Friday Night Fun: The Revenge of Calamity James!

With the unstoppable Devourer of Funk taking a two-week break from Friday Night Fights and only three shopping days ’til Christmas, maybe it’s time to turn away from the punching and have a little fun!






Calamity’s fun with the year’s most hard-to-find console–and judging by a similar scene in Irredeemable Ant-Man, the semi-official game system of Marvel Comics–can be found in The Order #4, by Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson.

The Lost Week In Ink: October 17, 2007

Under normal circumstances, this would be the space where you’d find my hard-hitting reviews of this week’s comics, but since I’ve been staying home this week to take care of my mom while she recovers from her bypass (which is going very well), I haven’t been to work or managed to pick up any of my comics.

Admittedly, at this point I could probably write reviews without ever seeing the actual books (and chances are, most of you are surprised to find out this isn’t how I do things normally), and Tug even offered to call up and read me a page of each one over the phone to give me something to go from, but here at the ISB, we pride our journalistic integrity above all else.

Of course, deciding to hold off this week did leave me with something of a dilemma, but maybe that could be better explained by a series of sequential images:











And that’s pretty much how my night went.

Reviews’ll be back next week, but until then, just go find out what I said about ’em last month and assume that it all applies. Except, of course, for Jamie McKelvie’s Suburban Glamour, which I think we can all agree is probably totally awesome.


The above post–apparently conceived in an effort to thoroughly alienate my readership–was inspired of course by Nintendo’s absolutely fantastic Elite Beat Agents, wherein it is revealed that only the music of David Bowie can solve our fossil fuel crisis.

A Brief Aside: Bully

I was just having a conversation with a couple of comics bloggers that started out being about Bully the Little Stuffed Bull, and eventually turned into being about Rockstar Games’ classic prep school epic, Bully, mostly because I don’t often go a full day without thinking about Bully.

Anyway, he asked me to sell him on the game, so I wrote up a completely unwarranted sales pitch that might be of use to any of you out there who have not enjoyed this masterpiece:



YOU ARE Jimmy Hopkins, a teenage cretin dumped off by his gold-digging absentee mother at the gates of Bullworth Academy, a private school in New England designed to Pink Floyd the delinquency right out of you. You’re immediately set upon by Machiavellian asshole Gary–who is seriously one of my favorite villains since Cobra Commander–and as the New Kid, everyone in school totally hates you.

Thus, your mission is clear: You must… RULE THIS SCHOOL.

So you start doing missions ranging from helping out your teachers with their alcoholism and sordid love lives to keeping the nerds from getting beaten up, all while taking classes, dodging curfew, and trying to solidify your domination of the school.

The depth to it is pretty amazing: You actually do take classes, and if you don’t get some sleep, you eventually just pass out at two AM, sleeping wherever you fall down after the screen gets blurry and you start to slow down and nod off. You can change your clothes to whatever you want, but if you’re not wearing approved Bullworth Academy uniform attire, you’ll get in trouble from the prefects and teachers. And once you get to a certain point, the gates of the school open up and you get a whole city’s worth of missions to explore, complete with bike races, paper routes, and townies that resent private school kids.

The other characters, of course, are the one-dimensional stereotypes you’ve come to expect from Rockstar: The nerds are into D&D and comics but can make molotov cocktails and stink bombs, and then there’s the big dumb jocks, the incestuous, aristocratic preppies, and the awesomely anachronistic greasers. There’s not a whole lot to them, but they all have individual names and designs, which I know because you have to take pictures of every single one of them to complete your yearbook.

There is no–yes, NO–game-breaking mission like there is in GTASA, and the minigames are actually fun and exciting, and often worth completing just for fun rather than getting a percentage point.

Also, Jimmy Hopkins is a badass.

Also, best Final Boss fight ever.

The only way it could be better is if Jimmy Hopkins had to hire Phoenix Wright.



And that was that. So trust me on this one and if you haven’t experienced already, get a copy of your own. Or, y’know, wait until next year when the Scholarship Edition comes out for the next-gen consoles, but really: It’s twenty bucks, and worth three times that.

LawyerOff 2K7: Matt Murdock v. Phoenix Wright

From Denny Crane to Harvey Birdman, pop culture is rife with lawyers, to the point where their appeal as characters allowed for the inexplicable stardom of a lurking, post-Clash of the Titans Harry Hamlin in the mid-80s. Me, I’ve always enjoyed a good bit of courtroom drama mixed in with my entertainment–which dates back to my childhood, wherein I set the record at age six by being the youngest human being to actually enjoy Matlock–but lately, my attention’s been grabbed by two in particular.

