The Infinity Gauntlet

The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin, Ron Lim, and George Pérez is pretty understandably epic in scale. I don’t know how the upcoming Avengers movie can get to this story without more setup than we’ve seen so far. But, who knows? I’ve heard rumours that they might not start with this story right away, which means I started in the wrong place. Oops.

It really seems like a huge story arc designed to launch Adam Warlock into an eternal hall of fame at the expense of the entire Marvel universe. Jim Starlin’s Adam Warlock. Jim Starlin the writer of this story. Nothing suspicious here at all, nope.

The cosmic elements are the best. There’s panels with Doctor Strange, Adam Warlock, Celestials and Eternals that knock it out of the park with delicious cosmic visuals. There’s some mind bending bit here to love.

There’s also a cameo of a Trump property getting natural disastered that gave me mean chuckle.

But really, it’s Doctor Strange who gets some of the best visuals.

The framing story is that Thanos is desperate for Lady Death’s love. It’s kind of pathetic, and perhaps a funny commentary on desperate but unrequited nerd ideas of “love”. The framing story seems stuck on repeat for most of the series, until the story catches up to where Thanos is at; then the story gets stuck on repeat as the writing plays the same sequence of heroes trying to defeat Thanos while Silver Surfer or someone doubts Adam Warlock over and over for a while.

But there’s some great “who’s it” with the Infinity Gauntlet including a couple steals and a fumble to liven things up.

As stuck as it may seem repeating in places within this collected volume, it isn’t anything I’ve read before elsewhere. It’s new, but repeats within itself a bit, is what I’m saying. But, it’s good, and, where it does internally new stuff, it does it really well. There’s tons of visuals and moments that struck me, and which I hope to see on the big screen eventually as a bonus.

In the end everyone returns to where they were, except Thanos and Adam Warlock, who both, sort of, escape the cycle of statis, ironically by getting stuck in a different, or maybe the same, from a certain point of view, cycle of stasis.

I’m certainly curious about the rest of the Infinity Gem Saga, but that’s a lot of material. I hope it stays fresh across the whole sequence of 6 collections. It’s a bit daunting and I feel like I got a good complete story in this collection alone, so I’m not super hype about the rest, to be honest. In that sense, this volume is a nice complete thing in itself without feeling left tricked into needing to read anything else.

Originally posted on my personal blog at The Infinity Gauntlet

Munchkin Starfinder

Munchkin Starfinder is a crowdfunding effort by Steve Jackson Games for a “Starfinder-themed version of Munchkin complete with looting, lasers, and levels!”

Play a laser-toting explorer in Munchkin Starfinder, where we combine the backstabbing, monster-killing, “roleplaying” action of classic Munchkin with the hostile planets, sleek starships, and alien creatures found in Paizo Inc.’s new Starfinder Roleplaying Game! Choose from more than a dozen new races and classes to beat up space monsters, loot exotic planets, and race to Level 10.

Munchkin Starfinder was developed by Munchkin Line Editor Andrew Hackard and illustrated by Howard Tayler, known for his webcomic Schlock Mercenary as well as his work in the Writing Excuses podcast alongside Brandon Sanderson and other great authors.

This 168-card stand-alone game comes with new races, new classes, and Starfinder-specific card backs. Like most Munchkin games, this is for 3 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, and takes 1 to 2 hours to play.

Back this game today and start looting in this spacefaring adventure!

“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist”

The proton and the antiproton are basically identical — indicating that maybe, the universe shouldn’t exist—Mihai Andrei, ZME Science

Matter and antimatter violently annihilate each other. If they’re absolutely symmetrical, then maybe — just maybe — the universe shouldn’t exist.

Researchers at CERN in Switzerland have made the most precise measurement ever of the magnetic moment of an antiproton. The magnetic moment determines how a particle reacts to an external magnetic force. They found that the two moments are absolutely identical but with an opposite sign. This is really problematic.

“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist,” says Christian Smorra, a physicist at CERN’s Baryon–Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment (BASE) collaboration. “An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is.”

“the oldest known example of … an astrolabe”

Astrolabe: Shipwreck find ‘earliest navigation tool’—Rebecca Morelle, BBC News

An artefact excavated from a shipwreck off the coast of Oman has been found to be the oldest known example of a type of navigational tool.

Marine archaeologists say the object is an astrolabe, an instrument once used by mariners to measure the altitude of the Sun during their voyages.

It is believed to date from between 1495 and 1500.

The item was recovered from a Portuguese explorer which sank during a storm in the Indian Ocean in 1503.

The boat was called the Esmeralda and was part of a fleet led by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the first person to sail directly from Europe to India.

Conan Adventures released!

Modiphius has now released print versions of the core Conan Adventures books, including regular, limited and player’s guide editions, a first set of adventures, and dice set to the general public. This is a 2d20 game that was crowdfunded, but is now available at retailers and in print to everyone.

These are also available digitally if you’d rather, all but the dice and limited edition, of course. But there’s also a QSR download if you want to check it out right now, by Crom!