Introduction and First Review

CapShield05Greetings! My name is Steve-O. You can just call me Steve-O. Most people do. I am probably one of the biggest Star Wars nerds you could find when it comes to knowing about the lore and characters of that universe. I am unique in that I am one of the fans who brazenly claims to love the Prequels and Special Editions no matter what kind of ire that gets me from the so called ‘purists’.

My other interests include the following universes: Marvel characters, DC characters, Firefly, Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Battlestar Galactica, Tomb Raider, Game of Thrones, Star Wars the Clone Wars, Vikings, Arrow, Flash, Agents of SHIELD, Supernatural, Transformers, Terminator, TMNT, The Bourne series, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Kingdoms of Amalur, World of Warcraft, Star Wars the Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, The Matrix, and so on and so forth.

And now onto my very first review since its only been out a week and I see no one else has gotten to it on the website: Avengers Age of Ultron FULL SPOILER WARNING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE STOP READING NOW

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Operation Nemesis Review: A Real World Assassination and War story from the writer who brought G.I.Joe Characters: Kamakura, Armada, Zanya and more to life.

operationnemesisI am most aware of Josh Blaylock’s work in the Devil’s Due era of G.I.Joe. Back in the early 2000’s his company, which he founded, brought Joe back into action in the comic world. He picked up after the Marvel Comic by Larry Hama, and threw in some nod’s to the toon, character twists, and brand new faces as he kicked off what would become the DDP Joeverse,I still lament the loss of it today. This is a very different book.

We had previously had Sam Wells, who also worked at DDP, on the podcast, and I knew he was going to have Josh Blaylock at his booth (Toy de Jour) at Joecon. I looked forward to meeting him for the first time in person. I don’t recall if we met until we were both at the Wake for Gary Head, and I think we ended up talking for near an hour. I asked him what he was doing now, and he shared with passion about this new graphic novel, and the history behind it. I know this is a long-winded intro to a review, but I felt like I need to share that this passion, shines through into the book and given the subject matter, not only can I see why, but I can greatly appreciate it and find common cause in the desire to share this story with as many as possible.

The Armenian genocide that happened in Turkey before WWII was shockingly brutal, and yet you may have never heard of it. This tale takes you through part of it, and shows you an act of vengeance, primarily through the eyes of Soghomon Tehlirian. His tale is astonishing. In 1921, he shot the former leader of Turkish Ottoman Empire in Berlin, Talaat Pasha, and Soghomon never denied it, yet walked away a free man. The vengeance killing opened the doors to spread news about the horrific slaughter of over 1,500,000 Armenians and other minorities, primarily Christian. Talaat Pasha claimed he was deporting them, but documents admit he was deporting them to their death.

This presentation of history can be hard to read at times but the visual format presents it in a unique and impactful way. The arrangement of newspaper clippings and additional sources for information draw you not only into the story but at least for this reader, drew my heart to the victims of this tragedy. The newspaper clipers also lengtehened the content of reading, giving you an extra bang for your book, although I think it is already worth the 18.99 cover price.

Silva’s art has a style that is refreshing in this era of super hero exposure. His art often is symbolic, captures movement, and seems more interested in conveying a story and emotion, than many other mainstream books would allow. This style is wonderful for story telling, but here as it’s paired with such a tragic story, it more powerful communicates emotion and that makes it perfect for what was written.

There are head shots, there is foul language, but it never feels gratuitous. It’s there because it’s real, and because we shouldn’t over gloss such an important piece of history, or it would lose much of its impact. Mature readers only, but please give this a read, everyone needs to know this story.It reminds us of an important lesson and tells us of a forgotten horror. History repeats, don’t be silent, don’t cover your eyes when you see evil on the March. Turkey still denies the events to this day, and attempts to silence talk about the massacres. Currently we see ISIS slaughtering Christians by the entire village, they are spiritual descendents of Talaat Pasha, who committed his crimes before Hitler. The silence of so many in the face of horror even emboldened Hitler as he said, ” Who, after all, still speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” (August 1939, in preparation of the Invasion of Poland, as quoted within Operation Nemesis)

Spies, apparitions of a dead family, flashbacks, revenge,courtroom drama, an evil on Par with the Nazi’s and even Nazi’s themselves all presented only as comics could allow. Give this a read!

10/10

You can find it HERE on the Devils Due store, or HERE at Amazon.

(and I don’t give that score lightly or often)

 

 

Review of Naussica of the Valley of the Winds

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[SPOILERS ALERT]  If you like anime and haven’t seen this move yet go watch it.  It was good.  I recommend it.

Naussica, a young kindhearted princess of the valley of the winds gets caught up in a conflict between two large empires fighting over resources in a post apocalyptic world.  The story is set in a semi – steampunk like world where medieval and modenish, technology are combined in a unique hybrid.  Meanwhile a large toxic forest slowly grows taking over the land year by year.  Actually, the forest was set in motion to purify the earth from the pollution of mankind, but it also happens to be toxic to us and filled with massive insects that drive the process.  In any case, when a giant warrior from olden days is discovered with the power to inflict nuclear destruction upon the earth, one of the empires wants to use it to obliterate the other empire and the forest.  However, plans go wrong when the vessel carrying it crashes in the Valley of the Winds due to the insects which defend the forest.  The empire then invades the valley and drags Naussica and her people into the conflict.  She then through great acts of heroism and some prophetic fulfillment has to accomplish the challenge of stopping both the empires and the insects of the forest from completely overrunning and destroying her valley, in the process sacrificing herself to stop the swarming insects and in doing so demonstrates her love and goodness.  She is then reanimated by the giant insects and the world is more or less saved.

