Back in the early 19th century a whole bunch of very paranoid textile-working bruhs had a major bitch-flip. They were called the Luddites and what they did was uprise, namely broke a bunch of threshing machines. Before you dismiss them simply as Green Street Hooligans their paranoia and consequent actions sort of made sense.

The Luddites rose-up during the early stages of the industrialization as they were afraid that the newly applied machines will leave them out of work. A very rational fear if you ask me. Now I’m not going to get into the history of England during the Victoria Era as quite a few scholars have already written pretty good books on the subject, but it’s just that this Luddite thing got me thinking.

Yes, I am aware that we are well past industrialization, but aren’t we experiencing similar social and economic changes now? Only instead of giant machines we have computers, and social media. More and more things are becoming digitized and automated. There is this great encouragement for people to do all of their shopping without leaving the house… Even at the airports many of the check-in stands are no longer ‘operated’ by humans but by annoying and slightly complicated-to-figure-out chunks of plastic and metal. I have to say that there is something very unnerving about this mass propaganda of replacing human connections with mechanisms.

But whatever, I’m not much of a people person anyway. So, lets connect the dots and get back to the main point, which is Tsutomu Nihei .

Nihei published his acclaimed work NOiSE in 2001. When I first read it my mind was blown not only by the fantastic art, but also by the sheer brilliance of the story, although back then I sort of dismissed as nothing more than over-dramatized work of fiction.

The story, much like all the great creepy ones, is taking place in a post-apocalyptic mega-structure of a city. At the centre of the plot we have the young police officer Susono Musubi.

Susono Musubi’s journey begins when she start to investigate the disappearance of little kids. When her partner is killer our heroine feels that something is very wrong, and it really is. The little kids are returned back to their homes with chips installed in their brains, this is the foretelling of the end of humanity. If you liked NOiSE you might want to check out its sequel BLAME! Even though Musubi is no longer the protagonist it still makes a mind-blowing read.

Funny thing is when I was reading the manga back in 2003 I thought that Nihei was simply being paranoid, or he was on something, but quite frankly the more I look at the world and our dependancy on along with the willingness to accept technology as an integral part of our lives I wonder just how prophetic his works actually are.

Rereading his things just makes me want to go out and look at the sky and walk on grass barefoot or something, and I’m trying not to be too cheesy here.

I’m not going to speak for Nihei by saying that he’s trying to rise some very serious existential questions, especially since he’s a sci-fi fan so maybe it’s just his imagination acting out… Either way his works do make you think, and in light of everything that’s happening today I won’t be too surprised if the remanent of humanity will find themselves in something very similar to THE CITY.

 

 

 

This story takes takes place between the movies Star Trek 5 & 6, detailing the proceedings of peace talks between the Federation and the Klingon empire that came to a front in the beginning of Star Trek 6. The story begins with a deep space encounter, eight years earlier, between a Starship and an imperial cruiser.

USS Enterprise

Koloth, young and oldIn 2287, the Enterprise crew are attending a peace conference on Starbase 49 with the Klingons. Kirk is greeted by Koloth, the former captain of the IKS Gr’oth, whom they had a shaky truce with in the episode ‘The Trouble With Tribbles’. Koloth explains to Kirk that he has knowledge of Starfleet prisoners being held in a Klingon facility, on a remote planet, deep within Klingon space, and that their continued imprisonment is against the Klingon code of honour.
The story also follows events in the Klingon prison, where the prisoners endure brutal conditions and sadistic guards while being forced to mine for dilithium crystals underground.

 

Captain KirkThe peace conference continues, but suffers complications after a bombing occurs, narrowly missing some of the conference’s VIPs. During a scene aboard the Klingon’s flagship, another explosion causes damage to one of the ship’s warp nacelles, almost resulting in the Klingon’s firing upon the Enterprise in the confusion. This leads to a scene with Scotty and a Klingon engineer performing a space walk on the ship to remove another explosive.

Towards the end, Kirk, Koloth and Sulu stage an attack on the prison and rescue the Starfleet prisoners. They are then tracked through the planet’s dense jungle by Klingon forces, led by a rival of Koloth, named Korax, resulting in a phaser/disruptor shootout atop a high plateau. They manage to hold out against superior numbers and are rescued from the planet by a Klingon ship captain, named Jardak. Jardak, disgusted by the prison’s breaking of the code of honour, arrests Korax and orders an orbital strike on the prison, killing the remaining staff and prisoners.

 

Repulsed by the brazen killings, Kirk challenges the Klingon’s code of honour, angrily referencing how his son had been killed in the recent past by a decorated Klingon captain (Star Trek 3). This scene with Kirk voicing his deeply buried anger over his son’s murder was well written, explosive and dramatic, reflecting the many times in the series in which Kirk advocates moral decency. The book wraps up soon after this scene with Kirk & McCoy reflecting on the morals, or lack thereof, of the Klingon code of honour.

This was another great novel with a lot of intrigue and some good action scenes. There’s some variety among the story’s settings and characters, helping to keep scenes fresh. I felt that the writing style was a bit overly complex and that it could stand to be slimmed down, somewhat, also some characters don’t have much presence, such as McCoy and Chekhov. Overall, however, quite an enjoyable read that fits in well with the events during the Star Trek movies. Recommended for intermediate or advanced readers.

Friday, March 25th allowed audiences to go watch, easily one of the most hyped comic book films of the year. Much has been speculated and dissected since it was announced almost two years ago. And why not? This is the first time, arguably the two biggest superheroes were in one movie together. Throw in the first film appearance of Wonder Woman and the importance is even more evident.

Wonder-Woman-iPhone-6-Wallpaper

As if that wasn’t enough pressure, Warner Bros. and DC entertainment have been desperately trying to play catch up with Disney/Marvel due to film flops Green Lantern And Jonah Hex. But it’s the divisiveness of 2013’s Man Of Steel that really shook DC’s cinematic future. The people who loved it, loved it, and the people who hated it, really hated it. It’s box office return was strong enough to warrant more stories told in this same universe, with much of the same creative team behind it.

Batman v Superman is a direct answer and sequel to Man Of Steel, and one that is ultimately left in charge of setting the tone and launching the rest of the DC cinematic universe.

So how was it? Ultimately it could’ve ben better. Much better.

The Story:

A big problem for me. But let me start with the things I did like.

