Monthly Archives: October 2012

Joker (re)turns terrifying

It’s been a while since I’ve done a New Comic Wednesday post, but it’s been a while since a week has really deserved one.

I’ve been keeping up with a few of the Batman series since the reboot, but I’ve fallen off some of them here and there. The main book stayed strong and I liked the Court of Owls arc, but Batman & Robin lagged a bit, and I dropped off the others pretty quickly. This week they made good on a plot thread inserted in the very first issue of The Dark Knight — the Joker and his missing face. To be honest, I hated that story beat, but this latest issue made it work.

Joker is a hard character to write well. It’s tough to balance the dark humor and sadism — he’s more the latter than the former, I think. And it’s easy to miss that he’s meant to be almost as brilliant as Batman, just in a completely chaotic way. This issue nailed those elements. He actually has an interesting motivation, but he’s acting more unhinged than usual — to the point that even Harley pulled away. That alone was a really striking way of showing just how wrong all of this was going. This arc is looking interesting, and I’ll be looking forward to more. But I’m still likely to stay away from most of the other Bat-books.

Avenging Spider-Man was actually pretty hilarious; the Deadpool jokes were hit or miss, but the hits were funny enough to make the difference. And Uncanny Avengers was a good start to a series, but the ending went into pure Silver Age silly territory. I’m curious to see where they go with that, if the book will turn silly or continue trying to mix the two.

  • Speak of the devil.
  • One of these days I’ll hook up my OnLive mini-console again. I actually still have games I never finished on that thing.

Death of a Corporate Mascot

The news about the “Kevin Butler” character has been pretty wild the last couple of days. I’ve been careful not to couch my stories in too much legal language, since I’m no expert and don’t want to give that impression. But speaking in layman’s terms, I can see where both of them are coming from.

From Lambert’s perspective, he’s probably playing a variation on himself. The bulk of the resemblance seems to be his physical appearance, even if one or two of his speaking roles as a Bridgestone engineer has touched on that kind of bravado. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ad writers put him that role because they knew he was good at it. If that kind of character is just how he is when in “goofy” roles, I don’t see how Sony can lay claim on it.

Sony saw their former mascot in an ad with a Wii and was understandably bristled. I tend to think if he had just remained in Bridgestone ads they would have left well enough alone, so he probably should have known better than to appear in the Wii ad. Not because it was necessarily untoward, but just to be on the safe side.

Whatever the outcome, this is a heck of a way for such a successful ad campaign to end. From a marketing perspective, Kevin Butler was one of the most successful branding campaigns we’ve seen in years, so it would have been nice if it had ended a bit more amicably. Or ended at all, really, I didn’t even realize the character was done with until this news started coming out.

I’ve been a bit busy for updating this thing as of late, between a busy release season and moving into a new house. We’re moved in now, but the busy season presses on, so I can’t promise more frequent updates. I can say I’ll make the attempt, but responsibilities come first.

I reviewed XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and it’s probably somewhere in my top 5 games of the year now. Other contenders so far, in no particular order, are Journey and The Walking Dead.