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.

 

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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.

 

5 long ass King reads

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I find that reading can be my little pleasure in life when things get shitty; my dad, Duke, always told me who cares how long a book is as long as it’s good. Stephen King is known for his massive books; I previously covered 5 short King reads so today we do the opposites. I’m going to focus on books that go past the 800 page mark, in no particular order, starting with..

tower 7 1. Dark Tower 5: Wolves of the Calla / Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower –  I’m giving the 5th and final entries in King’s Dark Tower series the first slot. The 5th book totals roughly at about 900 pages while the final book is just about 1,000. For a while it was the longest book I’d ever read.

insomnia 2. Insomnia- I admit to have the book but not having read it. I know it’s considered one of his best and I can tell you it’s a massive book at almost 800 pages.

It2 3. It- whether you’re a fan of It (1990) or It (2017) and you decide to dive into the book, keep in mind it floats at around 1,260 some pages.

under the dome 4. Under the dome- Ok, I have a hard love/hate relationship with this long ass King tale of a small town trapped under a mysterious dome but I can tell you it’s well over 1,100 pages. I’ll be getting to this someday…

the stand uncut  5. The Stand (uncut)- Besides the dark tower series, this maybe my favorite of King’s works. Standing at nearly 1,400 pages its a juggernaut but is well worth the time.

If I’m going to add a few honorable mentions I’d include Christine, Sleeping Beauties, 11/22/63, Dreamcatcher,  and Talisman and Black House with Peter Straub. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

5 short King reads

king king 2

So the other night during a “staff meeting” for Saviorgaming (we played Titan Fall 2 (PS4) ) and Savior told me a reason he doesn’t read much of King’s work because of the sheer size of most of his work and how sometimes they take a long time to really get into. This is a common complaint I hear. So I want to give a list of King books under 500 pages for those who don’t have the patience for giant novels, so in no particular order let’s begin with..

1. Carrie bk Carrie – King’s 1st major novel and a totally powerful first hit for the future legend. Around 200 pages, I couldn’t put it down.

Salems lot 2. Salem’s Lot – One of the better vampire stories out there, King’s 2nd major story is a little over 400 pages and it’s a slower read but suspenseful read.

tower1 3. The Gunslinger: the Dark Tower , The Drawing of the Three: Dark Tower 2 , Dark Tower 3: the Wastelands – I’m counting the first 3 books in the series in this slot. They are my favorites of the series; the first book is roughly 200 pages and books 2 and 3 are around 400 each. A must read for King fans.

Pet Sematary 4.  Pet Sematary – My first intro to King and one of the rare movies that never stopped creeping me out. The book is somewhere 300 pages and is just as creepy as the movie.

cujo book 5. Cujo – Another one of my favorites, this story of a good dog gone bad stacks up with about 350 pages and moves pretty fast as the bloodthirsty fiend himself.

I hope you enjoyed my list. This time I do have a few honorable mentions including Misery , Dark Tower 6: Song of Susannah , Revival, and Cycle of the werewolf . May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Cycle of the werewolf

cycle of the werewolf

Here’s a book many don’t really talk about; most of us are more familiar with it’s film counterpart, Silver Bullet, more. I can also say this right now, if you want to read King but you’re put off by the fact a majority of his work is so thick, this is probably the shortest book you’ll find from him. I read it in one day back when I hardly read. Cycle of the Werewolf is about a reign of terror a werewolf goes on over a year ( I believe), every chapter being a different month. About half through we meet our protagonist,  a boy confined to a wheelchair who encounters the beast and survives and afterwards tries to discover who it really is.

I’ve got to be honest, while the shortest King book I’ve read, it’s one of my least favorites. The illustrations are great and actually pretty badass. The boy was a fair enough character and so’s the main antagonist, but I feel like more could’ve been done. That’s what I  feel hurt the book the most to me, it feels like the skeleton of a what could be a good book. If you want anything other than a quick, bloody read I wouldn’t really recommend it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.