Comic Review: Gambit # 1 by James Asmus

gambit1Title:  Gambit # 1
Series: Gambit Series
Writer: James Asmus
Illustrator: Clay Mann
Genre: Superheroes
Source: Friend
Published: Aug 2012
Format: Paperback
Buy Links: Marvel/ AMZ & BN *

Marvel Blurb: When Marvel’s premiere thief sets his sights on his biggest score yet, he may just end up over his head. It’s going to take more than just playing cards and southern charm to get out of this one!

—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—
Case File: Cliffhanger/Rockabilly Woman/ Naked Gambit
Rating: 3 out 5

Gambit is back and he wants to score from  Borya Cich, arms dealer, who makes deals with anyone and failing him means  repaying him with “powers or magical goodies”so it’s better to not fail him. At Cuch’s party, Gambit meets a lovely rockabilly woman before he is carted away to meet Mr. Cich who warns him to not steal anything. Gambit takes it to heart and proceeds to set up a distraction that will allow him to steal from him. He manages to steal a stone /jewel that later turns on him.

Story-wise, it’s setting up events for future books like who is the mysterious Rockabilly Woman, what will Mr. Cich do, what is the mysterious stone, and how will it affect Gambit? It is a really simple but somewhat intriguing plot.

Stealing from people has become more high-tech than I remember (there goes that career down the drain, lol). Gambit has neat gadgets that copy voices, handprints, and scans eyes, it is complex. Even the vault was out of this world because it has a force field that looks like a regular wall but it is not. He relied very little on his abilities in order to steal.

The art style is all right. I love the first page because there is a panel of a naked Gambit with a well-placed photograph that covers his groin area. It’s hilarious. The comic starts and ends with a half-naked Gambit, nice symmetry.

Gambit # 1 is an all right comic.

—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—

3 Hearts-Decent

3 Hearts-Decent

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles are Volume 1 editions so they contain Gambit # 1-7.

Advertisements

Guest Post: Awakening by Laura Greenwood

Untitled

                                  Why Sleeping Beauty

Growing up I liked Sleeping Beauty because Aurora was closest to Laura in sounds (silly I know) but even so she wasn’t my favourite Princess; that prize goes to the Little Mermaid or Rapunzel, which probably makes it slightly odd that I chose Sleeping Beauty.

The whole idea came about because I was a part of a Halloween short story blog hop. Basically Awakening just came to me (it was that or a ghostly masquerade idea that I had), that idea developed and became what it is today.

In the original short stories I wrote there were other fairytale characters included, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Snow White, but they didn’t make an appearance in the novella because of the tone change, instead they were replaced by Hansel and Gretel (whose story I am writing now).

The thing about fairytales is that the female characters tend to be quite meek and not really much more than beautiful with voices like angels, and a part of that wanted to turn that on its head. I don’t think Keira (the main character in Awakening) is anywhere near there yet, and she is a bit dependant on Philip, but that is probably what someone would be like if they had a sheltered life and then slept for a long time. The difference with Keira is that she is the centre of the prophecy, despite the fact that someone else chose the path, she is the one that has to be strong enough to fulfil it.

And that is partly where Gretel comes in, you don’t see much of her in Awakening but I had to put a strong female character in there, even if I’m the only one that knows she’s strong (though she is constantly bossing Hansel around!)

Basically I just think that fairytales are magical, but there is so much potential to make each retelling different!

Book Info:

Awakening Novella CoverTitle: The Awakening
Series: Alventia # 1
Author: Laura Greenwood
Genre:  Fantasy
Source: Won in a Giveaway
Published: Mar 2014
Buy Links: AMZ US/AMZ UK

Blurb from Amz:

Cursed before she was even born, Keira is destined to either be the greatest Queen that the Kingdom has ever known…or the Worst. On her 18th birthday she falls into a deep sleep, if she awakens naturally after 100 years then she will be as human as she was before, but if she was awoken before then the consequences will be vastly different…

When her destiny is one of two opposites, which path will Keira’s life take her down. And what choice will she have in the direction

About the Author:

Laura is a self confessed book and tea addict, you will rarely find her without one or the other (and often times both) even when she should be doing work towards her degree! Laura’s been reading from a young age, and has been writing for years, though Awakening is the first thing she has had the courage to publish!