I liked that it tried. It took the source material seriously, and I think it was well intentioned in telling a good thought provoking story. There were some genuinely interesting philosophical points that the movie puts out there. Must there be a Superman? Can he truly be trusted? do the rewards outweigh the consequences of him being on Earth? There were a lot of excellent scenes debating that very subject featuring real world celebrities like Neil Degrasse Tyson. I enjoyed the scenes of Superman saving people while these debates went on. The set up of Batman’s story is also a plus for me. The flashbacks to the fight between Superman and Zod felt very important in setting the tone.Wonder Woman’s inclusion is a, sort-of plus. More on that later. The introduction to Batman was a great scene. Just subtle enough to excite you.

Now let’s see what wasn’t so good. It spent way to much time on useless scenes rather than building on character. Seriously, there was a lot of time jumps & dream sequences. They did not help the movie go forward at all. In fact they helped to take you OUT of the plot.

ANY of the dream sequences ( except the first) would’ve worked better as a secret ending. I would have been hyped if that was the case.  The rest of the Easter eggs were just awkward and weird. ( Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg.)

You can tell this movie had too many cooks in one kitchen. It has various threads it’s trying to connect but that seldom pay off. It’s unfocused, which leads to plot holes that become widely apparent. For example ( SPOILERS) almost anything to do with the Kryptonite spear. Clark talking to his Dad?? Huh?

Let’s not forget the mess this movie had with character motivations. Batman/ Bruce Wayne spends most of the film distrusting, and flat out hating Superman. He even goes as far as to plan on destroying him. It doesn’t seem to factor in that Superman does do true good in the world or that Alfred repeatedly tells him ” He is not our enemy.” No, his mind is made up and  stopping Superman may even end up being Batman’s legacy.

That’s why the reason for them teaming up at the end is so weak and unbelievable. It took about 2 mins for Batman to forgive all and go on Superman’s side. We spent more than two hours building and solidifying a genuine reason for Batman to want to fight Superman but in 2 mins, all that is moot. All it took was Superman talking. A conversation that could’ve easily happened at the beginning of the fight. But no, Batman didn’t want to hear it and Superman didn’t seem to care enough to mention it. Lazy writing at it’s worst.

You might hear the word ” shoe-horned” from a lot of people when this movie comes up, and for good reason. Too many things were added to this movie unnecessarily. Doomsday never should’ve been in the movie. The references to future movies were way too on the nose. Even the inclusion of Wonder Woman felt rushed. ANd honestly, do we need another scene showing us Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered? I really doubt anyone going to see this movie hasn’t at least heard of the origin of Batman. The dialogue wasn’t particularly bad but it wasn’t spectacular either. ( BIG SPOILER) a big shock was having Superman ” die” in the movie. Anyone who read ” Death Of Superman” would be familiar with the fact that Doomsday kills Superman. Why introduce this in this particular movie? Why not build up to it 3 or 4 movies down the line?

Besides, we all know that Superman won’t stay dead. Forget the very end of he movie for a second. Think about the fact that Man Of Steel sequels are in the works plus, don’t forget Justice League. Can you imagine having Justice League without Superman? No, i can’t either.

Is the movie serious and dark? Yes it is. Is that a problem? Yes and no. I like my movies to be of a more serious tone, but not if that is uninteresting and uninspired.

The Action:

This proved to be the  movies true positive point. But not by much. The actual fight between Superman and Batman is satisfying. I wished it would have been longer or more impactful. It did homage Frank Miller’s TDKR a lot. Maybe a little too much. The fight’s looked great. Zack Snyder does have an eye for action sequences, I’ll give him that.

The best fight scene for me was hands down, Batman’s solo fight scene in the warehouse. WOW. Brutal and visceral. We’ve never seen Batman have a fight like that in ANY film. It was the most fun of the movie.

The fight scene with Batman, Supeman, Wonder Woman vs Doomsday was cool but forgettable. Mainly because the trailers ruined the best parts of it.

The Villain:

A disappointment is the only way I can put it. Lex Luthor and Doomsday were wasted in this. Especially Lex. We still have not had a great representation of Lex Luthor on the big screen. He was more Joker than he was Lex. Doomsday is powerful enough to have a movie all himself but he was all but an after thought here. An excuse to add ” drama” to the story and have all the heroes battle a common enemy.

The Acting:

For the most part, strong. I’l say that the actors worked with what they had. Most of the cast was one note, and that note was stoic. Only Jesse Eisenberg brought energy to the movie. Sure, he misrepresented his character but at least he provided a difference that the others did not.

Henry Cavil’s Superman was okay. He didn’t have much to say. He looked the part but he lacked charm and life. he was too wooden at times. I will say that he was better than I thought he was going to be.

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was good when she didn’t speak too much. She looked great and her action sequences were solid. I had a positive reaction to seeing her on screen but when she spoke her acting wasn’t the best. Ultimately I still feel she was underutilized. If you’re going to put her in the film at all, you might as well use her.

Amy Adams was unspectacular. Her Lois Lane felt very undervalued here. She was supposed to be Superman’s anchor to humanity but we don’t really see that. Their relationship is supposed to be one of ultimate love, but again, we don’t see it. What we do get is a lot of Lois being saved by Superman. She does return the favor to him but its not enough.

Of course, everyone was wondering how Ben Affleck would be as Batman? He was damn good. But hang on a sec!

I’m not simply jumping on the bandwagon and saying that. A lot of credit has to go to the people who designed the Bat suit, and even to Zack Snyder himself. Whenever Batman’s on screen he looks awesome. He’s intimidating as hell.

New-Batman-2016-Wallpaper-HD1

I think Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne was good. Nothing really grabbed me but he was good. Batman was awesome but I keep thinking how much of that is Ben Affleck and how much of it is the awesome suit? I think a lot it is the suit. But there’s no denying that he did kick ass as Batman.

I don’t like the fact that he outright murders people in this movie. That’s a big deal to me. Don’t give me the excuse that it’s ” manslaughter”. Bullshit. He kills with reckless abandon, period. considering the backlash that Man Of Steel got for Superman killing Zod you’d think that Warner Bros. wouldn’t have gone done this road with Batman. Maybe average movie goers don’t care about things like this but I feel it’s incredibly important.

Also, why the Bat branding? That is totally pointless and unnecessary. It does nothing that adds to the character so why bring it in?

Overall:

Batman v Superman turns out to be a narrative mess with too many plot threads that don’t go anywhere. The characters are not built strong enough and they lack any real substance.

The action is noteworthy but it doesn’t make up for a dull story. Sadly this movie was a desperate attempt to fast track the DC cinematic universe. They are simply not taking the time to discover their characters at a positive pace.

This only leads to one conclusion. Zack Snyder has got to go. He’s an excellent visual director but he doesn’t execute story well and he doesn’t get these characters. He claims to be a big comic book fan and wants to represent these characters right but he fails to do so.

