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03 July 2015 - 02:01 AM
I've already read through the omnibus when I first got it, and I flat out loved it. The rating at Amazon is diminished, it seems, because people don't like the reproduction. I thought it OK. The art, though, is typical 70's/80's Marvel, so it's not going to blow you away. I'd love to see someone come in an re-master the book, with the same stories and new art.
But the stories....
The stories are fantastic and very, very "Trek".
They're not action romps like the last couple of movies. They're real science fiction. They're the Star Trek type of stories that we saw during the three seasons of the original show.
And, if you're a roleplaying--a Star Trek roleplayer, these stories will keep your starship and crew busying for a long, long time. There are several excellent ideas here to base a game around. Many of the stories are multi-issue tales, including the first. I'm sure that you could run this scenario during any Trek time period.
It picks up just as the Motion Picture ends. The Enterprise (or whatever ship you use in your game) is tasked by Admiral Fitzpatrick to pick up Ambassador R'Kgg and an escaped prisoner Raytag M'Gora (a large, very "alien" alien that kinda resembles the alien from the Alien movies), of the Orlian Quadrant.
M'Gora has escaped from Thallus, a world near the Klingon border that has recently reversed its political course and opened up diplomatic relations with the Federation. If you'll remember, at the end of The Motion Picture, the Enterprise is to be taken on a shake down cruise. In this story, the cake run to ferry the good ambassador and the "gift" of the escaped convict to the Thallus system is just the type of mission that is perfect for a shake down cruise.
You could start your game with the meeting with Admiral Fitzpatrick. Your players are a new crew on a brand new starship. Or, they're a new crew taking over an older vessel as Kirk did as new commander of the Enterprise after Captain Pike. Lots of ideas here. Your players could even take over the Enterprise during that period called the "Lost Years", after Kirk returns to Starfleet Command but before the Enterprise is given to Captain Spock to train new cadets (between The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Khan). Hell, we know little about the Enterprise B or C. Maybe your crew made the historic voyages in one of those vessels. Depending on where you look, it's either Captain Robert April or Captain Christopher Pike who was the first commander of the Enterprise. Maybe in your Star Trek universe, your crew is the very first to command the old girl, turning the ship over to Pike once your journeys come to an end.
In the comic, there's an early scene beaming the prisoner M'Gora aboard, and the thing (I'd be kicked out of Starfleet for calling an sentient being a "thing") goes on a rampage after breaking out of its restraints. This might be a great place to open your game, too, with a little action, and a giant, red colored alien with an exoskeleton. M'Gora is frantic. He's scared, and determined, not to return to Thallus.
Red Herring or plot point?
I dunno. You'll have to read the story. I'm just giving you an idea of how this game could start.
So, you've got action to start out your game. A rampaging alien prisoner running around the ship. This is a great time to break out those ship blue prints....
With M'Gora captured and in the brig, the "teaser" to your Star Trek episode is over. The credits roll, and after station identification, the GM reads the log to the players....
"Captain's Log. Stardate 7416.4. We are cruising just outside Klingon space....."
On the Bridge.
On the bridge, your Communications Officer begins to get reports from several decks. These are reports of monsters, ghosts, and other scary things. Nothing out of the ordinary shows on the internal sensor log. If you like, run one of these incident with some of your players. In the story, Crewman Williams is in a romantic position with another engineering ensign dark apparition comes at them out of the dark. Williams hurls a bottle of saurian brandy at it, and the thing disappears just as the bottle strikes, leaving the bottle to crash into the wall, spreading brandy and glass.
Checkov and Sulu are in the ship's gym. Checkov relaxes on a weight bench while the ship's Chief Helmsman practices his fencing, when they are attacked by a puff of white smoke with a face...a ghost! Sulu's sword does no damage to the smoke, but the smoke disappears when it is attacked.
Back on the bridge, your Science Officer is scanning for Thallus but finding no planet at the coordinates!
And, the reports of strange, creepy incidents continue to come in.
There is an explosion of black smoke in front of the turbolift. The air smells of brimstone. A man appears. He's in a tuxedo. A very old tuxedo. He wears a cape that is blood red on the inside. His hair is combed slick straight back. You can see that he has a couple of....pointed teeth!
