Friday, December 9, 2016

Comics this week

Champions #3- After 2 issues of setup, which exactly works very well, who would have thought the Champions’ first mission would be so “meh”. Writer Mark Waid tried to set the tone of the issue with political commentary in a more realistic world setting, but it was honestly poor. I have no problem with comics coming straight out against social issues (see my review of the latest issue of Ms. Marvel) but having a bunch of American kids and a robot going halfway around the world to defend 1 small village so that the women and girls there could have education is just too ridiculous even for comics. What? The Champions can’t find any problems to solve closer to home?

Justice League #10- After some many missteps, writer Bryan Hitch finally got it right. This issue wasn’t great but it was fun. Hitch threw the kitchen sink at readers this issue and it worked. This was a goofy issue with some fun twists in the midst of it. Hopefully, this is a sign of better things to come.

Moon Knight #9- Sometimes the setup is so good, the payoff must be great to make it worthwhile. Unfortunately for writer Jeff Lemire, this issue was just merely good. On its own, this is a very good issue but considering how great the previous issue was, it just pale in comparison. Yes, Warren Ellis and Jeff Lemire had spoilt us. Artists Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, and James Stokoe, all did stellar work that enhanced the story. Each of them did one of many iterations of Marc Spector and it works! Good issue! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

News on Pokemon Go!

I’m no fan of product tie-ins but at times, it’s a good thing. It’s good because we fans get inside info before the tie-ins happened. I mean just look at the latest news on Pokemon Go!

A Reddit user alturrisi (who has to be working at Starbucks) posted an internal Starbucks memo that says a new Pokemon Go update will be released in the US on December 8 that would coincides with the release of a new Pokemon Go-branded Frappuccino. Not only that, the memo state that new Pokemon will also be added to Pokemon Go this Thursday, December 8. That’s this week.

Usually, people will ignore such rumours but there’s was just an update that installed place-holders for the 100 Pokémon that were in Pokémon Gold and Silver. Perfect timing right? Let’s wait for a few days and see. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Comics this week

Deadly Class #24- Writer Rick Remender took a huge risk a few issues ago by killing almost all the main cast. With this issue, I am beginning to see why he did so. With the new cast, Remender could go back to the first few issues of the series when Marcus and gang were all freshmen. Marcus and his crew may not be around anymore, except for Saya of course, but with the new freshmen, Remender could restart the cycle and at the same time also show the intrigue and politics of the student body of the second year students. In many ways, this is a setup issue but it is a great setup issue. Read it!

Monstress #8- What’s there to say about the art of this series that hadn’t been said before? Nothing because artist Sana Takeda did another stellar job this issue that’s par for course for her. Her work isn’t just influenced by Japanese anime but by Japanese art and it is very refreshing. Writer Marjorie M. Liu’s story and world-building is good but Sana’s work is just great. Pick this series up!

Ms. Marvel #13- Between writer Gail Willow Wilson and artist Mirka Adolpha, this issue managed to do a most strange thing; it made the superhero heroic without having to do any of the usual superhero stuff. This issue had Kamala running around the city trying to get people to vote. I think this must be an American thing because of the recent election. Not a bad issue, but you most probably need to be an America to fully understand it.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

China Flex It's Muscle

If you are not with us, you are against us. 

That’s the line given to Singapore by China when they seized 9 Singapore armoured personnel carriers in Hong Kong last week. For a long time now, Singapore has tried to have it’s cake and eat it by walking a careful line between the U.S. and China. China is now saying that stance is at it’s end.

Using it's economic muscle, China has slowly gained the diplomatic advantage in South East Asia. Laos and Cambodia are strictly in China’s orbit; promises of investments seem to have swayed Philippine’s President Duterte to shelf their country’s territorial disputes; and they saved Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bacon by buying the Malaysian’s power plants. Now it’s Singapore’s turn.

I say; Singapore should just ignore China.

Yes, China is a big country and is very important for trade but seizing our armed forces’ weapons just to make a point? That’s just a step that goes beyond any acceptable norm. The Singapore government may not be able to do anything to China but they cannot allow and accept this. Not only that, if the Singapore accepts the seizure, cut ties with Taiwan and America over it; then we are burning the forest to save a tree.

Simply put; America is more important to Singapore than China. Throwing our weight behind China over America is just stupid when three quarter of our trade is with America. As Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has publicly said several times, Singapore does not want to take sides in the battle of influence between China and the U.S. However if China wants to force the issue, then there’s only one side to pick for Singapore.

Let China melt the armoured personnel carriers as they had threatened to do. The loss of the armoured personnel carriers would just prove what everyone had always suspected; China is no friend of Singapore. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bye Bye

For nearly 30 years, The New Paper has been around. Come tomorrow, that’s no more as the paper takes it's final bow today. Now I’m sure there will be some Singaporeans who are sad to see the paper go but for the majority of Singaporeans, they would meet demise of The New Paper with indifference.

The main problem as I see it is the simple fact that although The New Paper had tried to change itself many times, it has failed to distance itself from The Strait Times. Yes, it has more sensational stories, arguably a better football section, and more colour pictures but when it came to the meat of a newspaper, the stories were pretty similar to those of The Strait Times. It was really The Strait Times’ young brother so when advertisers cut down on promotion via advertisements in newspapers, The New Paper would be the one who get hit the hardest.

To me, The New Paper has always been just sort of there. The Strait Times is still around and with all the news currently online, I don’t think I would miss it too much. Sorry but that’s just the truth. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Blame Game

As quickly as that, the Singapore national football team are out of the AFF Suzuki Cup. The biennial football competition is contested by the national teams of Southeast Asia and Singapore had slumped to their worst showing in the 20-year history by finishing last in their group.

The blame game has already began with the players, the coach, the management, are getting some of the blame. To me, the blame game starts and ends on one thing; age.

Simply put, the national team is too old. The defence is anchored by 38 year old Daniel Bennett, our main striker is 31 year old Khairul Amri, and our captain is 32 year old Shahril Ishak. Our team is just too old to compete and that’s not something the players or the coach can control.

That’s on the Football Association of Singapore. Our youth development has failed so if there’s anyone to blame on the Singapore team getting kicked out on the first round of the Suzuki Cup, it’s on the FAS.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Comics this week

Spider-Gwen #14- What happened? The first half of this issue was excellent with Matt Murdock finally making a play to make good his deal with Gwen. Then…the art went to shit. I had said several times I do not agree with Marvel’s use of duel artists on an issue and this issue is Exhibit A on why. The difference in style between artists Robbi Rodriguez and Chris Visions is so huge, for a moment I thought there was a printing error. It was just terrible and that’s bad because writer Jason Latour threw the kitchen in this issue with a guest star from Jessica Drew and showing how awesome of a villain Matt Murdock would make. Too bad about the art switch.