Superman shouldn’t be as dark and jaded as Batman. He can be in a dark world but he doesn;t have to echo that world. He needs to rise above it and help humanity understand that there is a better way. He has to provide hope for the hopeless, not just by action, but by words. Superman has a voice. IN this movie he had no voice. It’s never been that way in comics and even in film. He is a man of the people. He doesn’t shy away from the spotlight, he embraces it. He is the spokesman of all Metahuman/ superheroes out there. Batman dwells in the shadows and gets things done on a grounded level. That works for Batman, not Superman.

Where is the clash of ideologies? There is plenty of action and fighting, but where’s the moral conflict that should’ve been explored? Episode 3 of Marvel’s Daredevil is everything Batman v Superman should’ve been.

The clash of ideologies between Daredevil and Punisher are explored, both physically and morally. There is genuine depth and substance behind their battle. You see it from both their perspectives, at least you should see it. That’s what good writing should force the viewer to do. Question things. Question your own beliefs and morals.

Batman v Superman tried to do that but they were ultimately more interested in setting up their frchise and having Superman and Batman bash their brains in.  It’s a shame because there was so much potential.

 

 

The comic book crossover often sounds like a good idea doesn’t it? I mean who wouldn’t find the idea of seeing Green Lantern team up with Silver Surfer? Or Alien vs Predator?Superman vs Spider-man was the first offical Dc/Marvel crossover to get the ball rolling in the seventies.   Fans just yearn for the type of meetings between characters that seem a good fit for each other. Often times the idea of it is better than the idea itself. You seldom come across a great crossover. Sure, there are good ones, like The Shadow vs Grendel or Batman & Judge Dredd, but then there are just weird ones. I think the beginning of the weird crossover started with Superman vs Muhammad Ali. This may seem weird to you if you’ve never heard of it before but it happened.

images

 

The funny thing is how many more bizarre crossovers there are out there. I’m amazed some of these were even conceptualized, and even more amazed that they were greenlit. Here’s a brief list of just some I found to be totally out of left field.

 

Punisher Meets Archie

ap1

Suprisingly This comic gets a number of glowing reviews. It’s basically Punisher looking for a drug dealer that looks exactly like Archie. The premise, while zany, actually works. It’s still very unusual to me. Who thought of pairing up Marvel’s most brutal vigilante with super-kid friendly Archie?! The very idea of Archie being gunned down in a hail of bullets is darkly humourous to me. John Buscema handled drawing the Punisher in this so at least you know you have good art.

 

 Eminem/ Punisher

EminemPunisher_Cover

Again, I don’t know why Punisher is the go to guy for a weird crossover but here we are. I suppose, in this case it’s because Punisher has the most street cred? I remember seeing this advertised when it came out thinking, WTF. And it wasn’t even one issue. I guess the storyline was complex enough to require a 2 part mini-series, Right???

The art duties were handled by Salvador Larroca, who is currently drawing Marvel’s Darth Vader title. So at least it’s cool to look at.

 

 Army Of Darkness & Xena: Why Not?

STK361199

 

I suppose the idea of this happening isn’t THAT weird. I guess Ash could’ve just went to another time and ended up in Xena’s realm. Sure, but still… It’s pretty weird. Full marks go for the actual title of this comicArmy of Darkness / Xena: Why Not?

At least they’re honest about doing the crossover.Its by John Layman, who is a credible writer, so perhaps this is funny as hell?!

 

 Star Trek & X-men

Unknown

 

This seems like an idea they threw out to someone who was a big Star Trek and X-men fan and told him, ” see if you can make a story out of this”. There are some fun moments in this though. Spock using his Vulcan Nerve Pinch on Wolverine was pretty funny. Take a look…

Unknown-1

The one thing sure to bring Wolverine down!! I wonder what kind of effect a Phaser would have on him?

 

Ren & Stimpy Presents: Spider-man vs Powdered Toast Man

91cScZ2ZA3L

 

Why not combine our fun loving Spidey with fun, yet disgusting Ren & Stimpy? Well, at least they gave him someone to duke it out with. No one other than Powered Toast Man could take him on anyway. I actually remember owning this comic. It was in a pack of random comics I bought at a dollar store. It was as zany then as it is now. Maybe something like The Simpsons would’ve made more sense instead of Spidey, but Marvel did have the comic rights for Ren & Stimpy at the time so, there you go.

 

Superman Meets The Quik Bunny

059-5-Superman-Quik-Bunny

Now we get to Superman. I think he’s the undisputed king of the, weird comic book crossover, of which you will soon find out.This one was a pretty blatant attempt to sell more Nestle Quik. I remember I bought the pack of Quik and received this comic to go with it. Any comic featuring Superman was worth my time as a kid. Even this one. Not that I particulairly loved it though. This fabulous tale was poetically titled: Quik Thinking. Clever huh?

 

Superman & Bugs Bunny

059-4 Superman Bugs

To be fair, it seems more like it’s the JLA and Looney Toons rather than just Superman & Bugs Bunny. Just look at these covers! I suppose if Michael Jordan could be in a movie with the Looney Toons, why not DC comics and Looney Toons? They are both Warner Bros. property. It actually seems kind of fun too. I would want to browse through it just for the hell of it. Heres an amusing page for your curiousity.

SupermanBugsBunny

 

Godzilla vs Charles Barkley

SF W Godzilla Vs Barkley Cover

 

This is the mother of all weird crossovers to me. How did anyone come up with this? A normal human basketball player takes on a giant movie monster. I’m not sure what kind of an audience they were trying to appeal to with this. Both characters are not from comics. It’s not like comic fans were dying to see this come to life. I can’t imagine basketball fans would be rushing out to get this either. Godzilla has battled a number of weird foes, so I guess there might be some appeal for hardcore Godzilla fans but still…

It’s not like they are actually battling either. They’re playing basketball. I guess Godzilla is a formidable B ball opponent. I’m actually curious as to how this story came to be. I mean, look at these pages!

barkley5

 

There you have it. Just a taste of the weird and amusing world of the weird comic book crossover. Don’t expect to se as many strange ones these days but be sure, they still come out.

This year alone they released Batman & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Shadow & Twilight Zone and last years Django/Zorro.

 

Aaah, Daredevil, the devil in Hell’s Kitchen.

When Stan Lee and Bill Everett co-created Matt Murdock, I’m sure the duo took everything they knew about Satan and injected him with a crap load of irony. Thus, Daredevil was born; a Catholic, blind vigilante who struggles to spare the villains that enforce the namesake of Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan—a cyclical cauldron of chaotic feasting and suffering.