"So," he says, "I have been resurrected aboard a starship, have I? Very good! I see all the sustenance I shall need has been provided me!"
Security or some of the bridge PCs can launch at the man. If they do, he proves to be quite the combatant. Very strong. Inhumanly strong. And, he changes into a bat! And, then, back into a mist! And, then, he is gone.
Fascinating, as Spock would say.
No matter what the PCs do (go after him...send security...use the ship's sensors to locate him), two things will happen. The ship's science officer will announce that "Dracula" is indeed solid, organic being, unlike the other reports where the "monster" did not show up on sensors. And, second, Dracula will be located on C Deck.
But, when the Captain and PCs arrive, they find Ambassador R'Kgg dead in the corridor. Two red puncture marks show on his neck. And a scared crewman nearby who says she saw a man in a cape walk out of an explosion of smoke, bite the Ambassador on the neck, then turn into a bat and fly off down the corridor.
Folks! How's that for a great beginning to a Star Trek scenario!
Read the comic to get the rest of the story. Haunted Houses floating out in space on the main viewer. Klingons! And, the mystery of the prisoner alien, Raytag M'Gora! Not to mention the intrigue of Dracula!
Doesn't that sound like Old Trek? Great, old Star Trek?
Think your players would dig it? Do they love Star Trek?
Makes me want to break out my old FASA ruleset.
25 June 2015 - 06:31 AM
New show on the USA Channel that just blew me away. It had me before the opening credits.
Smart. Great writing. Main character is really interesting. Fresh telling of a familiar plot.
I'm in for more.
Mr. Robot on USA.
19 June 2015 - 05:37 PM
I read the Dark Horse Aliens omnibuses on and off. I love the Aliens universe. While the movies seem to be a one trick pony, the comics writers never seem to run out of interesting stories involving the alien.
In Omnibus 3 this is a story that just flat knocked me on my butt: Aliens Sacrifice.
Stop reading here if you don't want to read spoilers.
The main character is a woman on a ship that crashes onto a colony world. The one settlement on the world is being harassed by an Alien. The alien got there from a supply ship. It killed that crew, then started in on the colonists. But, the colony members have found a way to survive. It's been nine months now--nine months of hell for the colony.
When our main character appears. She's the only survivor of a ship that crashed.
The first twist? Our main character is a priest!
Second twist? She finds out the the colonist have been surviving by taking Human babies out of the colony and leaving them on an altar for the Alien.
Third twist? The babies are really clones that the colony grows in tanks, spitting one out every three days or so.
Are these babies real? Is what the colony doing immoral? Do these clones have soul?
I love these types of questions. This is a real Science Fiction story that makes you think. Are we talking Good vs. Evil here? Or, are we talking just pure survival?
The weapons in the colony have all been spent. Our hero, the female priest, dons chain-mail like armor, fashions a spear, and goes out into the woods to meet the devil....
Fantastic story. I'll keep the ending a secret for now. Read it. You won't be disappointed.
The story has beautiful, unconventional art, too.
04 June 2015 - 07:18 AM
I've never read The Hour of the Dragon. I know. I know. I hope you guys don't kick me off the site. But, I'm reading it now. Honest.
And...I never knew that Conan had a hairy chest. I've never noticed him described that way. I've read about the ice-blue eyes and the square cut black mane, plus the sunburned skin. But, never the chest.
Maybe I'm influenced by all those comics and illustrations depicting him muscled, but bare chested.
27 May 2015 - 02:27 AM
I've been reading Conan And The Midnight God. Almost done. And, I am utterly taken with the tale. It flows like a movie. It's got great visuals. And, it feels like a Conan tale.
Hollywood is all about taking comics and making them films these days. And, I'm not just talking about comic book superheroes. More obscure comics have been made into films, like Whiteout, Road to Perdition, Red, and Surrogates. Those are just what come to mind. I bet you comic readers out there can come up with better examples.
What if 100-200 million bucks were put behind a new Conan film based on a comic book story?
Which of the Conan stories would you pick to be the film that would start a new Conan franchise?
Certainly, Conan And The Midnight God would be one of my picks, but I'd have to put much more thought into it (and read more Conan comics than I have) to say that's my definitive pick. There are so many good Conan comic tales.
Out of any series, from any publication (Savage Sword included), which comic story would you propose be the new Conan film?