Book Review: Know No Fear (Horus Heresy #19)

Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth
by Dan Abnett

The 19th book in Horus Heresy series, and I think it’s the best so far.  That’s not really surprising to me, it’s written by Dan Abnett, and I find him to be one of the best writers that the Black Library has.

Know No Fear deals with the Battle of Calth, the epic battle between the XIII and XVII legions.  The Ultramarines and the Word Bearers respectively.  From the word go, this book is non stop, fast paced action.  This is a huge, bloody battle between two legions of transhuman killing machines and the book definitely showcases that.  Space Marines are genetically designed for war, and their skills are used to the extreme in this book.  There is fighting on the ground, fighting on ships, space combat, and surrounding it all is the grievous betrayal by the Word Bearers.  The Word Bearers have come to Calth presumably to link up with the Ultramarines and begin a campaign against the hated Orks.  At this point the Ultramarines have no knowledge of Horus’ treachery, and welcome their brother legion with open arms.  It is tough reading and knowing full well what the Word Bearer’s intentions are, and even tougher when the battle begins in earnest.  It begins with a sneak attack by the XVII Legion, and it so brutal, so overwhelming that it’s almost impossible to see how the Ultramarines could survive, let alone retaliate.  It’s a roller coaster, and it’s fantastic.

This amazing cover artwork deserves mention.

Dan Abnett does a wonderful job communicating his story.  He is constantly shifting scenes.  There is so much going on concurrently that you’re never in the same place for more than a couple of pages.  It does quite a bit to help show the huge scale of the conflict.  The large-scale doesn’t just refer to the battle itself, but also to the cast.  There is an abundance of characters, over 75 just from checking the dramatis personae at the beginning of the book.  He uses them all, and he uses them well.  By the end of the book you’ve come to know these characters very well indeed.  A great read.

Late To The Party: Sherlock

LTTP (Late To The Party) will be a new feature  series on Nerd-Base.  The general idea is to feature something that we missed as it was happening, but finally got around to watching after having it recommended repeatedly.  In the inguinal article I’m covering BBC’s Sherlock.   Continue reading Late To The Party: Sherlock

Comic Book Covers 09/05/2012

Here are my favorite covers from the current week of comics.

The Mighty Thor #19

Cover by Alan Davis

Not everyone likes him, but I’m kind of a sucker for Alan Davis art.  I especially like the way that he draws Thor, and this cover is another great rendition.

Hawkeye #2
Cover by David Aja

I love David Aja’s work, and his covers during his run on Immortal Iron Fist remain some of my favorite.  I was pumped to learn that he would be working with Matt Fraction again, this time on Hawkeye.  As this cover shows, he doesn’t disappoint.

Venom #24

Variant Cover by Skottie Young

It’s Skottie Young, and for me personally that’s really all that’s necessary for this cover to be on the list.  It’s a variant cover celebrating Spidey’s 50th Anniversary, and it’s fantastic.

The Line is Drawn for Comic Book Art

Not that they need the extra traffic, but I really have to give it up to the Comic Book Resources website. They consistently post great, informative articles and are one of the best places to get the latest comics news. But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about two things, CBR’s “Comics Should Be Good” blog, specifically its weekly series called “The Line Is Drawn” where a group of artists (about 16 regulars) post artwork based on suggestions to the blog’s weekly topic on their twitter account. This week’s was “…come up with a sidekick for a superhero who’s never had an official sidekick”, which leads me to the other topic of this particular post. A bit of praise to a good, old friend of mine, and a fantastic artist, John Trumbull.

I met John while performing in the local Rocky Horror show. He had recently graduated from Joe Kubert’s art school at the time. In all these years, I’d never really seen much of his art, save for bits and pieces he showed us, or posted in the early innerwebs days.
As of late, he has been a regular artist for the “Line is Drawn” series and I have consistently found myself more and more impressed and proud of my friend. This week’s piece, however, is his best yet. But then, I’ve said that with each new piece he posts.

Art by John Trumbull – http://johntrumbull.deviantart.com/

So go check out CBR’s blog, subscribe to their feed, and of course make sure you tell ’em who sent ya in the comments, go check out John’s work on his deviant art page! And John, I know you’re going to read this, Great job buddy and keep ’em comin’!!

The Revolution is being televised

J.J. Abrams (creator of LOST, Alias, and the latest Star Trek reboot) has a new series coming to NBC called Revolution.   Revolution is about a world that lost all electricity 15 years ago for an unknown reason.  Now people are trying to survive after the apocalypse.   Basically, its my worst nightmare put on TV.
Continue reading The Revolution is being televised

Movies You May Have Missed: Yor, The Hunter from the Future

Yor, The Hunter From The Future     Welcome to the first entry in a series of reviews covering obscure, rare, and/or forgotten films. Some of these gems have barely survived the VHS generation. Some of them are relegated to the “cult”, “underground”, or “b” grouping. Whatever you want to call them, they’re movies that deserve watching. So grab some snacks, read these reviews, then go get yourself a copy of any of these cinematic masterpieces and fill that aching hole in your soul!

