old fans of the TSR Marvel Superheroes game.

Thus we've decided to play a Marvel Superheroes campaign where we play the teenage offspring of the Avengers. I'm playing the child of Captain Mar-vell and Ms. Marvel. One of us is playing the child of Thor whose been basically been raised by Jocasta (who in our Marvel Universe is the computer which oversees Avengers mansion). The third member of our group is the child of Crystal of the Inhumans(and thus royalty I suppose) and an as yet undetermined father. Rounding out the group is the child of the Skrullian Skymaster (the Squadron Supreme's version of Martian Manhunter who was only briefly featured and never really appeared in the comics except in flashback). We rolled up our characters and we'll be playing our first session in a few weeks.

My group, as I mentioned in a previous post, recently played a game of OD&D which really emphasized the differences between the editions for me. My thoughts on this have been percolating for a while and I'll post about them soon enough.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

OD&D Characters

Here are the character sheets for three of my players who I roped into playing OD&D the other week. I'll post about the session in my next post. Now off to work. . .