Author Archives: Scott Smith

Hawkeye Vol 2. Little Hits


Hawkeye Volume 2, collecting issues 6-11 of the series by Matt Fraction and David Aja tells five individual stories that all continue the story of our down on his luck Avenger just trying to live his life as a New York City landlord, while dealing with his protege Kate Bishop, Ex’s who just happen to be Superheroes, a Mobster who wants him dead, and his dog Lucky.

The story doesnt feel like your normal superhero fare and the amazing art by David Aja looks like it would fit more in a Chris Ware comic than a Marvel one really helps the series stand out. Theres a great issue about the effect of Hurricane Sandy on the New Jersey coast and issue 11 tells the entire story from a dog’s view of the human world.

One of the best solo Avenger stories of this decade continues with the volume, and the best part of it is, there’s no superheroics to be found in its pages.
Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits

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The Killing Joke


Watched this animated adaptation last night and it left me wishing i had just reread the much more interesting comic of the same name. Where the comic takes the Batman universe and treats it with serious respect, this cartoon adaptation misteps by adding romance between Batman and Batwoman and uses sexual influence to what should already be a powerful story. Batman and Joker were always the story here and things get muddled, and even sexist with what they do with the cartoon adaption. It’s sad as many of the voice actors from the phenomenal Batman: The Animated Series, are here but their talent and ownerships of these legends get lost by bad storytelling.
As such I can’t recommend you viewing it, unless you are a Bat completionist. Pick up the book instead.

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Current Games with Gold

From now until the end of January current subscribers to Xbox Live Gold can get two games for Free.

The first is season 2 of Killer Instinct for Xbox one. I find this as not a full game as your just getting 8 fighters for the game and if you want the complete experience you’ll have to buy more from the store. Still it’s a tremendous fighter and plays well in multiplayer. An added bonus it comes with the original Killer Instinct 2 from the arcade days. The fighter hasn’t held up well over time and what was once a great game is slow and chugs along compared to modern fighters. But as a novelty add on it’s fine.

The other free game is the wonderful Rayman Origins a star for sidescrolling adventure platformers. Released in 2011 you’d still be hard pressed to find a nicer looking 2d platformer. This one shines in the gameplay department and is well worth the download.

I’d say the older game is the one worth your time for this half of the months lineup. Here’s looking forward to a great year of free games on Xbox Live.

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East Carolina Football :The Book


Got this awesome ECU book for Christmas. It’s part of the Images of Sports series and contains 128 pages of historical photos and captions of the history of East Carolina Pirate Football.
The book only spends about 5 pages on Pirate football past the 1991 season so for someone like me who went to school from 1996-2000 this is a neat history lesson to see where Pirate football began and how far we’ve come.
Some of the pictures are truly fascinating especially the section on our early games at the old College Stadium. I’ve walked that part of campus many times, and I could never picture how they would have football games there.
If you are a Pirate fan this book is worth the $15 for nostalgia alone and for a little knowledge on the roots of the Purple and Gold.
Get your copy here. East Carolina University Football (Images of Sports)

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Paddington


Watched Paddington the other day with Milo. What should be a cute kids movie is actually quite funny when you add in every British actor of this generation. Seeing Peter Capaldi as the grumpy neighbor, one wonders if this is during a time period where the Doctor lost his memory for a while.

It’s also pretty great how they handle an out of place a bear would be in modern day london. Most people don’t bat an eye. “Oh a police bear. ” “There seems to be a lost bear there”. The actors all state it matter of fact, as if a common happening, or just general lack of surprise. The effect is Paddington just blends seamlessly into the world thanks in large part to some great cgi.

We don’t get many of these live action family movies anymore so it’s really great to rekindle that feeling that old movies like Swiss Family Robinson or Mary Poppins has. If you have children this is a good movie for the entire family.
Watch it here.

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Wendy’s Buddy Crates


Wendy’s happy meals currently come with these buddy crates as the toy. What’s super cool about them is they are made up of the box they come in.