Follow Laura Greenwood on her Blog, Facebook, or Twitter

Comic Review: Forever Evil-Rogues Rebellion # 1 by Brian Buccellato

fe-roguesrebellionTitle:  Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion # 1
Series: Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion
Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artists: Patrick Zircher/ Scott Hepburn
Genre:  Superheroes
Source: Borrow From Friend
Publisher: DC Comics, Oct 2013
Buy Links: DC/AMZ/B&N

Blurb from DC: The Rogues call no man boss, but a new evil threat might not leave them much choice! Will they fall in line, or refuse and risk certain death? The answer will tear the Rogues apart!

–=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=
Case File: Villains with some morals/ Possibly racist/It’s visible two artists drew the comic
Rating: 3 out of 5

The Rogues consists of Captain Cold (guess his abilities), Weather Wizard, Heatwave, Mirror Master, and Trickster.

Rogues Rebellion picks up with the Rogues coming back from the mass villain meeting hosted by the Crime Syndicate to find out the Central City is running rampant with chaos; burning cars, dead bodies, destroyed buildings, and tied up cops. The cops  (Captain Fyre) reveal that Grodd (the Gorilla) tied them up and destroyed the city; he assumes the Rogues are with the Crime Syndicate but instead the Rogues free them. In return, the Captain protects the Rogues from one of his men’s idiocy who can’t tell that the Rogues are not the enemy in this new world order.

After the Cops, the Rogues head to the hospital to find a (comatose) Lisa (Captain Cold’s sister), who sacrificed herself to rescue Mirror Master from the Mirror World.  Problems ensue when another set of villains arrive to finish the destruction of Central City and the Rogues decide they are not going to take orders from the Crime Syndicate. The Rogues seem to be handling everything decently until Power Ring and Deathstorm arrive with execution notices for the Rogues for defying the Crime Syndicate.

The Rogues are a different type of villains; they are about getting even ( or possibly obtaining large quantities of money) rather than being villains like Lex Luthor. The comic makes a great distinction between the Crime Syndicate’s villainous and the Rogue’s type. The Rogue didn’t want the destruction of the Justice League, maybe stir up a little chaos in the city but not decimate it like Grodd  did. They are like good guys who do bad stuff compare to the Crime Syndicate. It’s interesting and I like it.

I’m conflicted but I feel the comic was slightly racist towards Black Bison who is a Native American supervillain. Captain Cold calls him “Buffalo Bob” which whitewashes his name and erases his identity as Native American. At the same time, villains occasionally antagonize people  by not using their proper names so it could be a part of that system. I’m not really sure what to think about it. Another thing that confused me was the use of their real names like it took me a few seconds to realize that Lenny was the real name of Captain Cold. It was odd but it probably won’t confuse fans of the Rogues who know more about them.

It was also visible that two artists drew the comic, especially in the face of Captain Cold. In the beginning, he has a harsh face, it’s more define in general like the cheekbones could be seen, there is shading on his face. He looks intense. Towards the end, his face is more one dimensional and just droopy, it is less define; it makes him look older. It was just a bad transition  between artists.

Forever Evil: Rogue’s Rebellion # 1  was a good launching point. I didn’t particularly care about the Rogues as individuals. As a group, they are interesting because they care about “the score” more than world domination. Plus, they have in-fighting about what to do with the Crime Syndicate so it affects the team dynamic. The first half of the art, I really liked but the second half, was not my taste. The racist remarks are also a point of conflict in the comic. It has some issues but it was decent. It could only go up from here.