The imagery that the DD universe evokes is one straight out of good conventional storytelling, where expectations are demonized, inverted to illustrate the gray.

For the hardcore losers-slash-fans of the Netflix series such as I, you’ve probably already binged-watched the second season… and been exposed to the following promotional adverts.

Daredevil St Sebastian Daredevil Punisher Daredevil Karen Page

From TL to B: Daredevil advert/Peter Paul Rubens’ St. Sebastian (1614), Punisher advert/ Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath (c. 1610), Karen Page advert/ Caravaggio’s St. Jerome Writing (c. 1605-1606)

As you can see and as better dissected elsewhere, these adverts are straight out of some of the Baroque period’s most famous oeuvres. Characterized by the use of oil, the exposure to dark and religious themes, and a pregnancy of details, it seems that Baroque art is well-suited to the TV show’s voice.

SPOILER DISCLAIMER: YOU’LL NEED TO HAVE SEEN DAREDEVIL SEASON 2 IN ITS ENTIRETY TO PROCEED.

The imagery here is poignant and reveals A LOT in terms of what these characters will be doing and how they will be developed in the second season.

Matthew (Charlie Cox) remains a vigilante pariah due in part to his concealment of secrets, much in the same vein as St. Sebastian had been tied to a tree and shot with arrows for concealing his faith from the Roman army. Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) evolves from assistant to a rising journalist, devoting herself to the pursuit of truth, just as St. Jerome had devoted himself to the spread of God’s word via his Biblical translations. Newcomer Frank Castle/Punisher (Jon Bernthal) is depicted as David, triumphant over Daredevil-Goliath. No doubt this is a reflection of their ideological disconnect—one sends evildoers to prison to offer a second chance, the other sends them to the nether realm of finality with unadulterated contempt.

I’ve researched the Internet for about 2.2 minutes to see if anyone else has discovered from what artwork Foggy’s and Elektra’s posters are supposed to be derived.

Cuz, you know. Main characters, duh!

Then I got bored and decided to just make sense of them myself.

 

Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson)

Daredevil Foggy Daredevil Matthew inspiration

Keeping in tune with the Caravaggio theme, the first piece of art that comes to mind is The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602).

Except Foggy doesn’t really move on to be a devoted gospelist or anything similar. Which brings me to consider options from the Dutch Golden Age.

 

 

 

 

 

Girl with a Pearl Earring (Johannes Vermeer, 1665)

Step aside, ScarJo! Since the Dutch Golden Age was characterized by a degree of secularity, still life images, and landscapes, this banality reflects how Foggy may be perceived in relation to his hot, blind friend.

But that was so season 1.

 

 

Daredevil Foggy Daredevil The Art of Painting

The Art of Painting (Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665-68)

What, another woman? If Karen can be represented by a man, it stands to reason that Foggy can be represented by the reverse.

At first glance, the muse in the painting might seem similar to the woman with the jumbo pearl earrings. Armed with a book and trumpet, the muse is what drives the artist… an inspirer, a supporter, a poet whose weapon is her words. All these reflect who Foggy is to Matt Murdock.

Were we to reexamine Foggy’s promotional poster, however, we shall see that the negative space is almost empty compared to the muse’s surroundings. There is no artist to inspire nor to support; only a newspaper in the foreground that reads, “The Devil in Hell’s Kitchen.”

Season 2 Foggy Nelson comes to realize his internal worth, independent of whatever contributions Matt Murdock might have shared to define Foggy’s identity. The men do not end their friendship but they do drift apart. Foggy crafts his own story and to him, Matt eventually becomes an afterthought as old as the newspaper of yesterday.

 

Elektra Natchios (Élodie Yung)

Small wonder I couldn’t find any interpretations on Elektra’s character poster. It doesn’t seem as dynamic and full as your typical 16th-18th century painting. The best I can offer are those characterized under Spanish Baroque.

Daredevil Elektra Daredevil Immaculate Tiepolo Daredevil Immaculate Murillo Daredevil Immaculate de Ribera

These three paintings by Tiepolo (1767-1768), Murillo (1678), and de Ribera (1635) are all dubbed, (The) Immaculate Conception. Believe me, there are more under the same title but they all maintain recurring ideas and symbolism.

I know what you’re thinking. The parallel between Elektra and the Virgin Mary’s conception might seem really out of left field… but as pretentious over analyses might provide, the puzzle pieces are there waiting to be connected.

In all three Spanish paintings, Mary stands above the world, surrounded by babies beneath her and behind. She is the mother of man, free from original sin, and a figure of praise and adoration.

As we learn from the second season’s conclusion, Elektra is more than an assassin of the Chaste. She is, in fact, the true weapon of the Yamanote—The Hand Ninjas that have been since antiquity. Elektra is the Black Sky, the clan’s figure of praise and adoration.

But how are the dead gentlemen surrounding Elektra significant? Were they ordinary goons, they wouldn’t be. But as members of The Hand, they mirror the babies in the Conception as lifeless worshippers of their patron figure.

How am I sure they’re of The Hand? Asian, HELLO?!

While Mary is the giver of life and the mother of man, Elektra is the palm that links The Hand’s fingers, the sickle-bearing harbinger of death.

Daredevil Judith

Personally, I wish Elektra’s poster resembled the image on the left more …

Judith Slaying Holofernes (1598-1599)

I feel like this better encapsulates Elektra’s most memorable scenes. Not to mention, it is consistent with the Caravaggio schema.

Plus, let’s face it. If there’s anything really out of left field, it’s the Black Sky bit.

 

 

 

Going for Baroque

Okay, so I don’t claim to be an art historian bombarding you with readings that may not even make a lick of sense. But the motivation behind my analyses stems from a dissatisfaction with the advertising inconsistencies. Why have there been Baroqueian allusions to the characters of Daredevil, Punisher, and the ever-annoying Karen Page (not to mention, the references to Michelangelo on two other posters) and not Elektra or Foggy?

Moreover, there really is something to be said about Daredevil’s overall sensibility. The Christianity-based inverted imagery sets the show apart from its contemporaries, Marvel production or otherwise. I’m not religious by any means, but any experience that helps add depth to a show—that gives teasers to what might be expected of a particular character—helps the audience become more than just an audience.

They become participants.

And this effect is something, I feel, is worth going for broke.