First up, if you haven’t yet guessed by the article title, is one of my absolute FAVORITES, “Yor, The Hunter from the Future”, possibly the most “metal” and “manly” film every made.

I’m thinking that the makers of this film saw a ManOWar album cover, brought it to a production meeting and said, “See this? This is the movie I’m going to make.”

“Yor” was unleashed upon the world for a week in 1983. It was slapped together from what was, or was supposed to be (details of this are somewhat sketchy and to my knowledge proof is non-existent), a four-part mini-series on Italian tv. It did managed to pull in nearly $3mil. Soon after, it would find its way to the local Video Store in my neighborhood, and my life would be forever changed.

Yor starred only one actor of real note, Reb Brown. Reb is best known to most audiences, recently at least, for starring as Captain America/Steve Rogers himself in the two made-for-tv movies, “Captain America” and “Captain America II: Death Too Soon” which are rather special in their own rights, he gained notoriety in the late 90’s when Mystery Science Theater 3000 got a hold of his movie, “Space Mutiny”, but those are for another article all-together. Reb Brown is a definite treasure of the b-movie world. Seriously, I mean, if it weren’t for him, we’d never have this touching moment between Captain America and the Hulk!!!

The film opens with what some consider the most epic opening sequence of the early-80’s Post-Apocolyptic boom. A lone, bare-chested, blonde warrior daintily skips runs around the same rock formations through the wastelands, searching for adventure and the thrill of the hunt, all to one of the most epic synth-rock ballads to ever grace your tender ears. Here, have a listen:

Without doing a full scene by scene breakdown, let’s hit some of the points of interest in relative chronological order that make this movie really “work”:

  • Yor bursts in on a cave woman (who’s oddly attractive compared to the rest of her tribe) and her grandfather protector just as they’re being attacked by a sort of stegosaurus/triceratops hybrid and slays it with his mighty axe and the wits of an expert “Hunter”.
    Once dead, he screams like a maniac, drinks it’s blood that evidently “burns like fire” because “the blood of your enemy makes you strong”  commands the weak old man to, “Help me cut the choice meats!”. Dialog=Classic
  • While rescuing his “damsel in distress” new girlfriend from a tribe of blue cavemen,  he kills a giant bat monster with one shot of a bow and arrow that look like they were made by the village pre-school class, then proceeds to use its instantly rigor-ed body to hang-glide down to save her in what may be the most awesome, manly thing EVER filmed….okay, I really didn’t want to post a lot of “spoiler” vids, but you just HAVE to see this:
    (side note: The best comment on YouTube for this clip is “this is the scene that made Chuck Norris cry for the first time”)
  • EVERY time Yor does something awesome, his theme song plays and your body produces testosterone.
  • Yor nonchalantly commits what can be considered as genocide no less than 3 times during this movie without much as a moment of guilt, inflection, or the bat of an eyelash. Twice before the movie hits its halfway mark.
  • Yor gets a flaming sword for a short time and becomes the embodiment of every D&D geek in the world. He then throws it like a spear in the most epic-manly fashion you can imagine. Yor IS the man.
  • There’s a cat-fight and some marijuana allusions.
  • Yor battles the poor-man’s Emperor Palpatine and his army of cut-rate Vader drones.
  • You will see the single most masculine trapeze scene ever shot on film utilizing little plastic men that you totally won’t care are obviously fake and you will have sprouted some new chest hair by this point.
  • Yor and his lady-friend fly through a flaming explosion in an epic space-fighter-jet-machine that he just happens to know how to pilot. Well, since he’s going to rebuild a better world using his “Superior Knowledge”, I guess that makes sense.
Possibly one of the single most epic fantasy posters ever made.

Honestly, “Yor, The Hunter From The Future” is not a “good” film. It’s cheesy, with very poor, obviously cheap effects, bad acting, bad voice overs, ect. But through all that, one very important point lays true, this film is FUN.
You can watch it alone, or with friends, and you will have a blast. You will laugh, you will make jokes, you will sit in awe, and you will cheer on the poor, half-brain-dead denizens of this sad, sad future. Mostly, you will cheer for Yor, as he grins like an idiot while racking up a body count that would make Rambo and the Terminator weep with pride, all while wearing an awful blonde wig and dragging around an octogenarian in a loin-cloth who’s just waiting for morning to get his senior coffee.

As if you needed more convincing, here’s two points to take note of: 1) Notice how many times I couldn’t help but use the term “epic” in this write-up. 2) Watch the trailer:

Oh!Edo Towns

Oh!Edo Towns by Kairosoft was released on iOS late last year, but was recently released for Android. Kairosoft is known for making great time-wasting, micro managing games.  They first knocked it out of the park with “Game Dev Story”, and have had other successes like “Mega Mall Story”, and most recently “Dungeon Village”.  If you haven’t tried the three games I just mentioned, you need to.  They have a great addictive quality to them that keeps you coming back.   Continue reading Oh!Edo Towns