I haven’t done an informal “feature artist” post since the spotlight on Paris Cullins. After hitting the cardboard archives this afternoon, I am ashamed to admit I have overlooked one of the zaniest writer/illustrators to have ever escaped Stan Lee’s Rectum, and you better believe this guy didn’t use a chisel to chip chip chip away moist Alcatraz walls to the tune of Eastwood’s Accordion. Tonight, the cap comes off in salute to … Keith Giffen.
Yes, he’s an unassuming, almost lethargic-looking mensch who would seem more at ease hosting educational programs about geodes on PBS during the 1980s. However, this artist has contributed prodigiously to the industry, specifically to DC Comics thirty years ago. He was an integral component of the team that generated “The Darkness Saga”, the best storyline in the history of the Legion of Super-Heroes as they clashed with the Mad Barber of Apokolips, Darkseid. He resurrected the post-Crisis Justice League of America in ’87 after the group’s embarrassing Detroit breakdown, injecting humor into the franchise without the laughs seeming desperate and forced. Justice League International spawned Justice League Europe in ’89. The writing and the art were such an 180 degree turn to the Lighter Side of Superheroism that the inglorious evacuation of the Justice League’s previous incarnation was entirely forgivable. Later, he gave us the gutsy/guts-splattered intergalactic badass-for-hire Lobo and the irreverent and iconoclastic Ambush Bug, as well as a short but memorable run with Dr. Fate. I salute you, Mr. Giffen, and with the day’s 11th cup of coffee in hand, I declare: FRAG ‘EM ALL. (Helps that I just finished watching the documentary Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie right after watching Random Acts of Violence) —
What REALLY killed Morton Downey, Jr.?
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. That was the motto of the French Revolution, which set in motion a series of events that breathed fresh air into ideas such as nationalism, democracy, and liberalism. With the recently announced Assassins Creed: Unity, Ubisoft itself seems to be breathing new air into its own marquee franchise, creating the very first Assassins Creed exclusively for the new console generation. But will the old ideals of previous AC games make their way into the new and improved version?
For me, I was hoping that Assassins Creed 4 would rival Assassins Creed 2 as the premiere title in the series. Instead, I got was the same game I’ve been playing the last four years. Is this what passes for sequels now? The same game, set in a different time period or location? In other words: the series hasn’t changed. I go into every AC game, hoping they cut out the unnecessary animus story but it’s still there. Whenever it comes up, I just find myself increasingly uninterested and eventually losing interest and just burning through missions.
One thing I absolutely cannot gripe about, though, is Ubisoft’s attention to detail of said historic places. Ubisoft is just unbelievably talented at making everything look awesome. Much credit to the design team because every game I am more in awe of the detail they put into the environments. I anxiously await the chance to run pell-mell through turn of the century France. Actually, I’m looking to run pell-mell through pallid, consumptive Parisian whores. (ed. note: seriously; where’s my AAA-title sex mini game?)
So much like Impervious Rex says ever single year he’s NOT getting the new entry into the Call of Duty series yet does (ed. note: what a hypocrite), I promised myself that I wouldn’t get the new Assassins Creed unless it took place during the French Revolution. Well, apparently Ubisoft has been spying on me because here we are. Damn you, Ubisoft, damn you all the way to the ATM for my $65 and change. Now let’s hope you can pull off something revolutionary worth my hard-earned francs.