Of mice and men

of mice and men

So to start the year 2019, let’s begin with a classic: Of Mice and Men, a story most American kids nowadays are forced to read in middle school or high school English class much like Animal Farm and Lord of the flies (usually if you got a cool teacher or were an honor student).

Of Mice and Men follows two migrant workers and traveling partners and companions making there way to a much needed job during the depression. Life isn’t easy for George, the thoughtful and ill tempered of the two, who just wishes he can live a life less hard, put some roots down- but life with Lenny isn’t so easy. Lenny is a gentile giant with the mind of a child and some pretty harsh strength to match. Lenny’s curious and cumbersome nature makes life harder in a hard time but a dream George keeps telling Lenny keeps them afloat- a dream of a home and stability, and rabbits…but it’s with that sad truth George realizes some dreams are only that as he faces the hardest choice of his life after trouble comes for the last time…

Before I go onto my final verdict, I’m stating this now: this book is not for everyone. 11 year old Torsten though this book was long, drawn out and boring as shit. 25 year old Torsten found it a quick read that nearly brought a tear to his eye. It is slow paced, despite the actual minuscule size of the book but damn it hits you in the feels by the end. It is better a second time around because the foreshadowing becomes rather ominous and foreboding which I really liked and the ultimate tragedy hits harder. Overall I can’t recommend this book to everyone but if you want a great tragedy, definitely give this short but powerful book a go. May the gaming gods let you pet the rabbits…

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Ultimate Fantastic 4: N- Zone

ult f v3

Originally my plan was to cover volumes 3 and 4 together but the next volume is literally like 3 stories in one where as volume 3 is one solid story. Also to avoid a recap, check out my review on Ultimate Fantastic 4: Fantastic / Doom but essentially we’re wrapping up there primary origin as the 4 embark into the N- Zone, where it’s believed they got there powers.

After facing the nefarious Mole Man and Dr Doom, Reed Richards ( Mr Fantastic) discovers a means to travel to the Negative Zone, the place who’s mere exposure caused there mutations and Doom’s deformation. It takes some talking with the volatile General Ross but Reed gets clearance to venture unto the breach with there custom shuttle, the Awesome. The N Zone is a dying universe, cold and near lifeless. The rules of physics are nearly null and void. The environment has a nasty, almost lethal effect on Johnny and his powers but they can’t go back without answers or empty handed. They come across a mangled space station inhabited by the starving dwellers of the universe, overseen by Nihilus, a eerie fly like creature who is desperate and wants a way out by any means necessary. Can the Four overcome this new threat with a man down and escape this dying hell?

This is a solid book but there is some drawbacks. There are some strong character moments between Sue and Johnny as brother and sister and I like seeing the conflict in Reed stemming from his ambition.  Nihilus does have a creepy vibe to him his motives are sympathetic. A problem that kills the story for me is the fact he’s honestly a wimp. One punch from Thing basically takes him out, and once they return to our dimension Johnny pretty much roasts his damn posse in 30 seconds. I felt like the pacing was off and the beginning was a little too long and the end game was too quick and there were a few times there could have been some sweet action scenes. In the end its a good solid story I think many would enjoy. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Green Lanterns rebirth: Rage Planet

lanterns rage planet

Over the past few years I’ve been watching how DC’s rebirth has been going and finally I took my first step in with the newest Green Lanterns series, following the adventures of new Green Lanterns, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.

Baz, a troubled, arrogant young Muslim found himself in deep trouble with the government only to be rescued by the fabled Green Lantern ring; Cruz is a young woman who had fallen victim to depression, anxiety, and Agoraphobia after a tragedy befell her. Both are assigned to protect Earth by legendary Lantern Hal Jordan, but when he notices the friction between the duo, he assigns them the same power battery, forcing them to work together. What could go wrong? A exiled, fugitive Guardian finds his way to Earth searching for Jordan, finding his way to Baz’s family with a powerful weapon that can potentially dwarf the Green Lantern’s ring. But this event gets swept aside when the Corp’s nemesis and Red Lantern leader Atrocitus plans to unleash Red Dawn on the Earth, infecting the world with rage. Can these rookies work together, get a grip on there powers, and stop the rage?

Rage Planet is a good start for DC rebirth as well as for a Green Lantern or comic fan. Baz and Cruz are solid characters I found relate-able, especially Cruz who struck a note with me. Atrocitus has some awesome moments and some depth to him that makes him one of my favorite Lantern characters. It’s a good start up story and I’d say its well worth a read for fans and readers new to comics. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning

hills beginning

I’ve been asked where my love of comics began and it feels strange to say but it all started with a movie tie in book, namely the prequel story to the The Hills Have Eyes(06) as told through the perspective of Hades, the first mutant and main antagonist of The Hills Have Eyes 2 . A small mining town in the New Mexico desert gets ordered to evacuate by order of the US government. Poor and prideful with nowhere else to go, most of the citizens stayed. A band of army men dispatch themselves into the town to try forcing the people to leave. After a women’s family is killed and she’s raped by one of the army men, she vows revenge. The bombs begin to drop soon after and the people flee into the mines. For years they fall as the townsfolk live underground. The woman is blessed with a baby, but the massive child hardly resembles human. Hades is the first of a new kind.