Superhero fans everywhere rejoice. Daredevil: Season 2 has finally arrived and Batman VS Superman comes out at the end of this month. For now let’s take a look at the first six episodes of Daredevil:Season 2. There are a lot of new additions to Matt’s universe but are all of them good? Let’s dive in.

daredevil_season_2_poster_h_2015

The Pros:

Something that immediately hits you in this new season is it’s change of pace. Season 1 waited a decent amount of time for Daredevil and Kingpin to meet face to face. Not this time. Daredevil meets his antagonist in the first episode. It’s also nice to things already established in the world. Daredevil is Daredevil. He wears the suit and business is booming for Nelson & Murdock. Having these things in place are especially satisfying for the comic book fans out there because this opens the door for new and fresh stories with the characters they know and love.

Thankfully the creators of the show start season 2 on the right story thread. The Punisher. His inclusion into this world is a definite pro. Actor, Jon Bernthal plays him in a way that no actor has before, and believe me they’ve tried. Punisher becomes Daredevil’s new biggest problem. There is a war on the streets and Punisher is the man behind it. However, he’s not killing just anyone. Punisher has his sights set on disposing of the criminal element that dwells within Hell’s Kitchen. Vigilante justice on a whole new scale.

The question that quickly comes up is then if Daredevil’s appearance in Hell’s Kitchen led to men like the Punisher stepping in and taking the law into his own hands. It’s a interesting premise and one that certainly has merit, as Matt begins to find out for himself. Morality plays a major factor in this season, thus far. Is justice something that is so important one must take it into their own hands? Does the system work? And the most interesting question of all, is the preservation of life sacred no matter what? Is killing ever acceptable?

Episode 3 is a fantastic example of two schools of thought on the latter subject. It presents the argument in the form of a tense conversation. Both men are impassioned in their conviction and both make clear cases for what really is the ” right” way to do things.  Daredevil and Punisher duke it out more than once in this season but I felt it their war of words that had the most impact.

D vs P

Episode 3 also gave us some fantastic action scenes. Few can forget the single-shot hallway fight scene in season 1, but this season’s big fight sequence may have topped it. Longer and dare I say, more impressive.

Punisher Eventually comes off more as an anti hero around the episode 4 mark. The introduction of the Irish mob gives us our new antagonists, and thanks to it’s particularly sadistic Mob boss, it’s clear cut. These guys don’t mess around. ( SPOILER) This forces Daredevil and Punisher to briefly team up and I’ll admit , I had a minor nerdgasim for those moments.

Episodes 5 and 6 focus more on Elektra. Punisher is still in the mix but it’s Elektra’s turn to shine. In two episodes actress Élodie Yung, makes Jennifer Garner’s version look like the performance of a bad cosplayer. It’s amazing what a stark difference there is in quality. It astounds me even more that the makers of the Dardevil films could get her character so wrong. Nevertheless back to Élodie Yung and her version of Elerktra.

I thought that taking the focus away from Punisher might be a mistake but Elektra turns out to be a more than worthy character. Her history with Matt gives her an edge we don’t see with other characters, except for Stick( Daredevil’s mentor and teacher). She knows him mentally, physically and sexually. Or rather, she did. Their relationship is fascinating and I suspect it will be explored further in the coming episodes.

Another pro is Foggy. His character feels far more comfortable in his shoes. I liked him in season 1 but I feel he is much more balanced thus far.

All and all the cinematography is great and most of the performances are good while these three below are outstanding.  This season looks well on it’s way to be awesome.

daredevil-season-2-trailer-breakdown-pic

 

 

The Cons:

Not a lot to complain about really. Punisher had a few moments that I asked myself ” really”? One in particular is his ( SPOILER) not guilty plea. I don’t see any logical reason why he would do this. Once you get to it you’ll see what I mean.

The biggest con would have to be Karen Page. Simlair to season 1, her motives and reasoning are all over the place. I find this, and her to be quite annoying at times. One second she states she’s terrified of being target practice for a lunatic with a gun, the next second she wants to ” save” someone in the middle of a massive shootout.  She breaks into , said lunatic’s house looking for evidence?? She does all this alone, I might add. WHY? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Other than that, not much else to complain about.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of my review of Daredevil: Season 2!

 

Chapter II

The data storage vault was a spacious chamber that was divided by two levels. The upper level held tall mainframes for storing data, the lower level had two rows of long computer stations, flanking a spacious work table with six thrones set around it, several data sheets, a few styluses, and some coffee mugs were left on the table. The room had rounded sloping walls with a streaked metallic finish and no windows, the floor had creamy-white coloured tiles, two circular lamps hung from the ceiling and filled the room with light.

Data storage center
Dr. Hugo Manning, Dr. Diane Stone, Dr. Louis Osborne and Major Ivan Daniels stood around the vault door enterance, looking into the spreading pool of blood on the floor.
“I…I…I don’t know” says Dr. Manning.
Major Daniels quickly cranes his neck toward the doctor.
“What? What do you mean you don’t know?” he asks.
“I mean that I have no idea where they came from, these God-awful things just appeared from nowhere” Hugo explains.
“Bull****. This has to be some sort of classified project, someone knows something about all this.” Daniels says loudly.
“Major, I’m a senior-level genetic researcher. Now, there has been some unusual developments coming from recent studies, but nothing like this. Not at all” Diane Stone explains.
“Then where are the freaks coming from?” Daniels demands in an accusing tone.
“We don’t know! I’ve never seen those things in all my life and I wish I never had” shouts Dr. Manning.
“What unusual developments were you referring to exactly, Dr. Stone?” The marine asks slyly.
“Well, uh, it’s classified” she replies in an irritated tone, Major Daniels scrutinizes her face with undisguised suspicion.
“Major, think about it for a minute. If UAC were harbouring this many creatures, the project would have nowhere to hide. Union Aerospace has a hard time keeping secrets around here as it is” Diane explains.

Nearby movement catches Major Daniels attention from behind Diane, his eyes went wide. Rippling, moving waves appeared in the empty spacious area, a clawed hand reaches through the energy and the portal flared with green light, a demon steps from the energy and turns its head to lock eyes with the marine.

The Major steps around Diane, who was unaware of their visitor, and draws his sidearm with smooth, practiced movement and quickly levels the barrel on the demon’s head, steadying the pistol by wrapping his fingers around the handle one digit at a time and fired a single shot. The discharged round caused a loud bang as the round travelled across the chamber and caught the spiked demon in the head, the force of the bullet sending it sprawling backward to the ground.

