The Benefits of Challenging a Viner for the Battle Forums

Ah my first proper blog in a while. Though no one's commented on my Doctor Octopus/Alpha speculation blog. For shame.

Admittedly battle forums on any site can be a downright nasty place to be. But recently, our battle forums have gotten quite ugly. In part, they’ve become a festering ground for annoying trolls, ignorant and angry fanboys as well as spite threads and really stupid battles. I can’t believe how many times Hancock, a T-800 from Terminator or Godzilla have been pitted up against comic book characters who would wipe the floor with them yet there are users who come up with absurd arguments as to why they win. Whether they truly believe that or are trying to be flame baiters, I have no idea.

Also, the state of the battle forums have driven a fair few users away. CitizenBane, one of the Vine’s top debaters left partly because of the amount of trolls and fanboys loitering in the battle forums. Another good debater, Dane left a while back as well and Silver6427 only comes on the Vine in intermittent periods. And whilst the state of the battle forums doesn’t drive everyone off this great comic book website, it keeps them out of the battles section.Good battles are fleeting in comparison to the number of spite battles. And I’m beginning to see all too often opinions like “BATMAN CAN BEAT ANYONE WITH PREP!” or “HULK’S WAY STRONGER THAN SUPERMAN SO HE CAN BEAT HIM UP!” There are more but fortunately not everyone’s like this. And recently I’ve noticed something that appears to be creating much better battles on the battle forums.

I believe that it’s called “Challenge a Viner” but correct me if I’m wrong. Basically, two users challenge each other to a debate. It’s a closed, one on one debate between these two users where two characters or a team or whatever the battle’s about is debated. It’s in these one on one challenges that the real crème de la crème of the Vine’s debaters shine. Proper, logically coherent reasons are given as to why a character would win. Character feats are backed up by scans, issue references or videos that support the debater’s point. The replies are aimed at countering their opponents point and proving why their character has the better reasons and feats to win. And the debate continues until a clear cut winner is reached via who gave the better reasons and feats rather than who has the most fanboys. Furthermore, it’s not just the quality of the debates that give challenging a viner much more credibility. The two debaters are reasonable, considerate and polite towards one another. There’s no rude behaviour, insults or swearing that involves a moderator having to come in and break up the fuss or lock the thread to keep it from getting out of hand. Everything’s kept friendly and no feelings are hurt. An important factor in debates such as these.

In case you’re wondering what these debates are like, I’ve provided some examples of my personal favourite Challenge a Viner debates:

The debate that inspired me to write this blog: TheAcidSkull and Killemall’s brilliant debate over Thor vs Savage Hulk - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles/7/thor-killemall-vs-savage-hulk-theacidskull/696970/

A currently ongoing debate between TheAcidSkull and Sherlock regarding World War Hulk vs Wonder Woman - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles/7/world-war-hulk-theacidskull-vs-wonder-woman-sherlock/709359/?page=2

A short but sweet debate between Power NeXus and Dane - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles/7/challenge-a-viner-power-nexus-vs-dane/539170/

A 3 page debate between god_spawn and NickZ about who would win: Daken or Vamp - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles/7/challenge-a-viner-god_spawn-vs-nickz/702574/

An awesome Star Wars debate between the Vine’s top two Star Wars experts: JediXMan and Silver2467 - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles/7/darth-bane-zannah-jedixman-vs-darth-maul-tyranus-silver/663464/

Another Silver debate I really liked. This time involving another class debater, Strafe Power and the battle in question being Wonder Woman vs Geo-Force - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles/7/silverwonder-woman-vs-strafegeo-force/578076/

A fair, friendly and well debated match between god_spawn and BringnIt regarding Gambit vs Kraven - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles/7/gambit-god_spawn-vs-kraven-bringnit-challenge-a-viner/690249/

Of course there are many more and I’d encourage more debates like this. Obviously, I’m not saying that every battle should be Challenge a Viner style. We need the classic, open debates for everyone. And of course trolls and fanboys will be ever present on the battle forums. But after reading CitizenBane’s blog, I remarked that the battle forums needed improving and that they had the potential to be great again. The way I see it, Challenging a Viner is a step in the right direction. Those kinds of threads can remind us of how debates should be done and how the battle forums could be once again.

