Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Oct 2019

While you slept, the world changed. I haven’t reviewed any comics on this blog for a while, so today we’ll talk about Jonathan Hickman’s triumphant (so far) return to Marvel: House of X/Powers of X and the upcoming Dawn of X wave of books. Spoilers abound so be aware. Also while writing this I realized how absurd comic books must seem to nonreaders, but really that’s what makes it all fun!

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Sep 2019

Jul 2019

I know I already made a whole post about the MCU after Endgame came out, but after the MCU Phase 4 announcements this past weekend at SDCC I was a bit hyped. I thought it would be fun to look back at the past 10 years of MCU Phase 1-3 and see what I wrote about the movies. Iron Man (2008) Surprisingly, I had written nothing about watching this film at all, and I don’t remember going to the cinema to watch it.

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Apr 2019

Many of the manga series I used to follow from long ago have since ended, the only ones still running now are One Piece and Hajime no Ippo. So I thought I’d follow some newer ones. Here are some short reviews: The Promised Neverland I picked up this one due to a strong recommendation from someone I follow on social media. The premise starts out with some super smart kids who grew up in an orphanage without any knowledge of an outside world.

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Mar 2019

- movie was pretty good, no major issues- doesnt follow the typical MCU origin story ‘formula’- some weird pacing issues in a few places, but that just might be because of the chosen story direction- lots of little call-outs and tie-ins to the other MCU movies (although I feel like they could have done a bit more in some spots)- I am not a cat person. But if you are a cat person, you might like this: there is a cat.

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Jan 2019

Some Youtube channels I’ve been enjoying recently: ComicTropes is a weekly show that does deep dives into various mainstream comics titles, and often includes the background history of characters and creators, so very interesting stuff for comic book nerds. GameMaker’s ToolKit talks about video game level design topics. His series “Boss Keys” does a deep dive into Zelda dungeons and analyzes them based on criteria like linearity. His level design analyses are strongly based on systems and gameplay and how they affect the player experience.

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I was at the mall last week and I decided to watch the new Bumblebee movie (it came out late over here because reasons). Here’s my spoiler-free review. As the link says, I’ve been a big fan of Transformers since I was a kid, so I thought I’d talk about that for a bit. The 1980s cartoon obviously, though I think only the first two seasons of that aired on local TV.

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Dec 2018

Into the Spider-Verse spoiler-free review

- this is a great animated comic book movie, it makes me happy
- I may have been a bit overhyped by the early reviews, but it was very entertaining, funny and had brilliant presentation, melding the medium of movies with comic books in a way that has never been seen before
- again, the presentation is fantastic, the animation is great and intentional and the funky alternate universe stuff is represented well
- IDK if I would call it the best comic book movie of all time, or even the best Spider-Man movie of all time, but definitely one of the best animated movies of all time, for a comic book fan (highly specific lol)
- in fact, much respect to the writers who dared to bring this story to life. imagine the challenge of pitching a story idea to Sony about not just one new Spider-man, but several alternate universe versions of them. It’s not exactly comparable to a Disney movie plot after all, but they pulled it off
- between this movie and the PS4 game, I’m happy that Miles is making further inroads into the cultural zeitgeist
- Miles appearance here reminds me of Hey Arnold’s black friend lol
- maybe I would have appreciated the movie a bit more if I was into hip-hop or such
- comic book fans will be happy to know that this movie does *not* follow the actual Spider-Verse comic book arc along with its convoluted background of the inheritors. The plot and the opposition are much more straightforward
- Will Mama like it? Well …like all animated movies, with enough viewings at home by my nieces/nephews, maybe.
- This movie has the best post-credits scene of all time

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Into the Spider-Verse spoiler-free review 
- this is a great animated comic book movie, it makes me happy- I may have been a bit overhyped by the early reviews, but it was very entertaining, funny and had brilliant presentation, melding the medium of movies with comic books in a way that has never been seen before- again, the presentation is fantastic, the animation is great and intentional and the funky alternate universe stuff is represented well- IDK if I would call it the best comic book movie of all time, or even the best Spider-Man movie of all time, but definitely one of the best animated movies of all time, for a comic book fan (highly specific lol)- in fact, much respect to the writers who dared to bring this story to life.

Nov 2018

Finally had the time to play Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4. Took just a little under two weeks from start to Platinum. Maybe mild, unmarked spoilers somewhere in this review, be warned! Overall: the game was amazing and spectacular and fun, especially for a big comic book fan like me, well worth the buy. Mechanics: Combat felt a bit weird to me at first, mainly because I was expecting it to be closer to Arkham-style combat, and I kept trying to use Spider-Man’s Circle Dodge the same way I use Batman’s Triangle counter, and that got me clocked by the first boss of the game (Kingpin) a few times.

