The Store

Bill Davis is an average guy with a regular, loving American family living in a quiet little town of mom n pop shops and a generally nice atmosphere. Until the The Store comes. The Store is a major retailer that has everything for ridiculously competitive prices that takes his town by storm. Having the businesses of town strained and the albeit rapid expansion of its premises is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to big business, it is just the beginning. Disappearances, unexplained deaths, and a cult-like devotion to the Store is sweeping through the town; no matter the Store does, they find a way to buy themselves out, becoming a plague not only destroying the town but Bill’s own family, leaving him to question how far will they go?

Ok, so this story hit me in a nasty personal spot much like HORRORSTOR did, just on a way grander scale. I spent almost a decade of my life working for a certain evil empire I can’t name and I can tell you, anyone who’s ever worked retail, this is your worst nightmare. Unlike HORRORSTOR, this book goes to some outright disturbing places that somehow don’t feel out of the realm of possibility. What I love about the story is the Davis family and the townspeople are simple, relatable folk; the book is written with an easy, friendly style that lures you in instantly. Bently Little genuinely freaked me out while I read this and I give him a lot of credit for making a story that stuck with me and actually helped me leave the evil empire. In the end, I highly recommend this surprising read for a rare and unexpected kind of scare. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Superman: Brainiac/ Superman: Unbound

Superman had always known of the fate of his and his cousin, Kara Zor El’s, homeworld of Krypton. What he didn’t know was the massacre and eventual capturing of the city of Kandor at the hands of Brainiac; Kara, scarred by the horrors of watching her family being blipped away by the biomechanical tyrant, has never forgotten. When Superman comes upon a lonely probe, Supergirl fears the worst- Brainiac is coming. Hosting knowledge from throughout the universe garnered from billions of conquered species as well as an army of drones and a devastating mother ship connecting to his body, can the duo save Earth from the same fate as so many others?

I have to admit, I always loved Brainiac so I was glad to read the story as well as watch the movie based off of the book. They follow pretty closely but if I have to choose, I like the movie Unbound better than the book. There is a lot of action and characterization in the movie and I feel like Superman and Supergirl’s character arcs are realized much better in the film. The book feels blunter and to the point. Regardless I do love how cold and menacing Brainiac is portrayed as and I do love that he is shown to rightfully be one of Superman’s biggest threats. How he is defeated is also pretty creative and satisfying. I really like Supergirl; in the movie, I like that she has a pretty badass streak and I like how a lot of her story is about overcoming her fear of Brainiac. For the movie, the animation and voice acting are top notch; as for the book, it’s written fine and the artwork is really good at points but the pacing feels off and because of that, you don’t get everything the movie offered. In the end, it’s a really good story but I much more recommend the movie Unbound vs the book Brainiac. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Superman: Earth One (v1)

Clark Kent is an exceptional young man with a world of possibilities in front of him. A promising athlete, a gifted scholar, Clark is special, but how special most don’t know; Clark has extraordinary abilities, abilities that can change the world for the better or the worse. The last son of the dead world called Krypton, Clark is a young man struggling with the burden of isolating his true self and finding his true calling. When a malevolent alien force descends upon the globe led by the ruthless Tyrell looking to exterminate the last of the Kryptonians, Clark is given a choice: stay hidden at the chance for the normal happy life he yearns for, or unleash his potential before the world is destroyed.

I briefly talked about this story during my Man of Steel review and how a lot of this story went into the movie. Honestly, this was my first Earth One story and I couldn’t help but love it. Clark is made really relatable in the story and he feels like a regular college kid just trying to figure out where to go in life. The debut as Superman is really cool and there is some really cool action scenes towards the end. Tyrell is meh as a villain and I’m curious why they didn’t go with a more well-known villain for the first outing, which is one of my only real complaints. The artwork is really good and the book is written pretty well. In the end, I’d say this book is a good start for anyone wanting to try a Superman comic and as for me, I hope to read the other 2 books in the series. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Phantoms

Snowfield is a peaceful, picturesque, mountain town. Young Doctor Jenny Paige is traveling back home with her little sister Lisa after their mother just died. The two get along really well but Jenny can’t help feeling guilty over staying away for so long and avoiding her family. The town suddenly and eerily feels deserted as Jenny and Lisa uncover bodies all over town, each looked to have died in tremendous horror but nothing seems to make sense as each death defies rationality. The sisters manage to call reinforcements from the neighboring town but it becomes soon clear something deadly is lurking around Snowfield that defies more than just rationality.