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Doctor Octopus and Alpha: Speculation on this possible deadly duo

Amazing Spider-Man #693

Before I begin, if you don't know who Alpha is then check out his page there. And if you don't know who Doctor Octopus is, well you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Now this isn't official by the way. Just some blogging from me. But in case you haven't read Marvel's December Solicits, specifically Amazing Spider-Man 699 and 699.1, it's hinting at Doctor Octopus' last act of revenge against Spider-Man after learning that Spider-Man is really Peter Parker. But a scheme like Octavious' usually involve some hired help. Ock'll be attempting to recruit the Lizard, Spider-Slayer (Alistair Smythe) and Morbius the Living Vampire amongst other suprise Spidey villains. Now given the fanfare around Alpha and the fact he was introduced in the 50th anniversary issue, I'm guessing Doc Ock will attempt to bring in Alpha to add a heavy hitter to his Anti Spider-Man army. If the cover of Amazing Spider-Man 694 is anything to go by, it seems as if Spider-Man's attempts to mentor Alpha may go awry. Perhaps the power Alpha has or the guy's supreme arrogance will lead him to go all Anakin Skywalker on Spider-Man.

Alpha's powers are not only those of the typical powerhouse (superstrength, flight, energy projection, superspeed) but his powers seem to be increasing with the universe's expansion and he appears to be getting stronger every moment. His status according to Reed Richards as an Omega Level threat would most likely mean Ock would want Alpha as a part of his plan for his final revenge against Spider-Man. As the Justice League knows, it's never a bad thing to have a heavy hitting powerhouse on your side.

Hopefully Amazing Spider-Man 698-700 will make for an awesome send off for arguably Spider-Man's greatest nemesis. He's definitely Spider-Man's best enemy at the moment. Norman Osborn was royally screwed over in Dark Reign and Siege. The more personal nature of Octavious' attack against his last global Ends of the Earth plan should make this story all the more entertaining. And with Alpha, Marvel have been hyping him up for quite some time so hopefully he'll get to leave a mark on the Spider-Man universe that'll change things forever. Several of the theories I've seen discussed on here would do just that. So what do you guys think? Will Alpha join the forces of evil? Will Doctor Octopus strike the coup de grace against Spider-Man? Will Quesada be responsible for something that will conjure up more angry mobs of fans across the Internet demanding his head on a platter?

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Project Blue Door - The First Michael Bay TMNT Script

Thanks to my browsing IGN, I came across a link to a site where a guy claimed to have seen the first draft of a script for Bay's TMNT movie. Fortunately, due to fan outburst about Bay making the Turtles into aliens rather than mutants, the executives put the project on hold until script issues were worked out. In the link I'll provide, this guy claims to have seen the first script for the movie and summarises it on a 12 minute video. Now I cannot ascertain for certain whether this guy is telling the truth as that's not possible but in the instance that I am providing a link to the first TMNT script, let me tell you there are some major issues. Casey, April and the Shredder are nothing like we know them, the script and plot are horribly convuluted and Bay seems to screw with the TMNT lore even more than he screwed over the Transformers lore.

NOTE: This link provides detail on the first draft script for Bay's TMNT film. Apparently the script is being reworked. Here's the link: http://latino-review.com/2012/08/28/exclusive-bays-failed-ninja-turtles-script-review/

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My Two Year Vineversary

Almost forgot about this. Today marks two years to the day I joined Comicvine. I've made some good friends on here, had plenty of interesting discussions, put up with trolls (where do they all come from?) but all in all it's been a privilege to be a part of this site and to converse with the fine members on this site where we can share our love and enjoyment of comics with people around the world. Here's to two more great years on here!

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New Dragon Ball Movie Announced!

Now don't worry, this movie isn't the sequel to the abomination that was Dragonball: Evolution. This is another anime Dragon Ball Z movie set to be released in Japan in March 2013. This marks the latest Dragon Ball movie since the Path to Power. Now I know what some, probably most of you are thinking, why aren't we getting any new English dubbed Dragon Ball media? Yes the Kai series was a great love letter to the original but as most of you who've played a lot of Dragon Ball video games, playing the same story over and over again can wear thin. There have been a couple of Dragon Ball productions that have yet to be English dubbed. One is the Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans. When this story was included on every copy of Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, this marked a real gap in the market for a new English dubbed episode. But instead it was only done in Japanese with English subtitles for the English version. Which is strange given that Hatchihyack was given an Engish voice actor in DB: Raging Blast 2. In addition to this, Yo! Son Goku and his Friends would be another Dragon Ball production not dubbed in English. Admittedly both have only appeared recently but the way in which the English version has defined the voices of the Dragon Ball characters for its fans meant that when I saw the original, I hungered for an English dub. Still do. Perhaps with time. After all it was a while before the English dub of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z came about.

