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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Comic Review - Dark X-Men: The Beginning 1-3


Title/Storyline

Dark X-Men: The Beginning
Publish Date/Year
2009
Creative Teams
Namor: Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk
Mimic: James Asmus & Jesse Delperdang
Dark Beast: Shance McCarthy & Ibraim Roberson
Cloak & Dagger: Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk
Weapon Omega: Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman & Michel Lacombe
Daken: Rob Williams & Paco Diaz
Emma Frost: Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk
Mystique: Jason Aaron & Jock
Aurora: Simon Spurrier & Paul davidson
Issue (s) 1-3
Publisher
Marvel

Story
These are basically 9 short (11 pages each) insights as to how Norman Osborn, now head of HAMMER, recruits his team of Dark X-Men in the aftermath of the Skrull Invasion (see Secret Invasion).

They do provide readers some degree of knowing why each of them might have joined his team, but not enough impact for all of them to stick in my mind. Still, there are a couple of good stories in there. It’s also a good platform to re-introduce some of the characters readers had not seen for some time, eg: Cloak & Dagger, Mimic & Aurora (from Alpha Flight). However, some are too obscure even for long-time readers like me. Case in point: Weapon Omega (whom I later discover was a character introduced in New Avengers recently).

What would have been good for them to have used are the footnotes of old. They would really help readers, both old and new alike, get their bearings on the characters more quickly.

Art
Each issue features 3 stories with 3 different artists. Their work range from fairly competent to sub-standard, but it made the books feel a little like an anthology book with a recurring theme.

Art-wise, #3 is the strongest, thanks to Jock. Leonard Kirk’s art in #3 had also thankfully improved over the earlier 2 issues. However, I would consider the work turned in by the others quite poor in terms of art quality.

Credit where credit is due, Jae Lee provided really excellent covers for the series.
Additional Comments
For the price of USD3.99 per copy, these issues are not worth parting with your hard earned $$$. These stories should’ve been inserted as back-up stories in other issues. Readers can enjoy Dark Reign and Utopia without these issues. Strictly for the completists only.
Order your copy here - 25% OFF:
Dark X-Men (Marvel Premiere Editions)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stuff So Good...You wouldn't want these for your birthday!

Fakes that take the cake.












Friday, August 21, 2009

Food Review - Dynasty Restaurant @ Renaissance KL


Name
Dynasty @ Renaissance

FoodDim Sum (Non-Halal)
Location
Renaissance KL

Getting thereLocated at the cross-roads of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Sultan Ismail, a mere stone’s throw away from the KLCC Twin Towers, you can’t miss the landmark that is Renaissance Hotel.
Parking
There is ample parking at or around the hotel.
ServiceThe Dim Sum brunch is usually packed. So, diners are advised to make reservations before making a trip there.
Ambience
There are 2 sections to the restaurant – the 1 closer to the main entrance is more brightly lit & busier than the other area as the food is located in this area. Located further away from the entrance, is the much quieter and less brightly lit area – more suited to couples or diners with smaller groups/families. The soft furnishing helps to keep the noise level low, making it a very comfortable place to have Dim Sum. The China used all have the same beautiful signature art on them. This adds a lot to the ambience of the restaurant.
TasteThe difference here as compared with other hotels is that they have the steamed Dim Sum items on a menu and are freshly prepared for you per your orders instead of having everything on the Buffet Line. (However, having said that, the deep fried items are on the Buffet Line.) This is a very nice touch, makes it very reminiscent of dining at a real Dim Sum place and it ensures that all the Dim Sum items are served and eaten the way they should be – Fresh. I love the steamed Dim Sum here as they really taste heavenly!
Presentation
The Steamed items come in the traditional bamboo Dim Sum baskets while all the other items are in chaffing dishes on the Buffet Line.
VarietyThere are of course the standard items that MUST be present for Dim Sum:
- Siew Mai
- Char Siew Pau
- Har Gau
- Chee Cheong Fun (they have a novel variety where it is wrapped around a Yau Char Gwai)
- Porridge
- Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf

One other item I really loved was the Tau Foo Fa with Ginger Syrup. I have 4 servings of that and if I weren’t full, I would have had more!

Not only that, they also served the Longan and Honey Sea Coconut tong sui as well.
Value for Money
This is a good value for money Dim Sum dining experience as the food tastes great and each time I dined there, I always came away satisfied.
OverallIf you have not tried it yet, I suggest you do. It’s good food at good prices!