Location: Mars, Tharsis Bulge, Sinai Planum of Syria-Thaumasia block
Mars City
Coordinates: 77.92°S, 3.976°W

Mars city was a colony made up of several tall interconnected buildings, they were topped with antennas, receiving dishes and tall transmission towers, conduits stretched across the surface of the exterior walls, they had turned a rusted colour, caused by the red planet’s battering of furious sandstorms. To the West could be seen the tops of the massive dormant volcanoes, collectively known as Tharsis Montes. It was situated south of a large crater, close to the Candor Casma, the centre feature of the massive tectonic network of erosion, known as Valles Marineris, the largest visible feature on Mars, larger even than the length of the North American continent. Mars city was comprised of a major Administrative centre, an advanced research complex, a fusion power plant, Space Marine emergency deployment barracks as well as other critical colony facilities.

Valles Marineris is the long gash on Mars' surface
Valles Marineris is the long gash on Mars’ surface

Major Sergeant Martinez was in his office, a disassembled plasma rifle was on his desk. He was leaning back in his comfortable chair, cleaning a plasma distribution emitter with a wire brush. The Sergeant was used to the quiet life on Mars, rarely needing to plan a mission. Mars wasn’t perfect, but there was often something exciting going on, either emerging technologies or discoveries made by archeology teams. The Sergeant placed the cleaned distributor cap on his desk and began rebuilding the rifle. He was reattaching a thin coiled wire from the energization manifold to the micro-reactor when High Command signalled his terminal, he reaches forward and taps the receiver icon. Admiral Samuel Frost appears on the monitor.
“Sergeant, I hope your boys are ready for action. We have a situation emerging, but the details are a little sketchy at the moment. We need you and your squad to head up to Phobos, Code Red” explains Frost.
“Code Red? What’s happening up there?” Martinez asks, eyes fixed on the Admiral as he continued to reassemble the rifle.
“I’m afraid that’s classified, your team will receive their briefing on route to the moon”
“Christ, I’m getting sick of the aerospace industry’s constant secrecy” Martinez replies.
“Sergeant, this is an emergency!” explains Samuel.
“Yeah, I’m sure it is” he says, snapping together the rifle’s remaining components, standing to his feet and raising the rifle. “Forget it, okay. My team will be underway in under ten minutes”
The Admiral stifled an irritated look, “Good luck, Martinez” he says, reaching to close the channel.

The Sergeant walks from the office locking the rifles safety and lacing the strap over his shoulder. He marched the spotless corridor, a Union Aerospace official steps beside him “Hello Sergeant, I need an updated duty roster schedule. Would you mind just–” he begins. “This
really isn’t a good time, Sean” the Sergeant interrupts, staring ahead unfazed, the corporate official struggling to keep pace.
“Well, it’s just that this has been needing your attention for about a week” Sean continues.
“It’s on my list of priorities, alright?” Martinez replies.
“Well, if I could just get you to review–” Sean attempts to say, the Sergeant comes to an abrupt stop and stares angrily at the corporate official.
“Would you bugger off?!” the Sergeant bellows loudly, several people in the hall turn toward the shouting, but continue their duties, the Sergeant was well known for his short-tempter. Sean stood stunned as Martinez continued along. He reached the squad barracks.
“Attention!” he loudly yells as he steps inside, the marines quickly abandon their distractions and scramble to their feet in front of the bunks. They were wearing casual civilian clothes, emphasizing the rarity of deployments. The barracks was a long-stretching cabin with walls of green coloured plating. Sergeant Martinez silently scrutinizes his troops before speaking.
“No time for formalities, ladies. There’s a situation emerging, we’ve been ordered to head up to Phobos. Let’s go, double time” he orders.

A short moment later, the marines were suited in their armour, gripping their helmets along the inner rim, marching into the spacious Hangar Bay and filing into the large waiting space vessel. The name along the side of the ship was the USM Hurricane. They fill the deployment area and buckle into their seats, their plasma rifles were locked in cabinets along the right wall. The ship soon fires its thrusters and slips through the opened air-lock. It flies from the installation, flying close to the ground as it picks up speed. The pilot pulls back the throttle and the ship streaks into the Martian sky.

Spaceship

Martinez emerges from the bridge and addresses his troops
“Alright, men. Now that we’re off Mars, we can review our briefing” he says, removing a holo-disc from his pocket. He activates the disc, it projects a holographic screen with a slowly spinning symbol of the Space Marine Corps.
“Play mission briefing. Authorization: zero-zero-zero-nine-delta” the sergeant says.
Admiral Frost’s facade appeared in the holographic light.

“Hello marines” begins the Admiral “The following is strictly classified” he emphasizes.
“We recently received distress calls from Phobos, multiple reports indicate that the base is being invaded by alien creatures. It’s unknown just how dangerous they are, but reports lead us to believe that they have the potential to be extremely deadly” Frost explains.
“We want your team to head to Phobos and evacuate as many UAC personnel as possible and determine the cause of the invasion. Asses threat and, if necessary, search and destroy” Frost says with a clinical tone.
“UAC also wants your team to recover all the main station computer logs and retrieve the data core from the Gate-A teleporter, we have to secure it before one of UAC’s competitors get to it first. There is personnel trapped in the Fusion Power plant, the Central Processing facility, as well, the station Administrator and his assistant are somewhere on the station, UAC wants them rescued if possible” states Frost.
“Stay alert over there marines. I have complete confidence in you all, good luck” Frost finishes, his image melting away.

As they approach Phobos, the view screen displayed only a few escape pods drifting nearby. The moon grows larger as they drew closer, the ship slows as it makes its approach and the pilot began docking maneuvers. It pivots close to the surface, firing short blasts from the thrusters as it made minute corrections. The ship docks with its roof secured to the access hatch.

Ever hear the term kafkaesque (pronounced Kaf·ka·esque)? Nope? Keep on reading.

Portrait-Franz-Kafka-006

Here’s the rather tragic life story of one of the most prolific sci-fi novelists whose works serve as grand metaphors till this day.

Meet Franz Kafka, a mixed bag of a frustrated bureaucrat, playboy, and a whole lot of daddy issues. Although you might know him better for his works: The Metamorphosis (you might have been asked to read it in high-school), The Trail, The Castle, than his ‘complex’ reputation.  

Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, back in the day when the Czech Republic was part of the Austria-Hungry Empire.

e5f677d85df62fd762b1d4e86c0d41de

Being the eldest son of an Ashkenazi-Jewish family, Franz was not a happy camper. His well educated, middle-class parents insisted on their kids speaking high German (speaking low class German is bad enough, trust me), and pursuing a university degree.

Franz, being a highly intelligent and eloquent bruh, wanted to be a writer (read ‘novelist’) more than anything else in the world.