Anyway this is only recently announced news and unless you’re Japanese or can read Japanese, I don’t know any other information other than what’s been mentioned on this link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/news/2012-07-10/toei-toriyama-work-on-march-2013-dragon-ball-z-film . In any case this is good news for Dragon Ball fans as the Dragon Ball movies have usually been dubbed into English eventually. What are your thoughts on this?

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What I think the pros and cons are of Nolan's Batman Films

After seeing the latest Dark Knight Rises Trailer, I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on Nolan's Batman films. Obviously I do think they are good but unlike the majority of fans, I don't think they're the best thing since sliced bread. In other words, they aren't the ground breaking comic book movie adaption trilogy in my eyes. Anyway on to my possibly controversial viewpoint. Let's start with the pros:

  • The three notable supporting cast members of the 3 films have brilliant actors bringing them to life. Michael Caine acts as a wonderful father figure and steadfast ally to Bruce throughout the two films. There are few other actors who can play Alfred in the way Caine can. Also, Gary Oldman plays an excellent James Gordon. He nails Gordon's dedication to justice and reproduces the relationship between Batman and Gordon of the comics in a believable manner. And finally Morgan Freeman was born to play Lucius Fox. In terms of looks and the manner he has about him, Freeman makes Fox an intriguing character as well as a valuable ally in Batman's war on crime.
  • Another aspect Nolan has nailed is Batman's rogues gallery. The antagonists of the previous films have stolen the show in these films. Liam Neeson played the enigmatic Ra'as Al Ghul in a manner which befitted the legendary Batman villain and made him an integral part of the first film in Bruce's training. Heath Ledger (may he rest in peace) gave a performance of a lifetime as the Joker, playing upon the deranged serial killer aspect of the character and making his performance a career defining one. And Tom Hardy looks set to be a brutal and cunning Bane. I really like the terrorist aspect to Bane in this film as it logically leads into the various acts of destruction Bane will commit throughout the film.
  • Arguably Nolan's greatest success is the gritty realism of his films. Gotham feels like a real city, filled with corruption, greed and crime running rampant. The characters have real motives, personalities and relationships with one another that other comic book adaptions have failed to match. And the story paces itself as a hard hitting action thriller which can appeal to many people's tastes. Nolan has made these films seem like a distinct reality, that there could be an outlaw vigilante dressed like a bat dealing with crime in a city and bringing those who deserve it to justice. This realism extends to the gadgets as well. The batarangs are hand crafted shuriken, the Batsuit is a discarded military project as is the Batmobile or 'Tumbler' as it's known as in the film. As such, the grittiness serves the film immensely and acts as its greatest strength as well as its greatest weakness (I'll deal with that part later)
  • Nolan wisely chose not to include the extensive Bat family in his films. Given that the introduction of Robin in the previous Bat films saw an unparalleled downward spiral in their quality and ratings, it's for the best that Nolan's vision for the film focuses on a Batman who strikes fear into the hearts of criminals alone without involving children in his crusade. Though Nolan does seem to be doing the next best thing by making Catwoman a possible ally for Batman in TDKR.

