Thursday, February 16


Following the resurrection of Cassandra Cain... is the news of Tekken: Dark Resurrection for the PSP. Yep, a Tekken title is headed for the Playstation Portable. No silly 2-D rip like Tekken Advance was for the gameboy advance... this is full-blown 3-D fighting, with PS2 quality looks and gameplay. TDR for the PSP will be based on the recent arcade upgrade Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. All the included characters, including newcomers Dragunov and Lili will be playable.

WHOA. A true, handheld Tekken. That's reason enough for me to buy a PSP. Well, let's see it happen first before I start grabbing one of them toys. Look for Tekken PSP to hit later this year. Now, if only Capcom would port SF3 Third Strike to PSP...
Ends and Beginnings

The cover to Batgirl #73.

I've been in a depressed funk recently thanks to the possibility that DC is killing off my favorite bat-femme, Batgirl AKA Cassandra Cain. Well, last night I finally got some closure with the final issue of the series.

I have to say that the ending surprised me in some ways, disappointed in some ways but in the end I got what I was looking for.

Issue 72 ended with Cassie obviously DEAD (that happens when someone shoves a knife through your chest). It also ended with a regretful Shiva taking Batgirl's body and apparently heading off to a nearby Lazarus Pit.

I had actually been running so many scenarios in my head... what if the Lazarus Pit fails to revive Cass? What is something stops Shiva from using the pit? What if Cassie emerges from the pit like the most recent dunkee, Mister Freeze's wife... a raving, insane and dangerous monster?

Well, to my mixed relief and disappointment, Cassie comes back from the dead via the Lazarus Pit with no more ill effects than a momentary urge to strangle Shiva. She calms down fast enough for the rest of the issue's revelations to unfold.

All throughout this final arc, readers have been teased on the identity of who Cassie's mother is. The latest speculation was that it was the deceased Carolyn Woo-San, sister of Sandra Woo-San AKA Shiva. But it turns out that the easy answer was the right one- Shiva is Cassie's mom. The revelation also shows how twisted Shiva really is- having the child and sparing the man who killed her own sister and then becoming a ruthless killer afterwards.

Finally, the two old foes- Cassie and Shiva- have their final battle. They fight, and the duel ends with a SNAP. I am shocked that they would actually kill off Shiva, a major Bat-villain, but then again she's been so overexposed lately she's long overdue for an absence. From how it was framed, this death looks to be permanent, but you never know- Cassie DID leave her body hanging over the Lazarus Pit, and bodies left hung tend to fall off eventually... I would much rather that Shiva stay dead though and pass the torch of the Deadliest Female Alive in DCU to Cassie.

Now where to? Cassie has obviously shed the Bat-mantle now, given the events in the finale. She's now simply known as Cain, the most skilled martial artist in the DCU. Obviously, such a powerful figure won't or can't be quiet or inactive for too long. I'm almost certain that Cassie will be joining Birds of Prey, which is great since I am already buying that title anyway.
Which leaves to question just who the upcoming 'Batwoman' is... and who the heck is wearing the Batgirl costume in the upcoming issues of Robin?

Anyway, all things said, I am finally out of my Batgirl depression funk. I'm probably gonna go off to get some Batgirl trades of the early issues, and the Batman: War Games TPBs. Sigh. Moving on, moving on. Heh.
Book Daze

Today, amidst a flurry of work that had me and my art director 3sha running from one end of the city to the other, we managed to find time to have about an hour to peruse the shelves of Fully Booked at Rockwell. All I can say is... DAMN. This was the first time I'd been at the place since it was moved from the ground floor up to the third (or fourth) floor of the Power Plant mall. The new FB branch is HUGE and covered with books from top to bottom. Needless to say, the bibliophile and graphic novel geek in me was slobbering in glee.

Unfortunately for my wallet, I found myself unable to resist grabbing up several books. I purchased three Blade of the Immortal books, and the first two chapters of the Hellsing manga. These five books alone cost me almost five thousand smackers. DAAAAAMN! But really, I could easily... EASILY... spend double or triple that amount in the place (well, at least I'd have a Fully Booked discount card then). There are so many things I want to buy. Hellboy. How To Manga books. Film books. Fantasy and fiction novels. Magazines. Even reprints of darn Hardy Boys and scabs of children's and young adult books were tempting me severely.

GYYYAAAAHHH!!!! All that and I STILL had the week's comics to get later in the day. GYYYYAAAAHHH!!!

Anyway, I finished up work and rushed off to Mega afterwards to get the phamphlet stuff- The LAST issue of Batgirl chief among the acquisitions, along with the latest issues of JSA Classified, Justice, New Avengers and a copy of Wizard Anime Insider. Lots of reading stuff. More money out from the ATM.

Well, I can't really complain. I don't really regret buying books and comics. These things, along with food, videogames, the occasional movie and pleasant conversation make life that much more pleasurable. Oh well.

Sunday, February 12

Third Time's the Charm

I got to Comic Quest yesterday to grab my copy of Trese #3, but was told it was sold out. I had to buy the display issue, but it was worth it. Hey Budj, time to restock. Heh.

Trese is the supernatural/crime comic series by Budjette Tan and Ka-Jo Baldisimo. In the third issue entitled "Our Secret Constellation", Alexandra Trese is hot on the trail of a mysterious killer with unearthly powers... perhaps even more power than the supernatural investigator and her formidable henchmen, the Kambal, can handle.

I have to say, the idea and plot twist in this issue made me quietly go, "Whoa."

A ballsy story and a great homage rolled into one. My only gripe is that this story could have been longer, perhaps with more pages to thresh out the action which is a bit truncated. This story deserved more detail to the content. Heck, it could have been a 'Trese: The Movie' issue.

That aside, this is the best story yet in Budj and Ka-Jo's works, and a must-read for indie and local comic enthusiasts/readers. For a preview, you can check out Budjette's blog for the comic, here. Copies of the issues are available at Comic Quest Megamall.
Birthday Bash

Last night, the gang got together to celebrate the birthday of Jaime Bautista. The Nautilus head honcho and creator of Cast invited us all over to dine on pasta and KFC at his posh pad, which was a veritable display of cool action figures. There were cabinets filled with tons of great toys, but of course all of us could easily notice which hero really had Jaime's heart- Iron Man! The Geek in all of us surfaced when we all got to grab and try on for size a life-size Iron Man helmet (yeah, as Andrew would say, we were alll reeking of geeking at that point).
Anyway, the night was pretty cool with good food and good gossip and conversation before the party adjourned just after midnight. Coolness, Jaime! Let's do it again next year.