Yes, as readers of the ISB will no doubt be tired of hearing by now, I’ve spent the majority of the last few weeks re-reading back issues of Marvel’s Daredevil and playing through Capcom’s Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and with all that lawyerin’ going on, I’ve found myself wondering just how the verdict comes down in a trial to decide just who has more chops in the legal arena. And since their last encounter proved inconclusive, I think we all know what that means.

It’s time for a good old-fashioned ISB Match-Up! LawyerOff 2K7 starts now!




Pre-Trial Hearing: The Basics


The son of a boxer who told him not to fight, Matt Murdock was blinded as a child in an accident that left his remaining senses heightened. After his father’s murder, he dedicated his life to justice and graduated with honors from Columbia University Law School, defending the innocent as an attorney by day and by night as the vigilante called Daredevil, the Man Without Fear!

He enjoys boxing, hitting people with sticks, and making incredibly disastrous relationship choices.


Named for his uncanny ability to rise from the ashes of a seeming defeat, Phoenix Wright was inspired to practice law by a mock-trial in the fourth grade where he stood accused of stealing a fellow student’s lunch money. While significantly less impressive than being blinded by radioactive isotopes and learning karate, this origin was no less inspiring and he now fights to clear the most desperate defendants alongside his spirit-channeling sidekick with a skill that has earned him the title of Ace Attorney!

He enjoys sleeping in public, playing poker, and has an intense dislike of clowns.



Trial Part One: Methodology


In order to judge the innocence of his clients, Matt Murdock often uses his super-senses as a sort of human lie-detector, judging the honesty of his client by the slightest change in their heartbeat:



Additionally, his activities as a costumed vigilante allow him to gather evidence outside the law, taking down criminals with sharp wits and the occasional savage beating.

Wright, on the other hand, can also tell if someone is lying, but only if he’s got his magical psychic keychain, because, y’know, Japan. Additionally, he also lives in a world that has nothing even remotely resembling the Fourth Ammendment, which means that he can wander around stealing pretty much anything that catches his eye to present in court.

Also, due to the fact that he doesn’t actually appear to be a very good lawyer, Phoenix will occasionally rely on what fans of The Practice will recognize as “Plan B”: Wildly casting suspicion on anyone and everyone involved in the case in order to buy more time to investigate. Fortunately, in accordance with the Matlock Principle, the real culprit is always someone who ends up confessing on the witness stand.

Really, though, he mostly just relies on pointing and shouting:



Advantage: Murdock



Trial Part Two: Associates

Matt Murdock’s best friend and law partner: Franklin “Foggy” Nelson:



Phoenix Wright’s best friend and law partner: “Mystic” Mia Fey:



Advantage: Wright



Trial Part Three: Nemeses


Over the course of his crime-fighting career, Daredevil has faced such villainous luminaries as The Owl (who looked kinda like an owl), Stilt Man (who was recently killed due to a rocket propelled grenade to the junk courtesy of the Punisher), and The Enforcers, who exist simply to make anything better by their very presence.

His most prominent and persistent foe, however, has been criminal mastermind and noted pie enthusiast Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin of Crime:



Aside from Redd White, the blackmailer who has him framed for murder in his first solo case, Phoenix Wright’s opponents are not, in general, actual super-villains. Rather, his greatest battles are against the prosecutors who face him in court, including the sinister Manfried von Karma, his whip-weilding daughter Franziska, and of course, the terminally awesome Miles Edgeworth:



Advantage: Draw



Trial Part Four: Live-Action Versions





Phoenix Wright:



Advantage: Wright



And so, with a crushing two-to-one lead, the ISB has clearly determined that the superior lawyer is, of course–



. . .



Yes, Mr. Murdock? Is there a contradiction in this testimony?




I’m sorry, Mr. Wright, but that is logic that not even I can argue.


Your Winner: Dardevil’s Alter Ego, Matt Murdock!


Special thanks to, a great Ace Attorney fan-site that provided the resources for a solid half of tonight’s images. More of the pretty fantastic Phoenix Wright cosplay–including totally sweet guitar moves–can be found here.

And yes: Occasionally, I just write things solely for my own amusement.