    However, there are many flaws with Nolans Batman films as well:
  • In case you haven't noticed, I haven't mentioned Batman in the pro section. That's because Nolan doesn't get Batman or Bruce Wayne right at all. Admittedly Bruce's journey and initial motivation is adapted well by Nolan. But as soon as he gets to Gotham and becomes Batman, Christian Bale becomes someone who from my perspective is not the Batman I know. Let's start with the voice. I know he has to hide his identity but how can anyone make out that unintelligible growling that is considered speech in this film? Yes I do immensely love Kevin Conroy as Batman so you may think me biased but the real problem is that I can barely make out what Bale is saying in these films. Secondly, Nolan does nothing to display Batman's intellect or deductive abilities. He beats the stuffing out of criminals like the Batman I know but there's far more to Batman than that. He's trained his mind as well as his body to the peak condition and there's no showcase of Batman's intellect in any of these films. That's a disappointing failure on Nolan's part.
  • Now onto Bruce Wayne. He's a terrible moaner in these films, particularly the Dark Knight. Here, he contemplates giving up being Batman. I'm afraid that to me, that is a major mistake. Bruce is supposed to become obsessed with his war on crime. He is meant to be so consumed with his mission that he doesn't really care about his life as Bruce Wayne or finding love. But in the Dark Knight, he almost ditches his crusade to try and persuade Rachel to be with him. Am I supposed to believe that this is Batman? He's acting more like Peter Parker in the Dark Knight and not respecting the character's uniqueness is a disadvantage which for the most part is overlooked.
  • I fail to see why Nolan felt the need to create a love interest for the films when there are plenty to pick from in the comics. Unlike Superman, Batman has had many love interests so any one of those would do. But no, Nolan gives us Rachel Dawes, a mediocre attempt to give Bruce a meaningful childhood friend and eventual love interest who shares his devotion to justice etc. Her character just doesn't interest me and given the fact Batman has had far more meaningful relationships with other women in the comic books, I don't see why Nolan felt the need to disregard them in favour of his take on who Batman should be in love with. At least there's Catwoman and the rumour of Talia Al Ghul in TDKR.
  • As I said earlier, the grittiness of Nolan's films is its greatest strength and weakness. It's an unfortunate double edged sword. Whilst that realism makes Nolan's films so successful, it also sets Batman apart from the DC Universe in general. Batman is confined to the closest possible definition of a fictional real world when he's supposed to deal with gritty noir crime problems as well as work with aliens, an amazon, a man who can run faster than light and a guy with a ring who can create anything he imagines to face incredible threats. It's unfortunate that the Batman, Superman and Green Lantern films have all been isolated from one another whilst the Marvel films (with the exception of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four) all share the same universe and are now co-existing with one another in one big team film that is the result of years of setting up and tieing together. Batman's isolation means that it's impossible to do a recognizable Justice League movie or a World's Finest movie as the gritty realistic Batman doesn't fit with the fantasy of the other superpowered pantheon of DC characters. This is where Nolan's films fall the most.

Like I said earlier, I don't dislike Nolan's films. I just don't think in the scheme of things that they are the greatest comic book adaptions. In the time I'm writing this during a superhero blockbuster year, I'm looking forward to the Avengers most then the Amazing Spider-Man before the Dark Knight Rises. And this is coming from someone whose second favourite superhero is Batman. Anyway what are your thoughts on Nolan's Batman films? Do you like them or loathe them? Agree or disagree with me? Feel free to comment and remember everyone is entitled to their opinion so keep things clean!

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A Little Bit About Me

Hey there Comicviners. It's just occured to me that I've never explicitly stated what my interests are. So I thought I'd write a quick something about that. I'm first and foremost a DC Comics fan, particularly of Superman, Batman and Green Lantern and secondly a Marvel Comics fan. Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, all of that ilk. My favourite TV series would have to be Star Trek Voyager, my favourite films include the Lord of The Rings trilogy, the original Star Wars Trilogy, the Matrix (only the first two), Johnny English and the Monty Python films. Action, comedy and sci fi are amongst my preferred genres. My favourite cartoons are Superman: The Animated Series, Batman: The Animated Series, the 1993 Spider-Man animated series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Jackie Chan Adventures, the 2003-2009 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and Dragon Ball Z. I'm quite liking Young Justice and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes at the moment.

On top of that lot, I'm a gamer as well. I own an Xbox 360 and whilst I don't have that many games, my favourites are:

1. Batman: Arkham City

2. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

3. Halo 3

As well as being a comic book reader, I'm a pretty avid book reader as well. The further interests I have include history, philosophy and ethics. I'm particularly fascinated with the impact the past has had in shaping today as well as researching reasons as to how the universe came into existence without an external deity to create it. As for future plans, I hope to do a history with philosophy degree at university. I'm pretty interested in mythology as well from Ancient Greek to Norse mythology. In terms of my music taste, rock, alternative, indy and grunge are my favourite genres. The Foo Fighters and Nirvana are my all time two favourite bands. But I do find classical and meditation music quite soothing. Oh and my favourite sports are tennis, soccer (as you Americans call it) and cricket.

So that's a little bit about me and my interests. I hope my ramblings haven't bored you too much so until the next time you catch me round the site, ciao!