I got to start by saying this is the first time I finished with a Dean Koontz book; I’ve tried several others but none really vibed with me until Phantoms. For positives, Koontz has really good flow and pacing. The characters and atmosphere are pretty good and their is even a few really good suspenseful moments. I really like the beginning and I was engaged to find out what the hell was going on. Around the third act the book started losing me and I couldn’t help feeling grateful the alien from The Thing wasn’t able to talk. The ending was basically your standard Hollywood ending and I felt a bit miffed like I did after reading IT (the novel). In the end, Phantoms is a good read. Not great, but I enjoyed it for a few long nights at work. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Kingdom Hearts 4 announcement trailer

Over the years, Kingdom Hearts has been a series I desperately wanted to dig into but I can’t say I’ve found the time to. 4 looks pretty damn cool so far but I hope we get Square Enix characters in this one rather than just Disney ones. Hopefully I’ll at least have some time in the KH series before 4 drops but the new installment looks promising. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Batman: Earth One (vol.2)

Picking up where Batman: Earth One (V1) left off and the fall of sadistic mayor Cobblepot, the scum of Gotham grows weary of the legend of the Batman. With a new sense of hope, Jim Gordan begins anew, despite the trauma to his patner Bullock. The Dents, DA Harvey Dent and his sister, newly appointed Mayor Jessica Dent are bringing hell to the corruption of the city. But there’s a new threat, a heartless serial killer calling himself the Riddler that will test Batman’s resolve and his mind as he struffles to become the Knight we know…

I honestly enjoyed this story a bit more than the first and I can see a bit of this story going into the Batman film. Riddler was done really well; I have to admit I really like how Killer Croc was used in the story as a partial red herring and in this universe becomes a ally to Batman. Once Again, I loved Alfred and how he almost seems more badass than Batman. I liked seeing Batman evolve more as a detective and I like the debut of a better bat suit and Batmobile towards the end. The only thing that bugs me is how much of a straight up dick Harvey Dent is in this story; I never got the feeling he was a good man with issues, I feel he comes off as a overbearing dick that has some royal jealousy issues when it comes to Bruce. The third book is pretty interesting when it comes to the fate of the Dents but that’s for another post. In the end, I really liked this book and if you want a good Batman/ Riddler story, this one is worth your time. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Tokyo Ghoul: √A (season 2)

We pick up right where Tokyo Ghoul (season 1) left off, the 13th district has become a warzone as the radical Ghoul terrorists of Aogiri Tree clash with the human Doves of the CCG openly. Kaneki, though free, has changed. No longer timid and quite harmless, after awakening his true powers he’s become a truly brutal force. He leaves his friends of the Ghoul sanctuary Anteiku in pursuit of power, knowing g he needs more to keep his friends safe in the growing war- joining Aogiri to do it. Kaneki faces his own horrors as his body starts changing and his urge to kill dramatically increases as he becomes the scourge of human and ghoul alike, but can he stop the war to come before losing everyone he loves?

I adored the first season with all my heart and still do but all my friends warned me the series gets…different to say the least. Admittedly this season is a hard call. Overall I like it but I think it’s definitely a mixed bag. Overall I’m ok with the story but some parts of it really do feel like you’re watching fanfiction then a part of the series; characters do things that make no sense and sadly you really don’t get as much of the Anteiku group but more of the Aogiri group which I was nowhere near as interested in. There are great fights but the pacing overall feels bloated even though the season is only 13 episodes. The animation and score are great but I don’t really like the new opening theme ( I do love that Unravel returns for the very end.). In the end, I get if you liked or hated this season so I urge you to keep an open mind after season 1. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Wonder Egg Priority (season 1)

Ai, Neiru, Rika, and Momoe are four lonely girls dealing with depression, loneliness, guilt, and the traumas of experiencing suicides in their lives. What they have in common is finding a seemingly normal egg, an egg that opens another world. From that egg spawns the tortured soul of a suicide victim and it’s up to the girls to slay the monstrous tormentors of the victim to free, with the promise that enough freed victims will return their own loved ones. In the acts of battle, the girls find friendship and the strength to move on but are they willing to face the costs of a second chance?

Seeing the sunny exterior in the horror section of the Funimation catalog intrigued me; if it hadn’t been for When they Cry I would’ve cast this deep series as a miscast. This show beautifully covers some really bleak subjects and does them with genuine humanity and depth. I loved the four main characters and their own private struggles; I love the main theme of using dark fantasy to combat the real traumas of the world as well as mental illness. The artwork and score are fantastic. One of my only real complaints is I found it really hard to gauge if the series if merely over or meant to return in some way. There are a lot of unanswered questions I have and I feel like Frill was set up to be a great antagonist that we didn’t get a full conclusion to and Ai was a heroine we didn’t get a full resolution to either. I really hope we get another season so I don’t have to feel the ache of Deadman Wonderland all over again. In the end, I highly recommend checking this series out on Funimation. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ms. Marvel trailer

I actually really liked Kamala Khan in the comics so this trailer hurts. Why Disney felt the need to change her powers and make her a Green Lantern knockoff is beyond me. I’m kind of flabbergasted about who the villain is supposed to be and I’m kind of shocked how cheap everything looks, especially being a Disney MCU show to boot. I’m really not looking forward to the show now but I’ll keep an open, if not ultra-cautious mind. May the gaming gods bring you glory.