The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
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Showing posts by: Matt London click to see Matt London's profile
Feb 3 2011 4:17pm

Avatar Rewatch: “The Desert” (Episode 211)

Avatar: The Last Airbender episode The Desert

After the mid-season climax of last episode’s “The Library,” “The Desert” serves as a transitional episode, linking the first half of the season and the second half, part epilogue and part prologue. It sets us up for the remainder of the season, which is all about Ba Sing Se.

[Continue the journey after the cut]

Nov 18 2010 6:50pm

EVE Online Debuts New Character Generator

In anticipation of the new “Incursion” expansion set for a January 2011 release, CCP and EVE Online have put the new Incursion Character Creator on the Singularity test server. The ICG allows players to control every physical aspect of their avatars, from eye color to chin shape to love handles. If you play, check it out now. Even you are not a fan of the game, watch this video:

[Read more]

Nov 11 2010 3:31pm

Avatar Rewatch: “Bitter Work” (episode 209)

Avatar: The Last Airbender episode

In the ninth episode of the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, we once again see the writers at play. There is strong continuity between this and the previous episode, “The Chase,” when Azula scorched Iroh good. Now Zuko rests and nurses his wounded uncle back to health. Meanwhile Aang, who has been on the run since episode 206, finally gets the chance to take a break and learn from his new earthbending master, Toph. Problems arise when Aang discovers that learning Earth, an airbender’s opposite element, is not as easy as it looks. In a flashback in a later episode, when Avatar Roku must learn water, his opposite element, he describes the task as “bitter work.”

[Let’s get physical, after the jump]

Sep 17 2010 6:13pm

Happy Birthday Mario!

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros., a game that started a franchise that revolutionized the video game industry not once, but twice. First, by popularizing side-scrolling action titles, and later, 3D action gaming. Super Mario Bros. has spawned more spin-offs and sequels than any other game series in history. The story of Super Mario Bros never gets much credit. Fundamentally, each game starts at point A and moves to point Princess, but there is a lot of nuance to the Mario world that most people overlook. The Mario games are an epic sci-fi/fantasy narrative, layered with references to classic Germanic fairy tales, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Dante Alighieri, and French mythology.

[Believe it or not, after the cut]

Sep 16 2010 3:51pm

Avatar Rewatch: “Zuko Alone” (episode 207)

Behold, the much-anticipated re-watch of episode 2.07, “Zuko Alone,” in which everyone’s favorite anti-hero takes center stage, wins our hearts, then breaks them. We learn why Ozai’s older brother Iroh isn’t the Fire Lord, but the answer raises a dozen new questions. If your friends don’t believe Avatar is different from other cartoons, show them this episode to prove them wrong.

[Click here and check it out]

Sep 7 2010 3:48pm

Chicken Soup for the Soulless: The Living Dead 2 Hits the Shelves Next Week

If you’re like me, you enjoy a good zombie story (forty-four of them if you can manage it). So I’m always on the lookout for the latest zombie bonanza.

Ladies and gentlemen, the mother lode.

The undisputed master of the zombie anthology is none other than John Joseph Adams. In 2008, The Living Dead swept the industry. Publisher’s Weekly named it one of the Best Books of the Year, and Barnes & called it “The best collection of zombie fiction ever.”

[Click here to find out how you top that]

Aug 27 2010 3:49pm

Avatar Rewatch: “Avatar Day” (Episode 205)

“Avatar Day,” perhaps more than any other episode in the series, is about playing with our expectations. Right from the start, the impossible happens: Sokka loses his beloved boomerang. As the would-be warrior points out, this is like Aang being separated from his arrow, or Katara being separated from her hair-loopies.

From past episodes, and the show’s attention to the continuity of objects, we know that the boomerang could very well be gone for good. Will Sokka ever retrieve his favorite weapon?

[Find out this and the answers to more mysteries after the jump]

Aug 12 2010 3:51pm

Avatar Rewatch: “Return to Omashu” (episode 203)

In Episdoe 2.03, “Return to Omashu,” the Aang Gang arrives at the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu, hoping to enlist King Bumi as Aang’s earthbending master. Instead, they find the city occupied by the Fire Nation. What follows is a story of revolution and the benefits of doing nothing.