–=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=

3 Hearts-Decent

3 Hearts-Decent

Film Review: Antiviral (2012)

antiviralTitle: Antiviral
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Starring:  Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon
Year: 2012
Source: On Netflix
Purchase: AMZ/BN

Blurb from IMDB: After becoming infected with the virus that killed superstar Hannah Geist, Syd March must unravel the mystery surrounding her death to save his own life.

a

a

–=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=
Case File: Body Horror/Intense Close-Ups/  Needle Shots/ Corporate Espionage/Videodrome
Rating: Buy It

Antiviral is a film that should have had a tighter storyline  in order to be bloody fantastic but even without it, it is still a fascinating movie. Surprisingly, it was hard to find a blurb for the movie because Amazon describes the movie as a “sexy thriller” (that’s inaccurate) and B&N’s blurb gives away too much (ironic that I didn’t pick that one when this is a review).

In the not-too distance future, “Celebrities are not people but mass hallucinations” meaning that people are so obsessed with celebrities that they want to catch their diseases. Syd March is  part of the Lucas Clinic that helps people acquire their favorite celebrities’ diseases. The problem arises when celebrities sell their diseases as exclusive lines to one corporation and not the other clinic, Vole & Tesser. It creates competition between them that leads to the thriller aspect of the film, especially in the end.  Syd March steps right into the middle of this corporate espionage battle and then sickness happens, with lots of blood.

Caleb Landry Jones as a sickly Syd March is fantastic. The way he moves and stands reflect the on-going debilitation that he is suffering from the virus as he increasingly becomes sicker. He cannot get any paler than he already is to portray the sickness but his poses and the way he carries his neck show how weak he is. Sarah Gadon as Hanna Geist is unrealistically beautiful, she sells the idea of celebrities are not people because she doe not look like a normal person. Besides Tesser, Hannah might be the only beautiful person in the film because everyone looks decent or average but Hannah is perfectly done with her makeup, her red lips are impeccable and even when they are not, they still add to her attraction. Her beauty marks her as different. Her difference was portrayed through sterile environment, she is constantly contrasted against stark whiteness that emphasize her body and her lips (at times, it felt like watching Sleeping Beauty). The relationship between Hannah and Syd is clearly one of a fan who doesn’t think that Hannah is a real person and it is seen through the interactions where Syd focuses more on her blood than on her as a person.

I like the cinematography of the film.  There are very intense close-ups of needles (fair warning), of body movement like the throat moving up and down, of the mouth, really well done shots that emphasize micro-movements. A couple of body horror shots like metal pipes coming out of March’s body and a bleeding cover of his mouth, it’s disturbing. A fascination with blood and the color red. There was a great throwback to Videodrome with the women inside the television set reference but it was different in that Nicki Brand from Videodrome seem to be more in control of her image on the television set where Hannah Geist was begging for release.

I do have a plot problem with the film and that is Geist’s goon leaving March unprotected which is why he is captured by Vole & Tesser where he is visually violated. March is carrying the same virus that Geist carries and virus are a commodity in this world, therefore, March is a very valuable commodity. He is a pearl necklace left unattended, someone is bound to steal him. What is the logic in leaving him alone or not providing assistance to him (other than providing a spare part for his machine)? There is none. It could have been easily fixed by having a cliché bad guy fight in his apartment which results in his kidnapping. That would have made the story more plausible.  It’s the major problem that I have with the film (as well as no representation of minorities in the film).

Antiviral has a fascinating concept that could have been explored in different ways, there is the corporate espionage, celebrities as objects, the public’s obsession with consuming celebrities (literally), biotechnology, all of which was explored in some ways but not in depth.   It was a good film but it could have taken things further (in my opinion), especially the whole concept of the afterlife but that might require a different film. Occasionally, the film has down movements that are boring but the concept is interesting enough that they didn’t bother me.

Randomly, I hate the DVD cover. It provides a different narrative than the film provides. It just screams to me that Syd March is a psychopath who captures celebrities whereas the bloody lips poster that is on Wikipedia, that is what the film is about, bodies and blood.

Buy

Review-The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

rise of the governorTitle:  The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor
Series:  The Walking Dead Series # 1
Author:  Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga
Genre: Horror
Source: Personal Library
Published: 2011
Format: E-Book
Buy Links: AMZ/BN/TBD

In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury, he has his own sick sense of justice: whether it’s forcing prisoners to battle zombies in an arena for the townspeople’s amusement, or chopping off the appendages of those who cross him. The Governor was voted “Villain of the Year” by Wizard magazine the year he debuted, and his story arc was the most controversial in the history of the Walking Dead comic book series. Now, for the first time, fans of The Walking Dead will discover how The Governor became the man he is, and what drove him to such extremes.

—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—
Case File: The Governor/Awkward Cursing/Unexpected Plot Twist/  Rape
Rating: 3 out 5

Can I just say this is not what I expected from the novel, I’m so conflicted because I want to scream and cry  because I wanted to love it but I just like it.

The man who we know as the Governor is Philip Blake who is traveling with Penny, his daughter, his buddies, Nick and Bobby, and Brian, his brother to Atlanta because of the mystical refugee camp that lies there. The idea of Woodbury is implanted early on when Philip and the gang make a barrier around houses in a wealthy neighborhood but it fails so they continue to Atlanta. Oh Atlanta, how it lures men in with the promise of salvation only to damn them.

Philip Blake is one messed up character. Right from the start, he is inherently a dark person who hears voices but thrives in a walker-dominated world. It was upsetting because it seem like the Governor was  just born evil and that is not true. People become evil in life because of reasons a, b, c, take your pick. I was expecting a slow descent into madness and I did not get that. I did get the awkward cursing which is so not how I imagined the Governor would curse. He becomes darker after Penny’s death but he was right on the brink of madness prior to  her death. Brian, Philip’s older brother, is a weakling who struggles morally and ethically with killing the walkers and he never really descents into darkness. He just stands by watching horrible events happen but he doesn’t participate in them and makes very weak attempts at stopping them.  The brothers are really different from each other. Nick becomes a religious person who is the moral compass of the group and that divides Brian between his psychotic brother and morality.

The plot twist is interesting but I don’t believe it. It should have been obvious because of whose perspective we are reading from but I didn’t see it until the Woods Showdown. Doesn’t change the fact that it  is unbelievable because this character had not had any dark scenes that show that he was capable of committing such an attack. He doesn’t have the cajones  as Philip says in the novel. I don’t know what is more upsetting, The Governor’s portrayal or the plot twist. The character’s personality does not support the plot twist. It does solve the problem of the Governor’s portrayal but then it’s not dark enough for the Governor. And somehow, it makes the Governor suffer from an identity crisis and makes the third season of TWD even more messed up because of what we learned about the Governor through the show.

The novel would make a fantastic TV Movie, especially for fans of The Walking Dead, I would totally watch it. As a novel, it fails in certain departments because there is no character description, I don’t know if Brian or Nick have black hair or how tall they are.  I was using David Morrissey as a stand in for Philip Blake because he was not physically described. The novel expects you to have some knowledge about the show/comic already. It was a good novel in that it provides a background for the Governor but it is not a standalone novel because it relies on the show’s background which is perfect if you are a fan and don’t need details about it. TWD: Rise of the Governor  should not be used as an introduction to the series, get comics or the TV show for that.

The novel is dark like the comics; there are two rape scenes and a potential one. Take it as a warning because that was upsetting to me. They are not too graphic but the second one is more unsettling.. There’s no torture in the book, just a messed up father-daughter relationship after Penny dies but we all knew that.

In the end, The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor is a decent novel for fans of The Walking Dead. It accomplishes its goal of providing a background for the Governor and that’s all there is to it.

—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—

3 Hearts

3 Hearts-Decent Novel

Wednesday Update

Wednesday Update is not  a regular feature for any update or news. That will be Sunday (and if I have any news to relate). But I disappear for two weeks so I figure an update was needed.

I apologize for being absent. I have a semi-good reason. My Nook scrubbed itself clean and deleted everything I had on it which included my reviews. After that, I tried to rewrite the reviews but it was boring to rewrite the reviews and frustrating because I could not find the words that I used before. I gave up on them but hopefully, in a few months, I can re-read the books and write reviews for them.

On the plus side, I was a winner to a couple of giveaways. I won a $5 Amazon gift card from Elyse Lindsay of The Girl With the Fairy Tales and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card from Iyana Jenna at Iyana’s Rainbow. (Some books as well but they haven’t arrive yet).Thank you very much for those gifts. With those gift cards, I bought Ender’s Game, American Vampire # 1, Uglies, and The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (so excited to read it, freaking love the Governor).

enders game american vampire rise of the governor uglies

That’s all I have on news and updates for Bookacide. What I have learned from this experience so early on in my non-existent blogging career and what I should have learned from Malcolm Meryl whom I so lovingly quote in my Review Policy? Always backup your files, even if it seems redundant.

Comic Review: Forever Evil # 2 by Geoff Johns

forever evil 2Title:  Forever Evil # 2
Series: Forever Evil
Writer: Geoff Johns
Illustrator: David Finch, Richard Friend
Genre:  Superhero
Source: Borrow From Friend
Publisher: DC Comics, Oct 2013
Buy Links: DC/Amazon

Blurb from DC: The villains have taken over the world! The Teen Titans fight back! Can the inexperienced teen heroes do what the adults could not? (Answer: Nope. It goes very poorly.)

–=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=
Case File: Pregnancy/ Batman/  Mysterious Guest/ Love Triangle/ Commissioner Gordon
Rating: 5 out of 5

The comic doesn’t pick up on the action much but man, does it lay the foundations for great future scenes. Like a surprise pregnancy and a love triangle. Normally, I don’t like  love triangle but apparently, adding a baby really makes me excited for them. It’s more than that though. But let’s backtrack a little bit.

It picks up with Luthor realizing that he is going to have to stand up to the Crime Syndicate and he is going to need help to do so. He reveals his secret weapon called Creature which is a clone of Superman  but because he needed ten years instead of five years to be fully grown, he is a little messed up; big, gray, and kind of dumb (he put his suit inside out). He is willing to follow some orders. But just to prove that Luthor is still a villain, he orders the death of the security guard who still has faith that Superman will solve the problem.

The comic provides us more of an insight into the Crime Syndicate’s dynamics. Alfred is helping them and running background checks on everything. There is something wrong with Power Ring’s ring (he’s Dark Green Lantern) because the ring is hurting him. Power Ring seems really weak and he occasionally stutters when he speaks. It is possible that the ring is rejecting him but I can’t say for sure. Power Ring and Deathstorm set off to deal with the Rouges in Central City while Johnny Quick (Dark Flash) and Atomica cause problems for the Teen Titan; defeat them really badly. More importantly, the Crime Syndicate brought someone back from their world that could defeat them (I believe it is Superman) and is a source of division between them. It turns out that something force the Crime Syndicate out of their homeworld and it was quite destructive. I’m looking forward to finding out who it was.

The most exciting thing about this comic, in my opinion, is the pregnancy of Superwoman (Dark Wonder Woman) who appears to be in a relationship with Ultraman but is pregnant by Owlman (Dark Batman). It’s like WHAT. It’s thrilling. The relationship between Superwoman and Ultraman seems almost abusive because he was upset when she sided with Owlman about what to do with their guest. “Never disagree with me in front of him again” is what Ultraman tells Superwoman. There is a power struggle between Owlman and Superman where the price is Superwoman because he lifts her chin as to reinforce his message about disagreeing with him, he needs to show that they are a power couple to him. It’s interesting. The later scenes show Superwoman and Owlman together and the power relationship is different because he seems to care more about her. He tries to calm down her fears about Ultraman discovering that he is not the father but rather Owlman is. They seem to have a more equal relationship and it shown in the panels where they are together, they walk next to each other (whereas Ultraman isolates her from the group by physically blocking her) and she calls him by his first name (which is not Bruce).

In the end, there was a surprise entry by Batman and Catwoman. He does confirm that the Justice League is dead (but here is to hoping he is wrong). They end up in S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit where the scientists are protecting the Red Room to the best of their abilities. The scientists have some funny moments. Forever Evil # 2 is a great continuation of the series though.

–=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=—=

5 hearts

5 Hearts- For My Library Shelf