Comics! Cartoons! Anime! Crisis Vol. 2, No. 12: Irish and Pirates and Spies! Oh My!

Guess who’s back. Back again. Zombie’s back. Tell a friend...so we can have a conversation about comics and such.

Hey guys its me again back for another round as the weekly guest writer of 'Comics!, Cartoons!, Anime!' My mission, to help the regulars out by beating the deadline for today. Wow, if I keep this up (pffffffft like thats gonna happen) I might actually have to drop the word guest from my title. Well for those who don’t know, this is a place where we talk about comics, cartoons, and anime as evident by the title. We have a deep appreciation of all kinds of Spider-man, we’re helpful, and we're always able to give advice on what's great in the world of true believers. I was going to have a theme for this edition but I figured why limit it to a theme when I can just talk about stuff I think you might enjoy.

So, without further ado lets bring order to this Crisis (on Infinite Polygons).

You know what gets way too much hate? Comics from the '90’s. Now don’t get me wrong there was a poor level of quality control during that time, and the consumer bubble was so close to bursting as things were getting out of hand. In that chaos though came some of the best comics of all time in my opinion. This is one of them.

Meet Abbey Chase. Thief. Treasure Hunter. Spy. Danger Girl. The comic revolves around Abbey, who in the middle of a heist, was offered a position on the Danger Girls. Its essentially Charlie’s Angels, if the angels were also Bond girls, and Charlie was a retired, more athletic James Bond.

The cast includes Sydney Savage, a previous member of the Australian Special Ops whose wit is often matched by her skill with her whip that she uses as her primary weapon. Silicon Valerie (Yaaaaaa Puns) is a teenager who graduated top of her class at Oxford, and that's before she even finished High School. She monitors the missions and is essentially Bosny, but is eventually upgraded to taking on field missions. There’s Johnny Barracuda - a member of the CIA who helps out the Danger Girls though not without being a tad chauvinistic, and has a love/hate relationship with Sydney.

Finally there’s Deuce, the man who retired from MI6 and started this whole thing. The cast fight off everyone you can think of from Neo-Nazis, Bond style villains, extremist Russians, Cobra Command (G.I Joe), zombies, the Yakuza and many other bad guys.

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And everyone could use a little more Campbell in their diet.

Now about the comic itself it really does have that distinct 90’s art style. I should mention J. Scott Campbell created this series, and while I like his art I will admit to the fact that he has taken liberties with the female anatomy more than a few times. The comic also has a nice layer of cheese that gives the comic such a fun campy feel, heck if it were any more campy you would get a merit badge just for reading it. The crossovers are where the majority of the series keeps its focus with notable crossovers coming from Batman, The Army of Darkness, and G.I. Joe. The art style also changes in-between issues after the original series ends, often choosing to reflect the story at hand. The characters are fun, the stories are great and the action is well paced. If you want to know what was good about 90’s comics, Danger Girl is a good place to start.

On a final note there's a movie rumoured to be in pre-production but it currently has no cast attached. Rumoured starring actors to have been cast include Mila Jonovich as Abbey Chase, and Kate Beckinsale as Sidney Savage. If true then that is some of the best casting ever of all time.

“The Secret of Kells” is an oddity, a visual spectacle brimming with originality. The film is an Irish-French-Belgian co-production and it is touted as the first Irish animated film, or at least partly Irish anyway. The film focuses on a twelve year old boy named Brendan, who lives with his uncle and other monks in the Abbey of Kells. Brendan’s uncle fears for the abbey as the Vikings have been making their way through Europe, and as a result he builds a wall to protect the abbey whilst forbidding Brendan to leave. However, his uncles orders don't prevent him from going out into the forest and finding a fairy girl named Aisling whom he befriends. And from there his story begins.

The animation of this film stands out as a unique mix between old European bible illustration and a modern cartoon. The visuals flow ever-so-smoothly, and the use of geometry and color adds to the experience. As far as 2D animated movies go the visuals on display in this movie are clearly on the same level as Disney. The story, however, is a different beast entirely.

The film has three story focuses; the incoming Vikings, the finishing of the Book of Kells, and the relationship Brendan has with his uncle and the new Deacon. While the stories about Brendan’s conflicted feelings about finishing the Book of Kells and obeying his uncle are the meat of the film, the Vikings take more of a backseat as they are only in the film for a short time. It is a fantastic short time though, as the Vikings are big, violent, and look more like monsters than men; but it’s still a short time. It also doesn’t help that the film is only about 70 minutes long.

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However, there is one small thing that bothers me. You see, this film has some religious overtones but they aren’t extreme and they’re used more for story than anything else. However there are times when inhabitants of the Abbey talk about the falseness of Pagan monsters, only to go kill those monsters a few minutes later without ever acknowledging the questions it just brought up. It feels like this film is being very careful where it goes so as to not step on anyone’s toes. It’s essentially the use of syncretism to cover up some plot holes.

Still, with so much personality and a cute little story I would wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone

There are few anime that can last so long, and still be so creative and hold ones attention quite like this masterful piece of work. One Piece is a Shonnen anime, and it's a hellava good one. Its 500 episodes strong, and still going. It truly is one of the best long running series out there.

So lets actually talk about what the show is about. In the age of Pirates there was a man named Gol. D. Roger, the King of the Pirates. He had wealth power and fortune beyond your wildest dreams but unfortunately for Roger, all that power didn’t save him in the end. He died at the gallows but not before mentioning that he hid his treasure in the Grand Line and it's all in One Piece (title drop). Now every pirate worth his salt is after the treasure, and the title of King of the Pirates.

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And that’s where our characters come in.

Starting with the most important is Monkey. D. Luffy, that captain of the straw hat pirates whose dream is to become the King. Luffy has the special skill of being made of rubber and can stretch his body to superhuman lengths. This is the result of eating a devil fruit which gives you powers that consist of animals transformation, elemental powers, or special abilities with your body. It also comes at a price, as anyone who eats theses fruits looses their ability to swim.

So essentially its X-Men, if the X-gene was caused by ingestion of exotic fruit that is. Luffy isn’t the only person on his ship, he also has Zorro the Swordsman, Sanji the Chef, Nami the Navigator, Ussop the Sniper, Chopper the Doctor, Nico Robin the Archeologist, and some others who the dubs haven’t made episodes for yet. These crew members have their own reasons for doing things and they all set out with Luffy to make it happen. They will meet monsters, villains, rival pirates, marines, people with Devil Fruit powers, and others with super martial arts techniques.

It’s a strange world in One Piece, and you gotta love every minute of it (even the filler sometimes.) The next 16 dubbed episodes are planned to come out in May, followed by 16 more sometime in the middle of summer.

And that’s another zombified episode of Crisis: Comics! Cartoons! Anime!.

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