Overall the story is an excellent one of heroism, self sacrifice, love (but only a hint of romantic), and epic determination.  Naussica is an excellent representation of a classic heroine who embodies all of the best qualities of humanity and fulfills a prophetic mission.  She demonstrates through her act of self sacrifice and kindness towards all what love really means and shows how to live it out.

I enjoy a good anime, and as as far as they go I’ll give this one a 7 / 10.

One last side note, the film is based off of a manga series, so if you like manga graphic novels you can read this one as well.  I haven’t read it but I hear it’s decent although somewhat different from the film.

G.I.Joe Future NOIR review

noirrosterG.I.Joe Future Noir is one of those obscure alternate takes that almost every property has, that many wouldn’t even know existed.  Idw published the small manga sized black and white trade paper back in 2011.

it featured a young team of Joes  who are sent on a mission by General Hawk. Duke commands a squad consisting of of Scarlet, Roadblock, Sci-fi (with an interesting twist) and a rookie by the name of Helix.  Don’t worry, they met Snake-Eyes along the way.

The first thing you may notice is some of the unusual members on the roster. Sci-fi is no longer the laser trooper from the ARAH days, but instead is a cyborg who serves as pilot, and general computer/support for the team. His face bears a resemblance to Gambit, and his later body part switcheroo reminds me of 90’s era bad comic cyborgs. UPDATE: I initially didn’t see any ties to the classic Sci-Fi here, but Joe Nation’s Casey pointed out that Star Brigade Sci-Fi (v4) had bat like hand attachments and  had been re-assigned to be a pilot.

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Outcasts Spoiler Free Series Review

If your a fan off Sci-Fi, british, or sci-fi british shows  outcasts may be a good dose of entertainment for you. It’s currently available on Netflix streaming. I recently watched the show in it’s entirety and  you can find my mostly spoiler free review below.

outcasts_bbcOutcast focuses on a colony of human beings who have left a hostile earth behind. The fate of earth is a little vague and open, but the focus is all on their struggle to survive both the threats of this new world, as well as each other.

While Americans may picture British Sci-Fi in the vein of Doctor Who this is a very serious work, and carries a tone similar (but better than) Earth 2. Characters have shades of grey to them, and the story has dark turns.

The world of Carpathia is first introduced to us with two crisis ermeging. A transport ship is attempting to land on the planet and a  scout who explored the wilderness of the planet returns to the colony proper with an agenda.  I’m going to keep this spoiler free, but it’s safe to saw neither turns out as I expected and these two events help begin a series of events that raise questions for the ensemble cast.

We quickly are introduced to a new human villain in Julias Burger who appears as a neo pagan religious leader but clearly is sinister in swaying the populaces mind from the get go. His goal? Challenge President Tate.  Tate meanwhile leads with his assistant and usually sends his two top agents Fluer and Cass to investigate the incidents occur on Carpathia.

While each episode is somewhat contained, it does slowly lead to a reveal that something more is going on in the planet. The show takes on almost a supernatural vibe and reminded me of the Sphere or the Event Horizon in some infant form. These events are of course not supernatural, but beyond their comprehension.  Sadly after a short first season the show is cancelled, and just as you feel a sense of wonder about what these colonists are beginning to uncover it’s over.

The twists are so good though, that leaving you wanting more is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you know that going in. The fact that show is short lived but  high quality means you can burn through it quickly and get a nice experience with this world and then move on. It’s a nice break from watching longer series that can take weeks to go through.

Beyond story, it’s worth noting that most of the acting is strong. I never thought president clicked as the strategist they portrayed him as, it seemed more like that was what we were told, but we were shown a stiff man who a little lost in thought. I’m not sure if that’s the actor, but considering how well the others did I’m inclined to think so. It’s not show ruining.

The effects are also very well done. For a TV show budget it looks great and very nature filled. It’s easy to believe the main colony, which often invokes a wild west town, is isolated and alone.

I’d give the show an 8/10 and since it’s so easy to watch on Netflix give it a strong recommendation.

 

Transformers IOS Legends review

Transformers Legends is powered by Mobage Games and is a card based rpg for mobile formats.

Hasbro at least must have been impressed, as they have an upcoming G.I.Joe Game in the works that is sad to be more similar to one of their other games, blood brothers, than the Transformers Legends.

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The main portion of the game is collecting cards via opening the space bridge. You can equip the weapon cards and transcan the vehicle and robot modes into single cards boosting their power. You can choose to battle other players or play a mission that involves card battles as well and other scanning and tapping activities.

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While scanning a boss of the opposite faction (you may play as either Autobots or Decepticons) may appear and you will need tap their rockets to knock them down, this earns you points that levels you up. Each level has additional rewards such as more energy to spend. Continue reading

Marvel Universe Professor X review

Time to finally Catch up with my reviews starting with a third in a series of three reviews I started in MARCH!  First up Marvel Universe’s Professor X!

I got in a trade with forum user and CFA owner JJlecaros and since then i have picked up a few extra and love them for parts.

xaiver1the chair and head are new, but the rest are from San Diego Comic Con Exclusive Rise of Cobra Destro.

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