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Oct 2018

Comic books and superheroes have always tended to skew towards liberal philosophies, given how writers and artists tend to support ideals like individualism and free expression. So it’s not surprising that the derivative shows tend to lean the same way. Not only do many of the shows promote diversity, but many are becoming overtly political as well. Some recent examples. (Spoilers for current seasons of Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Daredevil follow)

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Jul 2018

May 2016

"Everyone knows the third movie is always the worst" -- Jean still too much focus on Jennifer Lawrence/Mystique some great soundtrack choices Quicksilver scene maybe just a tiny bit too long. Tradition of defying the rules of physics continues (I hope someone does the math on how fast he was probably moving) nice 80s wardrobe lol not particularly faithful to the source material plot is all over the place, a lot of WTF moments here and there.

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May 2014

Well, I haven’t written anything in a while, so I figured I’d write some words on the new Spider-Man movie. Spoilers abound! Action-packed! The web-swinging is fun and looks¬†and feels just like Spidey from the comic books. Spider-man moves and fights and banters pretty faithfully to the comic book version of our favorite wall-crawler, so that’s a definite plus. Peter’s Spider-sense is portrayed as a slow-motion bullet-time kind of deal which allows him to react quickly and save all the people while dodging everything.

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Apr 2013

Just rewatched the ending of X-Men First Class. As far as origin stories go, it’s pretty decent (although a number of continuity issues with the other X-Men movies exist). Charles getting crippled during the time that he and Erik part ways is certainly better than the canon comics story of him getting crippled by a random alien. The use of the Cuban Missile Crisis was also a good idea considering how the timeline matched up with Erik’s time in the Nazi camps.

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Mar 2013

Due to general business and/or laziness I’ve missed a few weeks of posting so to get back into pace I’m going to go through the current Marvel NOW titles and see how they’re going so far. (We’ll see if I have time for DCnU later) Captain America¬†(4 issues in) - I’m not a big fan of Romita’s art but at least it’s better in this book than his AvX work.

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Jan 2013

Here are the first few Marvel comics I read this week: Savage Wolverine #1 by Frank Cho is a fun, action-packed ride. It doesn’t explain much of what the heck is going on, but it does feature Wolverine chopping heads off and stabbing dinosaurs in the face so hey, I guess I’ll read it for a while! All-New X-Men #6¬†sees the young X-Men trying to settle into modern day. I found young Scott’s trying to wrap his head around mobile phones, bottled water and $5 magazines particularly amusing.

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Props: Beast newly mutating again. It’s not too radical, but I wasn’t really a fan of cat-beast anyway, so I don’t mind something new Stuart Immonen’s artwork is still pretty good My favorite panel here has to be the one with Jean finding out about what happened to her from furry Beast. (See above) It’s a nice collage that will be enjoyed by long-time X-fans who will most likely try to identify each and every scene depicted by Immonen in this spread.

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Props: Kenneth Rocafort’s art is as usual the highlight of the book for me. This time he gets to draw a full book of Superman in his¬†Action Comics shirt and jeans, plus a few panels of the Justice League. Rocafort is easily the best artist DC comics has at the moment. Amazing build-up of Lex Luthor and how much of a genius/threat he is to Superman. It’s terrific that faced with a threat beyond his grasp, Superman’s first move is to consult his arch enemy before the Justice League.

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Dec 2012

DC has an extra week of #15 releases on the first week of January (January 2), since they only had two issues out on Christmas week, which were: Justice League #15 and¬†Aquaman #15 (Throne of Atlantis) Geoff Johns finally gives us a bit more characterization in the Justice League, stepping up from the previous issues that seem a bit filler. We get a glimpse of Cyborg’s current relationship with his father Clark and Diana on a date in secret identity mode and later saving people together mode (with Lois looking on wistfully maybe?

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When I first heard about¬†Amazing Spider-Man ending and being replaced by a new¬†Superior Spider-Man series starring someone other than Peter Parker, my first thought was: maybe they’re finally retiring Peter for good. Peter is at a pretty good point in his personal life: he has a good, fulfilling job at Horizon Labs so he doesn’t have to miss the bills, Aunt May is well taken care of by Jameson Sr.

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It’s “Last Week in Marvel NOW!” since this is going up on Sunday/Monday. And what a lot of Marvel NOW! we got, since many of the top titles are double shipping this month. Hopefully the schedule normalizes back to monthlies soon, I’m already reading far too many books as it is! (Well, that’s kind of a good problem to have right?) Luckily Marvel only has two books coming out on Christmas week, gives me some time to catch up.

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There’s really far, far too many comics I read each week to cover them in one blog post so I’ll just cover them in groups. First, the non-Marvel NOW! series: Hawkeye #6 is the highlight of this week’s Marvel releases. The book is consistently funny, down-to-earth and awesome, and this issue is one of the best so far. If you haven’t heard about it, the series written by Matt Fraction is one of Marvel’s best ongoings right now.

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Well, missed posting about last week’s comics due to some technical difficulties with my home computer, let’s see if we can’t get back on track. There’s a lot to look forward to this week on the Marvel side. There’s¬†All-New X-Men #4 where we’ll finally get to see Cyclops face off with his younger/older self. My other favorite so far of the Marvel NOW! books has the second issue this week: Avengers #2 continues the introductory arc to Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers epic, let’s see how he handles the large cast he’s playing with.

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Easily the best comic I’ve read this week (and I’ve already read a lot!) is the Marvel NOW! Relaunch of the Avengers book. Avengers vol. 5 #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena ushers in a brand new era of Avengers; bigger, bolder and looking to be a lot more epic. Jonathan Hickman, fresh off what many consider to be the best¬†Fantastic Four run in recent history (if not all-time), takes over from former¬†Avengers¬†showrunner Brian Michael Bendis and immediately shows us how his take on the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is going to set itself apart from Bendis’ 200+ issue run.

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It’s actually kind of a light week this week. There’s a couple of Marvel NOW! #1s coming in, and nothing too exciting particularly on the DC side. The #1 I’m most looking forward to the most this week has to be Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena’s Avengers #1¬†(link leads to preview pages). It’s a new era for the Avengers as a new creative team takes over from Bendis, and it looks like Hickman will be bringing over his tendency for epic-scale adventures from the Fantastic Four books over to the Avengers franchise.

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Nov 2012

Let’s see what the comic book man brought us this week! (Mild spoilers may ensue) Uncanny Avengers #2 (Marvel) To be honest this book was not at the top of my to-read list since I was a bit underwhelmed by the first book. But that may have been a product of reading too many preview pages so that basically the only surprise I got was the shock ending of what Red Skull was doing to Xavier’s corpse.

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Tomorrow is new comics day! Here are the titles I’m most excited for this week: All-New X-Men # 2¬†- I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue of this Marvel NOW! series a couple of weeks ago and found myself excitedly looking forward to the next one. Luckily (or unlucky for your wallet?) many of the top Marvel NOW! #1s are double-shipping so here we are a couple of weeks later with the second issue of All-New X-Men!

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Writing regularly is something I’ve always wanted to be able to do but like most things I have trouble with, it’s the lack of discipline that gets me. Take this blog for instance. I randomly think of things to write about while I’m idling or commuting or waiting in line or any of the dozen or so other opportunities during the day when my mind wanders, but because of laziness and/or lack of discipline, these ideas never get very far.

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This week’s biggest issue was Amazing Spider-Man #698. With three issues before the series finale and Dan Slott hyping up the ending arc and still keeping a tight lid on who may be taking over Peter’s role in Superior Spider-Man in January, I was really excited to be able to read the first part of the final Dying Wish arc. Doctor Octopus is dying! But before he does he pulls a whammy on our favorite wall crawler.

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Jun 2012

The last two entries (here and here) took too long to write, and there’s a helluva lot of other titles to go through. And many of them don’t deserve much comments, so I’ll just go through the rest quickly or I might never finish. Action Comics – the younger Superman stories are interesting, but occasionally Morrison goes off on one of his weird tangent stories. Superman’s early years are largely re-written, and that’s understandable, he’s never had particularly interesting events in his history anyway

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This is part 2 of my DC New 52 Review. Part is here. Hopefully I finish this series before the reviews become too out of date. Batman I decided to read every book of the New 52 to widen my horizons regarding my comic book reading, and one of the greatest advantages has been exposure to Scott Snyder’s work. I have a tendency not to remember writers and artists of comics I read, except for the very famous ones, so I wasn’t aware that I had read his work before during the Black Mirror arc in Detective Comics pre-New 52.

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May 2012

If you’re reading this, that means I’ve done it: I’ve read the first eight issues of every DC New 52 book. I’ve always been a Marvel fan more than DC, my previous DC reading having been restricted to JLA and the Batman books, so I figured exposure to the New 52 would widen my appreciation of the DC stable of heroes. Here are my reviews: Justice League While the art is Jim Lee-fantastic, the first story arc left much to be desired.

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Jun 2011

So Metro Manila is at the peril of heavy rains, flooding and traffic again (as often happens this time of the year) and I thought I’d do some actual blogging for a change. I didn’t want to brave the rush hour traffic last night so I finally got around to watching X-Men First Class (luckily it was still showing at Mega). I had actually seen Green Lantern first despite X1C showing two weeks before the DC movie.

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May 2008

I’m not sure how popular or well-known Beerkada is among the non-UP crowd, but right now I consider the slice-of-University-life comic (that has now graduated into slice-of-adult-life stories) probably the second best local comic strip. First place being of course the seminal Pugad Baboy, which has been running what, almost twenty years now? I digress. If you’ve read Beerkada, it’s far from perfect. It’s often corny, and sometimes he has too many of his own in-jokes.

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Dec 2005

Cassandra Cain was raised as an assassin. Growing up, her father never taught her to read or write, only to fight. She grew up knowing only one language – body language. Her mind processes human motions as fluently as ordinary people speak their native tongue. She can see moves before they happen or read a person’s intentions simply by following their movement patterns. She was an experiment to create the ultimate human fighting machine.

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Feb 2005

Roy Tang is a:

roytang.net is a personal site, an E/N site, and kind of a commonplace book; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.