Before we continue, you may remember that a few weeks ago we had a sweet giveaway for the cutest Appa Plush you have ever seen. As a reward to ourselves for all our hard work, Jordan and I purchased an identical Appa of our own, and I can attest that it is the softest, cutest plush in all Four Nations. Seriously, squeezing this thing is like hugging a cloud.

Sadly, the offices will have to give up their unofficial mascot and send Appa on his way to his new owner, the winner of our giveaway.

[And the winner is...]

Jul 22 2010 12:16pm

Avatar Giveaway! Plus, “The Avatar State” (episode 201)

Hey there, fellow benders. Welcome back for another exciting season of the Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch. Things sure have changed around here. Our esteemed colleague John Joseph Adams has gone on to greener earth temples, and from now on, Jordan and I will be alternating episodes. We hope this will provide you with a streamlined reading experience, rather than the segmented op/eds we gave you in Season One.

Here’s another piece of good news before we get started. We’re going to have an Avatar Re-Watch Giveaway! Stay tuned for details later in the post.

Episode 2.01, “The Avatar State,” has drama, humor, a great baddie of the week, and more foreshadowing than you can shake a Joss Whedon at. All that and more, after the jump.

[So repress those movie memories and let’s get back to the good stuff.]

Jul 8 2010 12:01pm

Interview: Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Creators of the Original Televised Avatar: The Last Airbender

After the conclusion of the Avatar Season One re-watch, we were fortunate enough to get some time from the profoundly brilliant creators of the original televised Avatar: The Last Airbender, Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino.

[Nuff said.]

Jul 2 2010 12:33pm

The Last Airbender: The Greatest Fan Film of All Time asked us to review the newly released The Last Airbender film as an aside to the Avatar re-watch. Just so you know, the re-watch will return to a regular schedule after Readercon. Also, be on the lookout for our exclusive interview with the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender next week!

[Check out our take on the movie after the jump.]

May 21 2010 12:23pm

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Siege of the North (Part 2)” (episode 120)

In this episode...

After Zuko steals Aang’s body while he’s in the spirit world, Sokka and Katara rush off with Appa to try to catch them. Aang, in the spirit world, talks with Roku and learns that he must find out the location of the moon spirit from a fierce creature named Koh the Face Stealer. After an intense encounter, Aang learns from Koh that the one of the yin-yang fish is the physical embodiment of the moon spirit. Katara and Sokka catch up with Zuko and defeat him and liberate Aang, then together the gang rushes off to protect the moon spirit from Zhao. When they fail to stop him from killing the moon spirit, the moon disappears from the night sky. Zuko faces off with Zhao (who tried to have him killed); Aang enters the Avatar State and summons up a gigantic water spirit and kicks a lot of Fire Nation butt. Princess Yue, who was touched by the moon as a child, must sacrifice her life to return the moon to the world. The water spirit takes care of Zhao.

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

May 18 2010 3:52pm

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Siege of the North (Part 1)” (episode 119)

In this episode...

Zhao’s navy begins its siege on the Northern Water Tribe. Aang destroys several ships, but there are too many for him to fight them all. Meanwhile, Zuko sneaks inside the city to capture the Avatar for himself. Sokka is assigned the task of protecting Princess Yue. Aang decides to enter the spirit world and ask the moon and ocean spirits for guidance on how to stop the Fire Nation. But after Aang’s spirit leaves his body, Zuko fights Katara and runs off with Aang’s body.

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

May 14 2010 11:21am

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Waterbending Master” (episode 118)

In this episode...

Aang and the gang find the Northern Water Tribe at last. Aang meets a waterbending master who refuses to teach Katara because she’s a girl. Sokka gets a crush. Zhao commandeers Zuko’s crew and hires the pirates from “The Waterbending Scroll” (episode 109) to kill him. Zhao believes they succeed, but Zuko somehow escapes. Sokka’s heart is broken when he learns his crush is betrothed. Katara fights the waterbending master to prove she’s good enough to learn from him. Iroh infiltrates Zhao’s ranks and reinforces the lie that Zuko is dead. Aang and Katara learn a lot of waterbending. Zhao’s fleet sails north to confront Aang and the Northern Water Tribe.

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

May 10 2010 12:58pm

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Northern Air Temple” (episode 117)

In this episode...

Aang and the gang travel to the Northern Air Temple, where they find a group of people living—not airbenders or monks, but a group of refugees, lead by a brilliant inventor (“the Mechanist”) who has retrofitted the temple with steampunkesque technology. Aang befriends the inventor’s son, only to discover that the Mechanist was collaborating with the Fire Nation by making weapons for them (albeit against his will). When a Fire Nation officer comes looking for the technology promised them, Aang confronts him; forced to leave empty-handed, the officer promises that the Fire Nation will be destroy the temple. Aang and the gang come up with a plan to defend the temple, and with the glider technology pioneered by the refuges, together they turn back the Fire Nation raid. 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

May 6 2010 11:52am

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Deserter” (episode 116)

In this episode... 

Aang and the gang visit a Fire Nation town in the midst of a festival in the hopes of surreptitiously observing some firebending. That doesn’t go as planned, and Aang is made as the Avatar and so is forced to run. A young man sees Aang’s distress and leads him away from danger and takes him to Jeong Jeong, the eponymous “deserter”—a powerful firebender who left the Fire Nation army years ago. At first Jeong Jeong refuses to teach Aang, but relents. Aang’s impatience to learn firebending results in him accidentally burning Katara, causing Aang to swear off firebending forever. As a result of being burned, Katara learns how to use waterbending to heal wounds. Admiral Zhao catches up to Aang, leading to a showdown. Aang defeats him, employing the lessons of Jeong Jeong, then gathers the gang on Appa and flees, headed for the North Pole. 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

May 4 2010 1:21pm

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “Bato of the Water Tribe” (episode 115)

In this episode... 

When the Aang Gang finds an abandoned Water Tribe ship, Sokka and Katara are reunited with Bato, a Water Tribe soldier and comrade of their father. He takes the Gang back to the abbey where he is staying. Aang feels left out of the reunion and leaves Sokka and Katara to reminisce with Bato, leaving Aang to receive word of where Sokka and Katara’s father is. He chooses to withhold this information. When he later tells Sokka and Katara about the message, they abandon him, feeling betrayed. Meanwhile, Zuko hires a bounty hunter to track the scent of Katara’s necklace, leading them to the Aang Gang. Following a fight with Zuko and the bounty hunter at the abbey, Sokka and Katara decide to stay with Aang on his journey to the North Pole.


[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Apr 29 2010 1:12pm

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Fortuneteller” (episode 114)

In this episode...

When the gang arrives at a village practically governed by the predictions of one Aunt Wu, Sokka refuses to be taken in. Katara, meanwhile, becomes addicted to the seer’s many predictions, particularly those regarding the young waterbender’s love life. Aang attempts to make Aunt Wu’s predictions justify his budding affections for Katara. Meanwhile, a volcano is about to erupt, destroying the village. Katara and Aang use waterbending to shape clouds as a way to warn the villagers. The village is evacuated, and a big trench is dug to reroute the lava flow. Aang uses some serious airbending to divert the lava, which makes Katara realize that Aunt Wu may have been referring to Aang when she said that Katara would marry “a powerful bender.”


[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Apr 26 2010 1:35pm

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Blue Spirit” (episode 113)

In this episode...

Sokka gets sick from the storm, and then Katara gets sick from Sokka. Aang runs off to find medicine. On his way to collect a cure, Aang is captured by a squad of Fire Nation archers. The archers work for Admiral Zhao, who has redoubled his efforts to get the Avatar. The mysterious Blue Spirit rescues Aang, but when the masked man is knocked unconscious during the escape. Aang discovers that the Blue Spirit is none other than Prince Zuko. Aang offers him friendship. Zuko says “Huah!” and throws fire at him.

[Read more...]

Apr 22 2010 5:00pm

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch: “The Storm” (episode 112)

In this episode...

The Aang Gang is in need of money, so Sokka volunteers to work for a fisherman on his next fishing trip, even though a storm seems imminent. Aang is recognized by the fisherman as the Avatar “who turned his back on the world.” Aang runs away in guilt, but Katara tracks him down in a cave. Aang tells Katara that the monks at the Southern Air Temple wanted to send him away to the Eastern Air Temple to separate him from Monk Gyatso. This led to Aang running away from home and (eventually) sealing himself in the iceberg. Meanwhile on Zuko’s ship, Zuko’s crew question his leadership. Iroh tells them the story of how the prince was scarred in a duel, and then banished from the Fire Nation, by his own father. 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]