17R7ZXw

Inspired by the creepy and gloomy streets of Prague Kafka wanted to put his morbid thoughts on paper, to be read by all, alas, his parents were totally not down with that: writing (read ‘novelizing’) for a living? What sort of gobbledygook is this? Instead they sent him off to become a lawyer, and that he became.

Pretty soon he found employment at an insurance company where he felt obligated to work so his dad will be happy. You can only imagine the kind of mental stimulation he experience if he produced the following works:

1ce0d607da2f60bc60fedd43fcf090cdClearly his day job was not giving him much pleasure which is why he didn’t neglect his writing, and that he did mostly in his bedroom, at night.

Just in case you were wondering, yes, Kafka hadn’t resolved his issues with his dad, like ever.

Since his job at the office caused him so much distress and unhappiness it’s little wonder most of Kafka’s protagonists were bureaucrats, often caught in the brutal and unapologetic wheels of the ESTABLISHMENT.

Oh, the irony.

Without spilling too many beans on the structure and plot of his novels I’ll provide you with a very brief summery of what was up in the typical Kafka tale:

Boring and insignificant pencil-pusher finds himself in an odd and illogical situation. Pencil-pusher is confused (and single), doesn’t know how to proceed, develops a crush on the local bobbing girl who turns out to be far less innocent than she looks. Pencil-pusher keeps on shuffling his feet around baffled by his strange new condition, which often results in death. THE END.

Remember that term ‘Kaf·ka·esque’ I mentioned earlier? Well, that is pretty much what it stands for: an illogical situation that has no explanation. Now you can drop this term like it’s hot at random house parties, making you look like you’re well read and sh*t.

 

bb9

In case you’re sensing a touch of Kafka himself in this very brief synopsis, you’re not alone, as most of his works were inspired by his very own sweet misery.

Sadly, Kafka died in 1924 due to TB, at the very young age of 40.

His legacy still lives on, with him remaining as one of the most famous and popular writers to this day.

kafka-books

 

Welcome fraynds to Part 2/2 of the 100 Reasons to Watch The 100 ÷ 2.

If you’re late to party, read the first part of the series to get caught up.

Disclaimer: Part 2 is designed to point out awesome details that make the show but that could not be discussed necessarily in Part 1, due to how most of them were revealed post first season.

I wouldn’t classify these details as spoilers as I’ve made them sound as cryptic as possible in the form of teasers… but I thought it important to have a disclaimer nonetheless. Read at your own risk.

 

26.-27. Fascinating sub themes

The 100-2 Cast Away

Leadership comes at a price

Viewers will be recurrently exposed to this “universality.”

But why should viewers care? For starters, this theme complicates the decisions made by the show’s characters.

It is always easy to condemn fictitious characters in a fictitious setting, but when predicaments are relatable to an extent—as leadership is costly even in real life—the point of condemnation blurs… and viewers will second-guess the ethical lines that they draw.

 

Survival is not a one-man show

Fine. So Cast Away begs to differ.

But amidst all conflict, the show does convey the importance of setting aside differences if collective survival is at stake. Perhaps this is something we can all take away with us.

 

28.-32. Grounder society: distinctions & similarities to the Ark

Grounders of the “Bane” clan.

Appearances

Just from the way they look, Grounders are markedly different.

Thing with looks, though—they’re deceiving. With respect to the Grounders, in more ways than one.

Classifications

Apart from having developed a resistance to nuclear radiation, the Grounders are not part of a single monolithic body. As can be seen from these banners…

 

The 100-2 Clans The 100-2 Clans 2

… “Grounders” is merely a non-representative umbrella term for a multitude of classifications—somebody put a crap load of work into this.

 

 

 

 

The 100-2 Mutate

A parallel to the Ark

Even though there is conflict between the Ark and the Grounders, they share a brutal similarity. Here, we recall Reason #3

Grounders banish mutates—those with deformities—out into inhabitable territory to keep their bloodlines pure. These mutates—mostly children—are left without support, resources, and identities…

They are left to be, without meaning or purpose. To be recipients of a fate worse than death.

 

Punishment

For a group that doesn’t seem that large in number, the Grounders are pretty effin’ cutthroat. Literally.

“Death by a thousand cuts” is one of their most brutal means of punishment. What happens, you ask?

Let’s just say it’s as literal as it sounds. Ouch.

A teaser: one of the show’s most memorable scenes involves this aspect of Grounder society.

 

Yu gonplei ste odon

Trigedasleng for “your fight is over”; this is another means by which the Grounders are equally similar to and different from the Arkians.

 

33.-34. The Laurel & Hardy duo

If you haven’t figured out who the dumb one is, think stereotypes.

 Jasper Jordan & Monty Green (Devon Bostick & Christopher Larkin)

Jasper and Monty are the show’s double act. One of them plays the straight man, the other the complete dumbass.

So why did they make this list? Well, the reason would tread upon notable spoiler territory.

I’ll give two teasers:

  1. Their friendship is as compelling as a double act’s, but at times tumultuous.
  2. Character development, in ways one would not expect.

 

35. The 100 kids are smart, guise!

By some miracle, the Ark delinquents are quite smart… Jasper and Monty included, despite what I just called one of them. Can we say the same for the delinquents of today?

Who cares?! All I know is we’re all set in the future, guise.

 

36.-37. Female empowerment partie deux

Both Clarke Griffin and Abigail Griffin take the reins when it comes to demonstrating fits of feminine fury. But that’s not all.

The 100-2 Raven

Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan)

Dubbed a genius, Raven is quite possibly the smartest character among the Arkians.

She starts out as an HBIC, which is interesting enough in and of itself. However, there is more to look forward to…

 

 

 

The 100-2 Octavia

Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos)

Octavia fulfills what is expected of a sister of Bellamy. She is good-natured, helpless at times, and much more empathetic than her sibling.

I know this doesn’t sound that enticing when it comes to empowerment but as with Jasper and Monty, Octavia’s role in the show goes far beyond initial impressions. And it’s something to look out for.

Teaser: check the next blurb.

 

 

38.-40. Great Grounder characters

Anything I say about the following three characters will be spoilers, so I thought it best to leave some videos instead.

The 100-2 Lincoln

The 100 -- "Long Into an Abyss" -- Image: HU207b_0034 -- Pictured (L-R): Alycia Debnam-Carey as Lexa and Adina Porter as Indra -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Lincoln (Ricky Whittle)

Indra (Adina Porter)

Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey)

 

41. Alycia Debnam Carey

The 100-2 Alycia Carey

—Or the actress that plays Lexa—is a series regular for a show you might be familiar with.