When you open the box you get the eyes, which are made of plastic, a sheet of six stickers, one crayon and instructions. Everything else you need is the box itself.

It’s a simple proccess to put together and the crayon and sticker make it so everyone can be different depending on how creative you want to get.


As so many Happy Meal toys end up in landfills and flea market bins it’s nice to have a creative outlet one like this that actually involves some creative output and construction.

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Convenience versus the Economy


At first this above video made me think the future is here, but then I started thinking and it’s really scary.

Ever use a self check at the grocery store? What about an ATM? How about ordering something online instead of going out into the world for it? Yeah, we are all guilty of it. But what will be the tipping point where our drive for convenience will eventually dismantle the US workforce?

I’ve made a conscience effort to go the cashier at my local grocery lately as I see the 10$/ hr that will go home with them valued higher to my five minutes quicker out the door. And don’t think for a minute once the stores can get rid of cashiers you won’t be waiting in line. You’ll just be waiting on the computers to process your sale.

The national movement to raise the minimum wage, where its spirit is good and human, will only drive the technology to put a large amount of the US workforce out of work. Wendys already announced plans to reduce their workforce this May replacing cashiers with screens. Their competition will be implementing similar things as soon as they can develop their own way of incorporating the machines in their existing structures. Forcing these companies to pay higher wages will only advance this movement.

The problem is of course deeper. Up until the 1990’s careers at McDonalds were entry level usually filled by teenagers and college students. Somewhere along the way our workforce ran out of options and started making the McDonalds model a career, something it’s not viable as. If McDonalds pays living wages for employees, then their will be no more Fast food chains. At least not any with a Dollar Menu. Maybe that’s not a bad thing but the companies will do what they need to meet their bottom line. If that means replacing employees with machines then that is what they will do.

Where then do all these employees go to work next? They’ve already lost a career at what our country considers a job for the uneducated or unskilled. Rightly or wrongly they will find it hard to find further employment.
And it’s not just fast food employees who will be impacted. Uber, a refuge for people who lost careers, has already started rolling out Self driving cars to replace their drivers. Good bye Taxi Drivers careers. This will be followed by Bus drivers, garbage men, and eventually long haul 18 wheeler drivers. If you can pay a one time fee for the robot that will deliver your goods, why keep the man and his family’s health insurance behind the wheel? Wild stuff and as the technology advances all occupations could one day be replaced.

Scary times indeed. So if you believe in supporting people that work, stop going to self check, stop using the ATM, stop ordering your groceries by mail. It won’t stop the incoming wave of jobs being replaced, but it’s the ethical choice, and might, just might be a way to keep food on someone’s table. At least for a while longer.

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Nintendo Switch Presentation


I really kind of numb to it right now. I decided to sleep on it before posting. But this guy above, dressed in Splatoon cosplay pretty much sums up last night. Instead of talking to the core gamer, the ones who stayed up late around the world, Nintendo showed us Wii style gimmicks and made really cheesy Switch Puns. We were 30 minutes in before we saw a real game in Mario Odyssey and that wont be out till fall.

Nintendo didn’t use the opportunity to tell us how the online system will work, rather they buried it in a press release and there are so many questions left unanswered. The launch lineup looks weak as all get out with Zelda being the lone standout and depending on pricing Bomberman R might do well.

I won’t be putting down for a preorder. I’ll probably still end up with one when I see it on the shelf because as you can see below Zelda below looks fantastic but my hype was wiped out by this disaster of a press conference.

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Horizon Zero Dawn


The latest trailer for Horizon Zero Dawn continues to make this look like the most epic game Playstation has attempted in a while. It sometimes has some Uncanny Valley moments in the trailer, but overall looks gorgeous. I’m a little concerned the gameplay will be over complicated as some of the RPG elements frankly scare me, but this trailer shows the story is there and is massive. I like that you really can’t tell much about the people other than some Native American influence and some lost technology type of civilization. Can’t wait to give the game a try when it releases.

Tomorrow I will have the Switch press conference impressions if I can stay up to midnight tonight.

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