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My Time at the London Super Comic Convention

Basically yesterday I was at the London Super Comic Convention, my first ever comic book convention. I have to say it was one of the best days ever! Firstly there's comic books, comic book merchandise, comic art galore as well as awesome guests like Dan Abnett and George Perez though I didn't have time to meet them or get signings due to other reasons which was a shame. The cosplayers had some brilliant costumes and there was a guy in a fantastic Iron Man suit that looked just like the silver one from the first film. Not the grey clunky one but the silver one prior to the red and yellow armour. I met some really nice people there and found out that I'm really not the only comic book fan around. It was nice talking to people about an interest I hadn't been able to express with others face to face until yesterday. The New 52 panel with Dan Abnett, Keith Maguire and Jamel Igle was incredibly interesting. So glad I went to that one! And there were comics for 50p there! Massive bargain!

Ah and now for the icing on the cake. STAN LEE was there and I got a photo with him as well as a signed Spider-Man issue that I had bought that day. As well as attending his panel with a guarenteed seat given my VIP pass, I also got to meet him afterwards with some other people in a private panel session at the hotel he was staying at and got my question answered about whether he had created the Fantastic Four after a golf match between Jack Liebowitz and Martin Goodman, the heads of DC and Marvel comics respectively at the time. I was right and Stan said "Son of a gun this man knows his history!" Stan was witty, funny, intelligent and incredibly passionate about comic books and the venue they provided for children for reading. He talked about his work in films as well as his other non Marvel comic books he was writing. It was such an honour to meet him and I have wonderful memories from my first convention.

So what about you guys? Do you have good memories and experiences from the conventions you've been to? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

EDIT: Here's my photo of me with Stan Lee. Apologies for my horrible smile, I'm not very camera friendly:

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My Pitch for Kingdom Hearts 3

Since 2007, I've been a fan of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Recently, I bought Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep and it is a fantastic game, one of the best PSP games I have ever played. The combat, the story and the voice cast are just some of the best things about Kingdom Hearts games. I'm a fan of the old Disney movies so that's what drew me to this franchise rather than the Final Fantasy aspect of it. Recently, I was looking at Kingdom Hearts Coded on the KH wiki and seeing that (SPOILER ALERT) Data Namine was explaining how Sora is the 'Key that connects everything' and that he needs to go on a journey to free Roxas, Axel, Xion, Terra, Aqua and Ventus. The KH saga deserves an ending to the trilogy (I know there have been more than 3 KH games but the proper Xehanort saga e.g KH 1 & 2 are part of that). However it has been 4 years since KH 2 and whilst the ending to Birth By Sleep indicates another game, this has not come to fruition yet. I've heard this is due to Square Enix developing another Final Fantasy game and on top of that they have Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (an english version of Kingdom Hearts Coded) and KH:3D. Hopefully though, after this they will develop KH 3. This blog is basically me outlining some things I'd like to see in this future game and how I'd create the game:
 

  • The name is evidently suggested by the title Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Plot - Sora goes on a journey to release Roxas, Axel, Xion, Terra, Aqua and Ventus.
  • Main Protagonists - Sora and Riku. In the World that never was, playing with Riku showed just how powerful he is. Although Donald and Goofy should show up, the focus should be on Sora and Riku. Whether they should do Co-Op gameplay or different intersecting storylines like in Birth By Sleep I don't know
  • Enemies - The Heartless should make a return but on top of that, I think another enemy should be created for this game like the Nobodies were for KH2.
  • Main Antagonist - Xehanort because I read somewhere that since his Heartless and Nobody have been destroyed the true Xehanort can make a comeback. I'd love to hear Leonard Nimoy voicing Master Xehanort again.

    The next part of this is quite big. The worlds in this game should include some old worlds but also new ones. Since Disney now own Marvel and Pixar, although I don't think we'll see the Marvel Universe any time soon, I think Disney should capitalise on Pixar's poularity and include a few worlds from the movies in there just like they did with Tron and Pirates of the Carribean in KH2.


  • Destiny Island
  • Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion
  • Twilight Town
  • Olympus Coliseum
  • Agrabah
  • The Forest (Bambi)
  • Mysterious Tower
  • Camelot (The Sword In The Stone)
  • Andy's Bedroom (Toy Story)
  • Disney Castle
  • Notre Dame (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  • Atlantis (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
  • Monstropolis (Monsters Inc)
  • New World (Pocahontas)
  • Syndrome's Island/Metroville (The Incredibles)
  • The Jungle (Jungle Book)
  • Keyblade Graveyard
  • Castle Oblivion
  • New World where the final part of the game takes place

    So what do you think? Do you approve or would you make any changes? Comment away!


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