After Hills 2, I was pretty damn let down by the series but the Beginning restored my faith. Beginning, like the first, is a multi-layered revenge story. It’s bloody, shocking, and badass and pretty much everything I loved about the first movie. Hades is much more sympathetic and gruff as a main character and I like that from the get go we are lead to follow the mutants as the protagonists and humans are the bad guys. The book is paced very well and a must read for fans of the series. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Nailbiter vol 2: bloody hands

nailbiter v2

A special thanks goes out to my long time friend Violet who got me volumes 2 and 3 as a birthday gift after finding out how nuts I was after Nailbiter: vol 1 there will be blood ; absolutely awesome gift…

The town of Buckaroo is suffering a familiar hit after the Murder Store was burned to the ground, the local high school asshole/ reverend’s son ended up dead, press and attention are running amok again as a new killer in the long line of Buckaroo Butchers seems to be afoot. A big, broad shouldered figure in black wearing a horned mask. Nick Finch, enraged after finding what was left of his best friend is out to track down the secret of the Butchers and stop them once and for all; Sheriff Shannon Crane is trying to keep the peace but it’s easier said then done. Finch finds a family of bee obsessed red necks; the long time town bus driver loses his mind and tries to “cleanse” the children’s souls by drowning them in the river. This madness and more while the horned killer watches and Finch is pushed to the edge, driving to Warren- The Nailbiter- for answers…

Volume 2 is strange but another great addition to the series. This world feels oddly realistically crazy, I can’t say it ever felt too scripted but rather natural how much of it goes down. At first, it does feel like filler but it does help build up to the madness to come. I like the chapter about real life comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis and his journey to Buckaroo and the chapter about Crowe the bus driver. As before there  are grim undertones of dark humor that work pretty well in a dark story. The art is creepy and looks good. Overall, if you read the first book, the second won’t disappoint and I can’t wait for the third. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

New Suicide Squad: Pure Insanity

suicide squad insaneSuicide Squad

Amanda Waller, one of the grayest characters in DC, heads Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad. In Pure Insanity, we begin with her being removed from the spot and hot shot politician Vic Sage. Sage wants to reinvigorate Task Force X by making some radical changes to the crew. for one, he enlists the help of super mercenary Deathstroke to provide support for the team, despite the antagonistic relationship between him and Deadshot and against Waller’s strong wishes as well as the new criminal calling herself “Joker’s Daughter”, which pisses off the already unstable Harley Quinn to say the least. Joker’s Daughter and Deathstroke aren’t tagged with the accustomed nano-bombs. The bright side is  the crew has Aquaman’s nemesis Black Manta. The team’s mission- infiltrate a Russian facility on there soil while fighting deadly robots. After the team dissolves into madness, Deathstroke betrays them, Deadshot is damn near crippled, and Manta takes charge, they are thrown into service, this time aided by ninja Manbats and notorious Flash villains Captain Boomerang and Reverse Flash, the team is sent to infiltrate a lab in China experimenting with creating Meta Humans. Waller has her luck cut out for her as bad decisions and the madness of the Suicide Squad threatens to damn them all…

This book is a good example of what I loved from the  Suicide Squad  movie without the dumb shit. The stories are fast paced but there’s still some great character moments- especially from Waller, Harley, and Manta. Manta steals the show in my opinion; this was my first real experience with him and he quickly won my heart. there is some good dark humor and a lot of action. In the end, if you’re new to DC or the new 52, this is a good solid place to start. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Graveyard Shift

graveyard shift

If Pet Sematary was my first introduction to King’s work, Graveyard Shift- circa the short story collection Night Shift – would be my second. The story, while brief, is about a textile mill with an massive rat infestation. They practically pour out of the floors and walls, but what happens when you try to exterminate the pests? A freak of nature lurks in the catacombs under the dying mill, a creature half rat and half bat. After grisly deaths happen at the mill, a new guy in town, the girl he falls for, the bastard foreman, and a group of workers have to journey into the basement to clear the rats, only to find the beast underneath…

This is basically a B movie creature-feature from Stephen King and it’s pretty solid. The story is quick with some good atmosphere and it’s got a darker ending then the movie, though the movie ain’t exactly cheery by the end. As for the movie, it’s a decent horror movie. There is some fair kills of some pretty forgettable characters and the creature doesn’t look bad for the time. Brad Douriff is over the time and funny as hell as the exterminater but I’m kind of pissed his character doesn’t really go anywhere. If you are scared of rats, this movie will terrify the hell out of you but other than that, it ain’t a bad movie. May the gaming gods bring you glory.