Fun fact: Alycia and Thomas McDonnell (Finn Collins) co-starred in 2014 occult horror, The Devil’s Hand.

But… do the world a favour and don’t watch it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

42. LGBT represent!

The 100-2 Nathan Bryan

The show has its fair share of characters that fall under the LGBT roof. Lexa and Nathan Miller are two of them but there are a few more legit surprises in store as the show progresses.

And when these aspects of a character are revealed, none of the other characters make a big deal of it. The CW really knows how to speak to its demographics.

 

 

 

The 100-2 Dichen lachman

 

43. Shameless connection

Zach McGowan and Dichen Lachman, who play Roan and Anya respectively, have both made appearances on Shameless. And it’s easily one of the best shows out there.

Before you stone me for hyping up a TV show that doesn’t necessarily fall under the geek culture umbrella…

Click here.

That qualifies right? So, um yeah… eat me.

 

44. Don’t like CW? No problem.

If you’re like the modern TV program watcher who prefers to watch shows on their own terms…

The 100 is simulcast on Netflix and CW.

Which means, option “Netflix & Chill” verified!

What? You knew that was coming.

 

45.-48. “It’s so bad, it’s good!” Partie deux

Much poke fun. Very laugh.

 

How the hell do you pronounce the title?

Might not seem that big, but when you’ve heard the opening voiceover say both “the one hundred” and “the hundred” many times each… I’d have to wonder which version do they actually own as part of the IP.

Or maybe I’m just weird that way.

 

The 100-2 stag

This thing ==============================================>

WHERE THE HELL DID IT GO? We don’t see whatever that is or other malformed creatures later on.

That, my fraynds, is what we call a production budget.

 

 

 

The 100-2 Clarke father

The show is relatively stupid friendly.

You don’t need a degree in aerospace engineering or urban sustainability to understand the show’s technical lingua…

When Clarke asks her father, one of the Ark’s engineers, what could be troubling him in relation to the Ark’s oxygen recycling vents, he responds…

“There’s something wrong with the system.”

And leaves it at that.

Like I said. Stupid friendly.

 

Inexhaustible conflict, partie deux

When conflicts occur between two parties, often times, one side prevails, learns an important theme, and undergoes a world-view cathartic transformation, never to repeat their part in the conflict ever again.

In the case of The 100, you’ll realize the above statement doesn’t necessarily apply.

So yes, it does seem like sometimes the writers generate conflict just for the sake of having conflict.

Hey, I didn’t say the show was perfect. Just that it’s a great show in more ways than one.

 

49. Edge of your seat

That said, stakes are always high in The 100. Whether a bomb is about to go off, or when rules aren’t being followed, or when the environment isn’t exactly accommodating… you can be sure that someone’s life is always hanging by a thread.

It isn’t a show about survival without people trying to survive.

50. Kelly Hu

Did you just say, “Kelly Who?”

What an ignoble, insipid, putridly asinine thing to say! Kelly Hu is Kelly Hu!

Many might recognize her more in Arrow or as Lady Deathstrike from X-2, but she was in Martial Law! Martial frickin’ Law!

Ugh, I’m too old to reference that show.

In any case, what a blasphemous crime that Kelly only appeared in the Pilot.

That alone would put this show on my sh** list. One Kelly appearance, however, is worth exhibiting all the mercy that I could muster. If she bears no ill will toward the show, then so shan’t I.

 

 

Welp, there you have it.

If 100 reasons ÷ 2 isn’t enough to convince you to watch the show, then nothing will.

“What about a full list of 100?” you say?

Oh, shutuppez-vous!

Loved it!

OK that’s it – you can stop right here if you want the pure unvarnished truth about my feelings on this book.  However if you want to know why … well, continue reading! 🙂

I think you all know by now that I’m a bit of a geek and a SciFi nerd.  I’m no NASA scientist but I generally am able to catch the obvious elements that detract from a story and while in some cases they don’t ruin a story – they pull you out of the universe that the author is trying to create.  In this case however, I’m very happy to state that not only did that NOT happen – I actually found myself wishing for this level of detail in some of the other books and series that I’ve read.  The science and advancement postulated simply makes sense and it is something you would EXPECT to see.  Let me give you an example –

Capture

See what I mean?  Something like this makes sense – I mean this is just an extension of Google Goggles isn’t it & while I have always thought of a bridge matching that of the Enterprise (as I’m sure you have to), if you really think about it, that doesn’t make too much sense when it can all be virtual.  By the same token – having a “Holodeck” really doesn’t make too much sense either when each individual could have their own virtual environment.

This book continues in the same vein with ships utilizing planets and other satellites for speed boosts via slingshot instead of a sub-light drive or other futuristic technology.  Robots and cyborgs are prevalent in the marine contingent of the ships’ forces but again here to the weaponry is a simple extension of our current armament and not some laser or plasma weapon.  It’s good – this verisimilitude keeps you in the story and with the characters and I can only applaud the author (Isaac Hooke) for making that extra effort!

The Captain’s Story

So you’ve heard my enthusiasm for the book, but you’re probably wondering what’s it all about?  Well – I’ll be honest … once again the blurb on Amazon really doesn’t do the book justice:

Capture

Let’s be honest … you probably wouldn’t pick that up unless you were truly desperate for something to read would you?  Let’s see if we can spice it up a bit!

Captain Jonathan Dallas leads a small task force on a critical mission against hostile SK (Sino Korean) forces.  However when a research vessel under his command disappears his investigation uncovers a much more serious threat.  A hostile alien race has captured his ship and while his superiors believe that these ships are merely SK forces in a guise not seen before, Dallas knows that he has stumbled across a significantly more dangerous foe.  If his armada continue their planned attack into SK territory, not only will they be starting a war between human forces, they will also leave themselves open to a war against an unknown alien foe – one with their own agenda.

What do you think?  I think it makes it a bit more interesting and intriguing?  Not perfect perhaps but definitely better than the one earlier – in my opinion anyways!

CHARACTERS & STORY

Some really good and interesting characters here.  Dallas was really good & believable and his motivations were well described too.

WRITING & LANGUAGE

As mentioned at the start – this part of the book was for me the best.  It simply worked and you could see that the author made an effort not only to ensure that they minimized the use of jargon, but that their overall technology worked.  I really liked it.

PACE

Good too – this isn’t one of those massive fleet battle books that I’m so fond of as the largest encounter I think was restricted to about a 1/2 dozen on each side.  It was well portrayed though and the other elements of the story also made good sense.