Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Gaming in the Universe of… Superheroes

Rather than rewrite the intro for Superhero gaming every time the family reviews a superhero movie, I’m posting this article and will update the links accordingly.

Why re-invent the wheel?   There are many good RPGs centering around Superheroes.  TSR’s Marvel Super Hero game is available online as PDF, of course that’s not the Superman Universe, but heck they’re available for free.  Hero Games’ Champions, the grandaddy of all super hero RPGs is still available.  DC Heroes as published by Pulsar Games is a defunct game though the mechanics are used in their Blood of Heroes RPG.  Pinnacle Entertainment’s Necessary Evil, although not a super HERO setting does provide the rules for adding Super Heroes to your Savage Worlds campaign.  The current Super Hero RPG of choice appears to be Mutants and Masterminds, an in depth review of the game can be found at Greywulf’s Lair

The first thing we need to ask are you gaming in a generic super hero universe or one of the copyrighted ones?  I have many fond memories of playing in a Champions campaign from my high school days (no I won’t say when just know that Reagan was President when I graduated).  My GM for those days usually had Marvel and DC heroes pre-genned for folks just wanting to sit in on a game.  Though they were super heroes by the names of Supreme, Arachno-Lad, Night Stalker (a Batman clone) and Amazon (this was long before the Amalgam Universe).  How you play or allow your players to play will vary from hero to hero.

Superhero movie reviews currently in the database:
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
The Incredible Hulk
Superman IV

Gaming notes for:

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Marvel, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vulcan Stev’s Month-Late Movie Review… “The Incredible Hulk”

Originally posted at the Dire CafeJuly 8, 2008. I’m re-posting it here because it gives the reasons behind the title of the column. My format has changed somewhat since then.hulkposter_thumbnail

In his ongoing effort to see movies before they come out on DVD, our pointed eared friend must wait for the local theater to show what you all saw last month. Since most of the discussion surrounding current Hollywood fare show up on these boards weeks before our theater even thinks of getting the movie in, I refrain from discussing the movie until I’ve seen it.

I’m surprised that we hadn’t been talking more about this flick, but The Incredible Hulk came to the dollar theater this week.

I will admit to going with mixed feelings. Hulk (2003) was a weak story supported by a good cast. It also had some very “innovative” montage effects that tried to make you feel like you were watching a comic book come to life. Over all though Ang Lee’s Hulk was not what a Hulk movie needed to be.

My first thought when I learned that The Incredible Hulk was in production, I wondered why they were making a sequel. When I discovered that it was not a sequel I wondered why we only needed to wait five years for the comic book to become a film again. I mean how long did we wait for Superman to return to the big screen? Batman?

I took the kids, mainly because it was a buck and my children all appreciate Action/Adventure movies. I wasn’t expecting much out of the movie except two hours in the air conditioning. I was pleasantly surprised.

The story follows a combination of both Marvel’s classic and Ultimate origin stories for the Hulk. There are nods to the TV series, Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby all make cameos. Everything that I liked about the Hulk was in this movie

William Hurt played Gen Ross as well as Sam Elliot. Liv Tyler wouldn’t have been my first choice for Betty Ross but she played the maternally protective girlfriend to a “T”. Ed Norton got Bruce Banner right equal parts brilliant scientist and fugitive.

I get what Marvel studios wants to do. They want the Marvel Universe to exist not only in the pages of their monthly comic books but they want to have it on the big screen as well. Spider-Man was supposed to cameo in one of the X-Men movies. Columbia Pictures (or 20th Century Fox) threw a hissy about having a “Non-studio character” appear in the movie.

Marvel has gone to producing their own movies and having the studios release them. I’m not spoilering anything here when I say that Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark cameos in TIH. Marvel got what it wanted. Whether or not they can pull it off remains to be seen.

I will say that after watching TIH, I am eagerly awaiting the upcoming Thor, Captain America movie and Avengers in 2011. Marvel has partial screen control over their universe and currently seem to making the most of it.

If Warner Brothers had any sense they would attempt to do the same for DC.

Vulcan Stev(and clan)’s rating 3.5 pointed ears (out of four). The youngest thought there was too much kissing and not enough smashing. If you didn’t see this movie because of the bad taste in your mouth left by Ang Lee’s Hulk, please go see it. This movie was done right.

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, Marvel, Movie Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment